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Press Releases - County Council

Council approves $1 million special appropriation to help small businesses in the County

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 8, 2021

Special appropriation spearheaded by Councilmember Jawando will provide rental assistance to small businesses

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 8, 2021— On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a $1 million special appropriation to assist small businesses with rent payments.

“Rent is often the biggest cost for a small retail business, with the pandemic forcing the closure of many businesses and negatively impacting countless others who have struggled to survive without adequate relief,” said Councilmember Will Jawando. “Small businesses of less than five people make up over 60 percent of our businesses in the county and many are owned by women and people of color who have been hit particularly hard and have not been able to equitably access federal, state and local support.”

“Hard-working entrepreneurs and small business leaders in our county deserve our support. Nationally 73 percent of black-owned businesses surveyed will run out of money in three months,” said Councilmember Jawando. “Latino-owned businesses have had PPP loans approved at half the rate of white businesses and an even smaller proportion of Latino-owned businesses get their full funding relative to white-owned businesses. Montgomery County is a great place to live and work and our small business help to make it so. This is a great opportunity to show our full support for our small business neighbors.”

Councilmember Jawando’s full remarks following the approval can be seen here.

Many businesses in the County are small retail or service-oriented businesses that depend on customer volume to meet basic liabilities like rent payments. The pandemic has significantly disrupted these businesses for over a year.

Councilmember Jawando introduced this special appropriation to create a program to provide grants to small businesses to support rental costs, either current or overdue rent payments.

The program will be implemented by the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) in partnership with the County’s Business Advancement Team. LEDC intends to market this program and leverage its connection with the business community to reach out to disadvantaged communities. It will also be available to assist businesses in preparing application materials.

A business is eligible to receive assistance from this program if it has its physical location(s) 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 gross sales.

The business also must have received $500,000 or less in annual revenue prior to the pandemic and be classified as a retail or service-related business (not including a restaurant, food service business, medical practice, professional services business, religious organization, or daycare facility); have a commercial lease in the County; and must demonstrate a revenue loss due to the pandemic.

Each eligible business may be awarded a grant up to three months of rent based on its current lease or $10,000, whichever is less.

The Council staff report for this bill can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 21-142
Media Contact: Cecily Strong 240-777-7972
Categories: Will Jawando