(Nov. 13, 2020) Worcester County government will have about $1.4 million to disperse among qualifying restaurants for covid-19 relief.
Restaurants have been hit hard during the pandemic, as they were temporarily open for carryout and delivery only in the spring and have since been open at a limited capacity.
This is a part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s second $250 million economic relief package that was announced last month. The state is distributing a total of $50 million for restaurants, with each county receiving different amounts based on its number of restaurants.
Montgomery County will be receiving the most at about $8 million.
Tom Perlozzo, director of recreation and parks, economic development and tourism, said that the county will start accepting applications on Monday, Nov. 16 and the funds must be dispersed by Wednesday, Dec. 30.
He said there will be three levels of funding based on full-time employees – businesses with zero to 10 full-time employees are eligible for $5,000, 11 to 25 for $7,500 and 26 and up for $10,000.
On Tuesday, Perlozzo said the application should be available within the next couple days on chooseworcester.org.
“It is very similar to the prior applications we used for the CARES Act,” Perlozzo said. “It’s set up to be a little more streamlined — less paperwork required than the previous application.”
The application is first come, first serve and the county will continue to award funds until they have been entirely dispersed.
“We understand that there’s 300 plus restaurants in Worcester County and, depending on their size, we hope that we can distribute as much as possible to everyone,” Perlozzo said.
To prepare, Perlozzo advised that restaurants look at the previous CARES Act covid-19 assistance grant applications. Economic development personnel will contact applicants if more information is needed.
Aside from the restaurant relief, the state is providing $3 million for arts organizations, $2 million for hometown tourism and $50 million for Main Street and small businesses.
The $50 million for small businesses will fund the remaining applications for the Maryland Small Business Covid-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund. New applications will not be accepted as there are 5,000 applications backlogged from the spring.
An additional $5 million will go to the Maryland Small Business Development Financial Authority and $20 million to the Maryland Department of Labor and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.