Today Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced that the online application for the county’s Small Business Customer and Employee Protection (CEP) Grant Program is now open. Qualified small businesses may apply for up to $10,000 for the reimbursement or purchase of products and services that can help them pivot their business as the economy reopens and implement safety measures for customers and employees. Additional instructions and access to the application are on the CEP grant page.
“This pandemic has severely impacted our business community which has had to make immediate changes in their operations just to survive,” said Mr. Pittman. “These grants aim to help local businesses put in place best practices to keep their workforce and customers safe as well as create new channels for customer engagement and sales opportunities.”
The CEP Grant Program is supported with $ 5 million from the county’s allotment of funding from the CARES Act and is managed by the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC)
“As we developed the online application over the last few weeks, we have implemented a number of technology improvements to ensure a seamless process for applicants,” said Jill Seamon, AAEDC CEO. “We have received tremendous interest from our business community and expect a large volume of traffic to the webpage.”
To be eligible for the program, an entity must be an Anne Arundel County based business, including non-profit entities, with 50 or less employees. The business 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, form 990 or a profit and loss statement.
Through the program, an entity 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, floor/wall/window graphics, hand sanitizer stations
- Technology (hardware, software, website upgrades, applications, online platforms) for the purposes of:
- Wellness scans
- Virtual meetings
- Customer communications and marketing (does not include paid advertising)
- Delivery vehicles and equipment; If purchasing a delivery vehicle, funds can be used for a down-payment and wired directly to a dealership
- Services such as legal and human resources consultations to understand compliance regulations
- Workforce training to help employees understand and act on compliance regulations
The program can reimburse for past purchases made after March 29, 2020. Businesses will be required to submit a line item budget and invoices to demonstrate proof of purchases. Past due bills for ongoing expenses such as rent, utilities, and inventory do not qualify.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare for filling out their application by reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the grant page. Business owners needing additional assistance should send their questions by email to [email protected].