July 15, 2020

Media Contact:

Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Calvin Ball announced the 203 recipients of the first round of HoCo RISE Business Relief Grants. Howard County allocated $5.7 million in CARES Act funding towards the grant program to provide financial assistance to businesses in targeted sectors that have been most impacted by COVID-19 and plan to re-open. Ball also announced new grant opportunities for childcare establishments and the hotel industry. Photos of the event can be found here.

“All of us are trying to get by and move forward. I applaud those making sacrifices in the hope that we will make an impact and save lives, including Howard County small businesses. The first 203 recipients of these grants provide jobs, value, and support to our community, and we want to ensure that they too are able to survive,” 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. As Howard County continues to focus on long-term recovery – we’re also announcing new grants to provide support to our local childcare establishments and the hotel industry.”

In this first round of grants, there are 85 storefront retail, 44 farms and 74 restaurants receiving funding. Unlike other local grant programs in the region that have been based on a first-come, first serve model for any business, the Howard County grants have specific targets to target small businesses. The first phase of business relief grants have reopened applications for a limited time, July 15 – July 18, 11:59 p.m. Business owners can learn more information and apply online at: http://www.hceda.org/c19grants/

The business grants include:  

  • A Storefront Retail Assistance Program, providing $2.7 million to locally-owned, small retailers, and service merchants in commercial space who have been forced to close because of the Governor’s non-essential business order.  
  • AnAgriculture Assistance Program, providing $800,000 in total grant assistance to support local, full or part-time farms affected by the decreased demand by local restaurants as well as a drastic decline in commodity prices.  
  • ARestaurant Assistance Program, providing $2.0 million to locally-owned restaurants for support for accommodations required to re-open outdoor or indoor service and customer access.

The two new grant programs announced today, for the childcare and hotel sector, are now eligible to apply for a $2500 grant. The Howard County Economic Development Authority (EDA) is working directly with the Department of Community Resources and Services to direct mail the application link to over 400 certified in-home and center-based childcare providers in the county. This program would provide $1 million to the childcare sector in Howard County. The EDA is also working directly with Visit Howard County to direct mail the application portal to the 48 accommodation providers in the county.

“The Economic Development Authority was proud to be able to support the Executive’s HoCo RISE Business Assistance Grant Program,” said Larry Twele, CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “The entire team worked tirelessly to deploy the program in record time to get the much-needed assistance to our small business community that has been so severely impacted by this pandemic.”

“Howard County’s Economic Development Authority business grants through the Cares Act have provided a life line to the true small businesses attempting to stay alive during the pandemic,” said Jay Winer, Managing Partner of Historic Savage Mill. “Historic Savage Mill and all its sole proprietor small businesses thank County Executive Ball for great communication and caring for its small businesses throughout this process. It gives us all a fighting chance to save the heart of small business in our own backyard.”

“Art of Hair (The Salon) acknowledge and appreciate funds that will be awarded by the CARES Act. During these unprecedented times, funds will assist Stylist in the use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE),” said Surena Kind, owner of Art of Hair (The Salon). “We continue to receive updates and information from the Center for Disease Control and Maryland State Board of Cosmetology for the safest way to provide hair services during COVID 19. Safety is our primary concern. Thank you for awarding this grant to Art of Hair (The Salon).”

“Thank you, County Executive Calvin Ball, for your leadership and commitment in keeping us feel safe and supported during this unprecedented time,” said Jinal Contractor, owner of Rustiq Bakery & Café. “As a small business owner, I truly appreciate Howard County Economic Development for offering helping hands to businesses in need and especially to tenants at Savage Mill.”

“Skinsational Scents is honored and thankful to be the recipient of the Howard County Small Business Grant during this COVID19 pandemic,” said owner Brittany Pritchett. “Thank you for supporting small business in Howard County!”

“FACES by Brandi LLC. has been a successful business model inside Historic Savage Mill for over ten years. One never knows how good you have it until the rug is pulled out from under your feet. COVID-19 placed us all on an emotional roller coaster,” said owner Brandi Chroniger. “I have never worked so hard to keep balance in life and business as I have over the last four months. If you are a sole proprietor, it made it even harder, as no grants were offered for this type of business. Relying on faith and goodwill kept my business going until a month back when the will to keep pressing on was almost lost. This grant from Howard County provides light in a dark tunnel. The positive is that if we keep gathering those puzzle pieces, we will eventually get to view the full picture!”

“We are so grateful to be merchants and residence in Howard County,” said Shelley Harris, owner of Caplan’s Auction. “We thank Howard County Economic Development Authority for looking after their small business owners, with heartfelt thanks!”

“We truly appreciate this help to our small business so that we can survive to serve our customers, community, and visitors to the Mill,” said Sharyn Winer, owner of Artcraft.

 “Thank you, County Executive Calvin Ball, for keeping all of the residences and businesses in Howard County safe during these trying times,” said Susan Whary, owner of Sweet Cascades. “The Howard County Economic Development Authority folks have always been and always will be a great support to the small businesses. Thank you for having our backs!”

 “Our retail stores and mission have taken a big hit from COVID-19,” said Jeannette Kendall, owner of Success in Style. “With Savage Mill opening with its thoughtful safety measures, we have been slowly catching up. Having the generous support of Howard County Economic Development will allow us the funding to continue our mission, especially serving our at-risk clients, who are particularly grateful.” 


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