ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Howard County on Wednesday awarded the first round of relief grants to 203 businesses impacted by COVID-19.
In total, the county issued $5.7 million in grants to businesses in three separate sectors.
The county put $2.7 million towards a Storefront Retail Assistance Program, which went to 85 locally-owned small non-essential retailers who were forced to close amid the pandemic.
An Agriculture Assistance Program handed out $800,000 in grants to 44 local, full or part-time farms affected by decreased demand during the virus.
Then there's a Restaurant Assistance Program, which included $2.0 million in funds to 74 locally-owned restaurants that had costs associated with safety upgrades in order to re-open.
The money is part of the $57 million in federal funding the county received from the CARES Act.
Many small businesses at Historic Savage Mill were among those chosen and on hand to receive the grants.
They include; Art of Hair (The Salon), Rustiq Bakery & Café, Skinsational Scents, FACES by Brandi LLC., Caplan’s Auction, Artcraft, Sweet Cascades, and Success in Style.
County Executive Calvin Ball said hotels and child day cares could now begin applying for $2,500 grants.
“Our goal was to rapidly provide critical funds to local businesses who were the most impacted by pandemic mitigation efforts,” said Ball. “These grants address immediate needs and ensure businesses have the funds, resources, and support to adapt to safety and regulation changes. We’re incredibly grateful to the Howard County Economic Development Authority for reviewing applications and ensuring that these grants reached business owners as quickly as possible.”
Watch some of the grants being awarded below.
LIVE from .@HoCoGovExec news conference to announce recipients of 1st round of HoCo RISE Business Relief Grants: https://t.co/bBWtfJzJVq. Grant program to provide financial assistance to #HoCoMD businesses in targeted sectors most impacted by #COVID19 & who plan to re-open.— Howard County Gov't (@HoCoGov) July 15, 2020