DHCD Project Restore to Provide Grants for Businesses Opening or Expanding in Vacant Retail & Commercial Buildings

Project Restore will provide $25 million to fill vacant retail and commercial buildings and support business investment, job creation, and economic growth in Maryland’s communities. Businesses opening or expanding into vacant retail and commercial properties may be eligible for Project Restore grants from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Project Restore grants can help new and growing businesses with rent payments and operating costs in their first year.

Project Restore will provide two grant opportunities for businesses that plan on opening or expanding into previously vacant spaces:

city block with stores and carsRental Assistance Grant: The maximum grant request amount is $30,000 for rent for one year (rental payment up to $2,500 per month) for qualified small business with 50 or fewer employees (full time equivalents). Applicant’s monthly rent can exceed $2,500, but the maximum that will be paid by the Rental Assistance Grant will be $2,500 per month for one year.

Business Operations Grant: The maximum grant award amount is $250,000 for one or two years for businesses that generate sales and use tax. Grant funds can be used for activities and costs related to sustaining and growing the business such as staff costs, capital improvements, marketing, inventory and supplies, utilities and the like and cannot be used for executive salaries or bonuses. Grant awards will be paid quarterly and will be based on sales and use tax generated by and submitted to the state in Calendar Year 2022.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS:

To be eligible to apply for either a Rental Assistance Grant and/or a Business Assistance Grant, a business must meet all of the following criteria:​​

  • May be a new or existing business, but business must be located in Maryland
  • Business must be registered and in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT).
  • Business must open or expand in a retail or commercial space that has been vacant at least 6 months prior to the date they submit their application.
  • Financially viable business whose operations will continue forward

Please visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov/projectrestore for more details. The “Notice of Funding Availability” is now online. The department will post a sample application in the coming weeks, and the application portal is projected to open the week of September 7th-10th. Please continue to check the website for updates.

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