Montgomery Co. OKs $14 million program to help with reopenings

Montgomery County, Maryland, is making another move in hopes of helping many businesses that are struggling to reopen during the pandemic.

The County Council on Tuesday created the Reopen Montgomery Business Assistance program, which sets aside $14 million for businesses and nonprofits that are racking up costs to comply with state and county COVID-19 health regulations.

The program’s funding is coming from Public Health Emergency Grant funds and the federal CARES Act.

“These funds will provide much needed assistance to businesses and nonprofits that are trying to reopen and return to some sense of normalcy,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement.

“The program is another investment in our future as we work to stabilize our economy and our quality of life.”

Eligible businesses and nonprofits can be reimbursed with up to $5,000 and will be awarded based on a rolling lottery system.

Allowable expenses include but are not limited to personal protective equipment; materials to create barriers, dividers and protected areas; contactless payment systems; cleaning supplies; signage; outdoor furniture; and disposable food containers and utensils.

Those that qualify must:

  • Have their physical locations only in the county, or their county-based locations must account for over half of the business’s total number of employees or 50% of the business’s total sales.
  • Employ 100 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees.
  • Have not received county assistance for reopening expenses related to the pandemic.
  • Have incurred reopening reimbursable expenditures between March 16 and 30 days following the county’s Phase 3 reopening.

A timeline for the start of Montgomery County’s third phase has yet to be determined. Officials have indicated that they need to assess the impact of this past holiday weekend before a decision is made.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy is a reporter and anchor at WTOP with more than 20 years of experience. He has reported from major events like the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 2016 Election Night at Trump Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami.

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