New or Expanding Businesses Could Be Eligible for State Grant Program

Local businesses that are planning to open or expand into vacant space in commercial properties could be eligible for state grants to help pay rent or grow the business, according to an announcement from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

The department is accepting applications beginning today (Wednesday, Sept. 8) for a share of $25 million in funding under Project Restore.

Businesses can apply for up to $30,000 to help pay rent for one year (at a maximum of $2,500 per month). To qualify, businesses must have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, among other criteria listed below.

Business operations grants of up to $250,000 for one or two years also are available for a business that generates sales and use tax. Funds can be used for staff, capital improvements, marketing inventory and supplies, among other needs, but not for executive salaries or bonuses.

The criteria for eligibility, according to the announcement, include:

  • May be a new or existing business located in Maryland 
  • Must be registered and in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation
  • Must open or expand in a retail or commercial space that has been vacant at least 6 months prior to the date they submit their application, and
  • Must be a financially viable business whose operations will continue forward.

Grant applications are available online.

State of Maryland graphic

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