HAGERSTOWN, MD (November 3, 2020) – With approval from the Board of County Commissioners, the Washington County Department of Business Development announces the launching of a new grant program to support restaurants in Washington County. The Direct Restaurant Relief Grant program will award $1.35 million. The grant program is designed to assist local restaurants (see eligible uses of funds below).

General terms and conditions of the Direct Restaurant Relief Grant include:

  • Must own, rent, or lease a permanent or mobile commercial food and/or beverage service location in Washington County as of March 1, 2020 (non-profit organizations, commissaries, food banks, groceries, farmers markets, vending machines, catering, home kitchens, etc. are not eligible)
  • Business must have a current Washington County business license and have been in business on March 1, 2020, and the business must be in good standing with Washington County Government and the State of Maryland with no outstanding taxes, fees, or other charges, and registered with the state, if required by law.
  • Demonstrate operational expenses or purchases incurred due to COVID-19 in the periods from March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020.
  • Eligible expenses may include, but are not necessarily limited to working capital, such as rent, payroll, and job training, purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining, such as tents, heaters, warmers, and carts, infrastructure improvements, such as HVAC system upgrades, technology to support carryout and delivery, purchase of PPE and disposable food containers or utensils, sanitation services, and any other costs related to continuity of business.
  • Applications from franchise restaurants will be accepted as long as the franchisee does not own more than 2 franchise businesses in Washington County.
  • The maximum amount awarded for this grant will be $20,000 per applicant.

Eligible uses of funds include:

  • Working capital, such as rent and purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining through physical improvements including tents, heaters, warmers, and carts
  • Sanitization services
  • Purchase of PPE
  • Technology to support carryout and delivery
  • Infrastructure improvements, including HVAC system upgrades 

Applications will be accepted from 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 4, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18, 2020. Applications for the Direct Restaurant Relief Grant must be made online at www.washcorises.net. The website also provides guidelines, application instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Please note any financial information shared as part of this application will remain confidential, but the names of businesses receiving grants and the amount they receive is public information.

For questions regarding eligibility criteria or required documentation, please email riseupgrant@washco-md.net.