July 13, 2024
Annapolis, US 90 F

Buckley Declares State of Emergency, Grants Available to Businesses

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley signed a City State of Emergency declaration on Friday after historic flooding from earlier in the week damaged numerous businesses and nonprofits in downtown Annapolis and Eastport. The State of Emergency will help those recovering from the storm to gain access to the special VOLT Disaster Recovery Grant (DRG) Program, an initiative of the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation, that helps businesses recover from damage and lost business after storm and coastal flooding events. 

The unnamed weather event brought historic storm surge to Annapolis on Tuesday, January 9 and Wednesday, January 10, 2024. The high water mark was 5.1 feet above normal, the third worst flooding event in the City’s history, taking the place of 1955’s Hurricane Connie, which brought 4.98 feet of flooding above normal to Annapolis. 

VOLT funds are disbursed through the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC). The program will allow eligible businesses and nonprofits to use grants of up to $50,000 for legitimate business expenses including physical property repairs, replacement of equipment, loss of income from damage-related closure, replacement of damaged inventory. The program was established in 2021, but expanded by an act of the Maryland General Assembly in 2022. 

“When unexpected events like this occur, business owners often have to wait many weeks, or even months, to receive any level of funding,” said AAEDC President & CEO Amy Gowan. We know that this wait can truly make or break many small businesses, so the goal of this program and of our team is to provide them with critical recovery funding as quickly as possible.”

“This week’s flooding is a big story because of how high the water got during this historic event,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “But after the news crews leave, people don’t see how those floodwaters impact businesses, especially small businesses. Floodwaters are extremely damaging and can include fuel, debris, and even raw sewage. Floodwaters can seriously damage infrastructure. It is costly to recover from a storm like this and we are grateful to county and state officials for helping Maryland’s capital city get local, small businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible.” 

Qualifying applicants include non-profits and businesses that are defined as small, are in good standing with the State of Maryland, and have a commercial brick-and-mortar location in the City of Annapolis.

A business or non-profit will also be required to submit:

  • An application
  • a copy of 2022 business tax returns, schedule C or 990
  • a statement listing all damages, including details of the loss of income
  • Picture and/or videos of the damage
  • a budget detailing the use of grant proceeds
  • Paid invoices and canceled checks for purchases made
  • a completed W-9 form

“I want to thank the Mayor for declaring the disaster in the City of Annapolis so that our Economic Development team can make funding available to impacted businesses,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman.

Finally, all applicants will be required to be available for a site visit to review damages to the property/business, to self-affirm that the grant funds will not be used for any expenses that are reimbursed by any other relief programs or losses that are reimbursed by a covered insurance policy related to the Disaster Declaration and submit receipts for/proof of purchase of all expenditures. 

All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will be accepted beginning on January 16, 2024.

For more information about the program or to access the application, visit the VOLT Disaster Recovery Grant Program page on the AAEDC website. For additional information, inquiries can be sent to Stephen Primosch at [email protected].

For more information on Annapolis’ plan to build flood protection at Annapolis City Dock, visit www.AccessAnnapolis.com

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