Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman today announced a new program to provide grants of up to $10,000 to the County’s restaurants and foodservice businesses. The County is committing $5 million of its federal CARES Act funding to the grant program, which is designed to help restaurants and other businesses struggling due to COVID-related restrictions and waning consumer confidence.
“From the beginning of this pandemic, our restaurants, and their hard-working employees have been left with only a fraction of the revenue that they need to survive,” said County Executive Pittman. “That’s why we worked with Economic Development to create the largest assistance program of the pandemic to date for this industry and its people.”
The Restaurant and Food Service Grant Program is specifically targeted to food trucks, catering businesses, bed and breakfast establishments, and dine-in restaurants. Restaurants and foodservice businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses such as rent, payroll, and utilities, as well as costs associated with the purchase of personal protective equipment, ensuring sanitary physical spaces, and implementing online customer engagement and transactions.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, Governor Larry Hogan recently announced that the state will provide county governments with a total of $50 million to support direct aid to local restaurants and foodservice businesses. Counties must allocate all funds by December 31, 2020.
Anne Arundel County expects to receive approximately $5 million from the state initiative. Once received, those funds will supplement the county grant program, bringing total funding for the Restaurant and Food Service Grant Program to $10 million.
“With the cold weather months coming, restaurant owners and foodservice managers are now planning on how they can continue to attract and safely accommodate customers,” said Ben Birge, President and CEO of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation. “These grants can help them afford some of the costs related to their planning as well as ongoing operational expenses so they can weather these challenging times.”
According to a County press release:
The grant will be disbursed in the following amounts to qualified and approved businesses:
- $10,000 for catering businesses, bed and breakfast establishments and dine-in, non-drive through restaurants; and
- $5,000 for food trucks.
A qualified business must:
- Be located in Anne Arundel County;
- Have been open and operating prior to March 13, 2020;
- Be in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation; and
- Submit a copy of an active food service license issued Anne Arundel County Department of Health, a signed W-9 form.
Applicants also will be required to upload a voided company check to facilitate an ACH deposit of the grant amount to the business bank account.
AAEDC is currently developing a portal on its website where businesses can create an account and complete the entire application process. The application period is expected to open in mid November. For additional information, inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Humanitarian Relief Fund, managed by the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation, provides temporary financial assistance in the form of a $500 Visa gift card to restaurant workers who have lost wages, including tips, as a result of reduced hours or reduced customers in restaurants and food service businesses. To apply, visit www.aawdc.org/relief or call 410-424-3240 for more information.