County Council Creates $14 million Reopen Montgomery Business Assistance Grant Program
The Montgomery County Council last week approved a special appropriation of $14 million to create the Reopen Montgomery Business Assistance Program. The grant program will reimburse County businesses and non-profit organizations some of the costs to comply with state and county COVID-19 health regulations. Funding for the program is coming from the Public Health Emergency Grant (PHEG) funds and the federal CARES Act.
The program may reimburse eligible businesses up to $5,000 for allowable expenditures incurred between March 16, 2020 and 30 days following the County’s Phase Three reopening. Allowable expenses include, but are not limited to, the following: personal protective equipment, materials to create barriers, dividers, protected areas, contactless payment systems, cleaning supplies, signage, outdoor furniture, and disposable food containers and utensils.
Eligibility requirements are the same as those for the PHEG. The business’s physical locations must be in the County, or its County-based locations must account for more than 50 percent of its total number of employees or 50 percent of the business’s total sales, and it must employ 100 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees. Further, the eligible business must not have already received financial assistance from the County for reopening expenses related to the Covid-19 health crisis.
Unlike the PHEG, grants will not be made on a first-come-first-served basis. Instead, applications received within a one- or two-week period will be placed into a lottery, similar to the system used for the telework grant program. The County expects that applications will be available by the end of the month.