The County Council unanimously approved another $5 million in funding for the Public Health Emergency Grant program to assist local restaurants and small retail shops during the COVID-19 emergency.

The special appropriation is in addition to the $5 million reserved for those businesses as part of the original $20 million appropriation that created the program, according to a press release.

The program is designed to provide up to $75,000 in assistance to eligible entities that can demonstrate a “significant financial loss.”

Businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees would be eligible for the grants, which must be used for employee wages and benefits, taxes, debt, rent or other operating losses during the emergency.

The county has set up a website where businesses can apply for the PHEG grants.

In other COVID-19 related action yesterday, the council unanimously passed two separate supplemental appropriations totaling $350,000 to purchase or manufacture personal protective equipment and face coverings.

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation will receive $100,000 in funding to start a Local Production Fund. The fund will “provide small- and medium-sized manufacturers/producers with the working capital grants necessary to make and provide Covid-19-related items,” according to the press release.

The MCEDC will add an additional $100,000 from its budget to the fund.

In addition, Councilmember Evan Glass (D-At Large) spearheaded the introduction yesterday of a $2 million special appropriation to provide a short-term rental subsidy program for low- and moderate-income households during the COVID-19 emergency.

The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on this appropriation on Tuesday, April 28.

Image from Wikimedia Commons licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Mike Diegel