Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the third round of HoCo RISE Business Grants of $5.1 million for small local businesses, restaurants, and hotels. The funding includes $2 million in County funds for businesses, $1.5 million from the State for restaurants, and $1.6 million from the State for hotels. Photos of the event can be found here.  Video can be found here.

“Over the past 11 months we’ve seen our business community adapt, shift on a dime, and work through the challenges of this pandemic,” said Ball. “But amid nearly a year of uncertainty, and an unpredictable future, our business community has been through the wringer. Since July, we have provided more than $13.5 million in CARES Act Funding to our restaurants, small-retailers, farms, hotels, live venues, and childcare providers – but we’re not stopping there. Today, we’re announcing more than $5 million in additional grants to support our small businesses, hotels, and restaurants.”   

In this third round of HoCo RISE Business Grants, Howard County is targeting our businesses that did not previously receive a grant. For local small businesses, the County is providing $5,000 grants, including to home-based businesses in Howard County. Restaurants who have not received a grant before will be eligible for a $13,500 grant. Local hotels are eligible for a grant, even if they’ve received one before. Full details and applications are available online at The applications process will be open until 11:59 p.m. on February 25, 2021.  


“We are grateful that the HoCo RISE initiative is once again providing the assistance our community needs,” said Larry Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “This pandemic has extended much longer than we could have anticipated, and we appreciate the continued support from the state and county for our local small businesses.”  

“The lodging industry was among the first to be impacted by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover. While national brands may be associated with our hotels, the majority of hotels are owned and operated by small business owners, who often have personal assets on the line,” said Amanda Hof Executive Director for Visit Howard County, “Our hotels very much appreciate this relief. They also need support from the community.” 

“On behalf of hoteliers throughout the State and specifically here in Howard County, I would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to Governor Hogan for this $50 million grant of which nearly $1.6 million is being provided to Howard County hotels,” said Chuck Chandler, Board Chair of the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association. “Thank you to County Executive Ball and all of the County administrators who are working tirelessly on distribution. We are extremely grateful and look forward to the funds getting into the hands of those who need it most.” 

“The last year has been hard for everyone. Both for everyone as a person and certainly for most businesses,” said Pete Mangione, General Manager of Turf Valley Resort. “The hotel and restaurant business have been hit extremely hard. We have done our best to stay open so that we can keep our employees working, but it has been a challenge. We have followed strict protocol and all CDC guidelines. We look to and hope the metrics will continue to improve so that the County Executive can ease the restrictions and we can get back to our business. We know it is not easy, as he walks the tight rope between opening businesses and keeping people safe. We appreciate the support of the county executive for our industry. This grant will be helpful to carry us through until we can reopen fully.”

“As a long time Howard County resident and businessman, I am so proud of how the Howard County Office of Economic Development as well as our County Executive Calvin Ball foster success for Howard County small business by offering grants in these unprecedented times,” said Damon Foreman, owner of Damon Foreman Music Academy.  

“Thanks to the support from the Howard County EDA and the County Executive’s grants we have been able to invest in technology and PPE, so we can continue to safely serve our guests and adapt to the online and curbside model,” said Simon Cortez of El Azteca Restaurant. “This has also helped us limit the amount of layoffs we would have otherwise incurred. We look forward to continuing to serve our community.” 


See photos from Scott E’s Blog of the event here:

Scott E