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Howard announces $5.1 million in grants for businesses, restaurants and hotels to combat COVID-19 downturn

Howard County announced a third round of business relief grants Friday totaling $5.1 million for county businesses, restaurants and hotels.

The funding has been allocated in three separate parts: $2 million in county funds for local businesses, $1.5 million from the state for restaurants and $1.6 million from the state for hotels.

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“Our business community has been through the wringer,” County Executive Calvin Ball said at a Friday news conference. “We want to make sure that we continue to support our entire business community.”

The relief grants are part of the county’s HoCo Rise initiative launched in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since July, the county has provided more than $13.5 million in CARES Act funding to restaurants, small retailers, farms, live venues and child care providers, after receiving $56.8 million in CARES Act funding from the federal government in June.

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Ball said the county will aim to help businesses that have not yet received a grant. County businesses, including home-based businesses, will be eligible for $5,000 grants. Restaurants that have not yet received a grant will be eligible for a $13,500 grant. Hotels are eligible regardless of whether they have received a grant before.

“These grants will hopefully be a lifeline for so many because small businesses are not just brick and mortar, they provide jobs, value and support for our community,” Ball said.

For more information and to apply, go to hceda.org/c19grants. Applications are open through Feb. 26.

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