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Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball opened applications for a 4th round of HoCo RISE Business Grants for restaurants and hotels. This round of grants is funded by the State with $1.2 million for restaurants and over $500,000 available for hotels. The County is targeting businesses that have not yet received a grant, but all are welcome to apply. Applications can be completed at www.hceda.org/c19grants by May 24th. Photos of the event can be found here. Video can be found here.

“During the course of the past year, our small local businesses have pushed forward through extraordinary circumstances and unforeseen obstacles, the very least we can do is continue to provide additional support and funding to ensure they can thrive as we emerge from this pandemic,” said Ball. “Since July 2020, Howard County has provided nearly $18 million in CARES Act Funding to local restaurants, small-retailers, farms, hotels, live venues, childcare providers and home-based businesses – and there’s still more to do.”

Restaurants and hotels may use the grant funding for any expenses related to COVID-19 including working capital and operating costs, infrastructure improvements, technology, and more. Restaurants may receive a maximum amount of $12,000, while hotels may receive up to $25,000 under the program.

“Support from the County and State is critical to the survival of our hotels and restaurants,” said Visit Howard County Executive Director Amanda Hof. “These businesses also need support from the community which will contribute to our local economy and residents’ quality of life.”

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“While the warm weather and consumer confidence grows and is allowing our restaurants and hotels to welcome more guests, we need to continue to support these sectors that are still recovering,” said Howard County Economic Development Authority President/CEO Larry Twele. “We appreciate the County Executive’s continued strong support and are proud to be part of the HoCo RISE team to provide this assistance.”

“2020 was one of the most difficult years in the history of the restaurant industry hands down. The good news is that 2021 is looking up and we are grateful to see more and more people starting to come out, however, grants like this are still very much needed to help us independent businesses see our way through this, we couldn’t do it without them,” said Periodic Table restaurant owner Lance Cook.

“As an operator entrusted with the owners’ best interests of their asset: My job is to balance the needs of our guests and team members against the business interest of our owners. In a year when there was no balance; few guests, laid off staff and owners having to financially support keeping the doors open month after month,” said Homewood Suites of Columbia General Manager Yolande Lacan. “On behalf of the Howard County hotel community, Thank you. HoCo Rise has allowed a little breathing room at the end of the month we are grateful.”

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Scott E