Hogan announces plan to revitalize Md. storefronts emptied by pandemic

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday that the state has seen 13 months of consecutive job growth, but stressed more has to be done.

Monday marked the launch of Project Restore, a $25 million initiative aimed at revitalizing vacant storefronts in downtown areas and along main streets across the state.

“If you’re a small business that starts operations in a vacant storefront, this program will provide you up to one year of rental subsidies to offset startup costs,” Hogan said.

Rental subsidies will provide up to $2,500 a month up to $30,000 and up to $250,000 per year in sales tax rebates.

Businesses in Tier 1 counties, which include Baltimore City and 148 other opportunity zones across the state, will be eligible to receive the rebate for up to two years.

Investors and developers looking to build in downtown areas will have access to up to one year of sales tax rebates. Hogan said the goal is to drive more investment into the communities that need it most.

“We’re committed to coming back stronger and better than ever before,” he added.

So far, state efforts to improve the economy have provided more than $2.1 billion in emergency assistance.

Applicants interested in applying for assistance through Project Restore will be required to remain in the space for at least 12 months if approved for the program.

Eligible applicants must also begin new or expanded operations in a storefront that hasn’t been generating sales tax receipts for the past six months or more. For more information on Project Restore, visit dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectRestore.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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