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Press Releases - County Council

Council creates $14 million Reopen Montgomery Business Assistance Program

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Funding initiated by Councilmember Andrew Friedson and Council President Sidney Katz will help local employers offset reopening expenses

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 7, 2020—Today the Montgomery County Council approved a special appropriation of $14 million to create the Reopen Montgomery Business Assistance Program, which will reimburse County businesses and non-profit organizations that incur reopening expenses to comply with new state and county health regulations due to the Covid-19 public health crisis. Funding for this appropriation comes from Public Health Emergency Grant funds and the federal CARES Act.

The full Council sponsored this special appropriation, which was spearheaded by Councilmember Andrew Friedson and Council President Sidney Katz with the support of County Executive Marc Elrich.

“Already hit hard by the public health crisis, businesses are spending thousands of dollars just to reopen,” Councilmember Andrew Friedson said. “These business owners don't just employ our friends and neighbors. They are our friends and neighbors. Their businesses are crucial to our County's economy and quality of life and we must help them reopen safely to protect the health of their employees and customers.”

“Businesses and non-profits in Montgomery County have experienced tremendous financial hardship and the funds made available through this assistance program will go a long way to help them reopen,” said Council President Katz. “The reopening process is not an easy one – but it is a necessary one so that we can do the very best job to ensure the health and well-being of our residents and of the employees of these businesses and non-profits.”

“These funds will provide much needed assistance to businesses and non-profits that are trying to reopen and return to some sense of normalcy,” said County Executive Elrich. “Our businesses are an essential component of our economy, providing jobs and services for our residents and this new $14 million assistance program shows that we understand how difficult reopening is and will be. The program is another investment in our future as we work to stabilize our economy and our quality of life.”

A business or non-profit organization is eligible to receive assistance from the Reopen Montgomery Business Assistance Program if it:

  • has its physical locations only in the County or its County-based locations account for more than 50 percent of the business’s total number of employees or 50 percent of the business’s total sales;
  • employs 100 or less full-time-equivalent employees;
  • has not received financial assistance from the County for reopening expenses related to the Covid-19 health crisis; and
  • has incurred reopening reimbursable expenditures between March 16, 2020 and 30 days following the County’s Phase Three reopening.

Reopening reimbursable expenditures are expenses incurred during reopening to comply with Maryland and Montgomery County Covid-19 health regulations. 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.

Each eligible business and non-profit may be awarded up to $5,000 for reopening reimbursable expenditures. The award will be based on actual, verified expenses for each business and non-profit organization and will be administered through a rolling lottery system.

For more information, the Council staff report can be viewed here.


Release ID: 20-287
Media Contact: Cindy Gibson 240-777-7828