June 21, 2024
Annapolis, US 90 F

New grant fund established for AACo small businesses to prepare for re-opening

Today Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced the Small Business Customer and Employee Protection Grant Program, which is designed to assist local businesses purchase products and services needed for safe reopening in compliance with COVID-19 regulations. The program is supported with $ 5 million from the county’s allotment of funding from the federal CARES Act and will be managed by the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC).

“Local government will never have the resources to prevent the economic disruptions brought on by this pandemic, but we can step in to help small local businesses meet the challenges they face in protecting both their customers and their employees from COVID-19.” said County Executive Pittman.  “This program not only helps our small businesses to reopen safely, but it allows them to implement best practices that will serve the future public health needs of our county.”

Through the program, a small business, particularly minority, women and veteran owned businesses, within the county or the City of Annapolis can apply for a grant of up to $10,000 to cover the cost of the following purchases:

  • PPE for employees
  • Protective shields/dividers
  • Sanitation products and services such as:
    • Disinfection UV lamps
    • Biocide/mold bomb foggers
  • Digital signage and floor/wall/window graphics
  • Technology (hardware, software, applications, online platforms) for the purposes of:
    • Wellness scans
    • Virtual meetings
    • Business website upgrades
    • Customer communications and marketing
    • E-commerce
  • Delivery vehicles and equipment
  • Professional consultation services such as legal and human resources experts to understand compliance regulations
  • Workforce training to help employees understand and act on compliance best practices

The grant may be used as a reimbursement for eligible past purchases made after March 29, 2020. Businesses will be required to submit invoices to demonstrate proof of purchases.

To be eligible for the program, an entity must be an Anne Arundel County based for-profit business with 50 or less employees and must be in good standing with the State of Maryland.  Applicants will be required to submit a budget detailing purchases and vendors as well as financial documents such as business tax returns, Schedule C, or a profit and loss statement.  Preference for funds will be given to industries most directly affected by local/state/national quarantine rules.

AAEDC is currently developing a portal on its website where businesses can create an account and complete the entire application process.  To be notified of when the online application is available, interested businesses should get on AAEDC’s notification list by sending an email to [email protected]. Additional details such as application FAQs, industry safety guidelines and a list of local vendors are available on the grant program page.

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