TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Wednesday announced a $600,000 grant program designed to assist chambers of commerce and business associations in their missions to support businesses in their communities.
The grant program will fund initiatives that support local businesses by providing educational programming and marketing efforts to help sustain the viability of this important economic sector that has been hit especially hard by the pandemic.
“Our independent small businesses and our neighborhood business corridors are an important element of our local economy and they add to our overall sense of community,” said County Executive Olszewski. “These grant funds will quickly go where they are needed to provide critically-needed support to help our small businesses districts.”
The COVID-19 Business Corridor Sustainability Grant Program is narrowly focused on providing financial support to Baltimore County’s small business associations and chambers of commerce so that they can provide professional-level services to support member and nonmember businesses in their communities.
A total of $600,000 will be awarded to eligible applicants, capped at $20,000 per organization. Applicants will be required to submit a proposal that demonstrates how the organization plans to utilize these funds to support small businesses in Baltimore County by providing COVID-19 related services.
These grant funds will enable the County’s chambers and small business associations to pay staff or outside experts to conduct virtual educational programming on COVID-19 related recovery efforts such as accounting requirements for government assistance programs or negotiating forbearance agreements with landlords and financial institutions. Funds could also be used for marketing campaigns to help promote community patronage and support for local “Main Street” businesses.
Applicants must be a not-for-profit business association or chamber of commerce that:
- Serves businesses located in Baltimore County
- Has been in operation as of January 1, 2020
- Has at least one paid staff member, and provides an employee roster listing all employees as of January 31, 2020
- Is registered and in good standing with the State of Maryland, if required to do so by law
- Is not currently in default on any loans, or out of compliance with any grants from Baltimore County, or delinquent on any taxes owed to Baltimore County
- Submits a complete and acceptable application and proposal by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 31
Baltimore County staff will review the application to ensure proper completion, and an inter-agency committee will be responsible for reviewing each application submitted to determine eligibility.