Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced a new program to provide grants of up to $10,000 to restaurants and food service businesses in the county. The county is committing $5 million of its federal CARES Act funding to the grant program, which is designed to help restaurants and other businesses that are experiencing reduced revenue because of COVID-related restrictions and a loss of consumer confidence.
Pittman also announced an expansion of the humanitarian relief fund to include food service workers who have lost wages and tip income due to the pandemic.
“From the beginning of this pandemic, our restaurants and their hard-working employees have been left with only a fraction of the revenue that they need to survive,” said Pittman. “That’s why we worked with Economic Development to create the largest assistance program of the pandemic to date for this industry and its people.”
The Restaurant and Food Service Grant Program is specifically targeted to food trucks, catering businesses, bed and breakfast establishments and dine-in, non-drive-through restaurants. Restaurants and food service businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses such as rent, payroll and utilities, and costs associated with the purchase of personal protective equipment, ensuring sanitary physical spaces and implementing online customer engagement and transactions.
The grant cannot be used for any expenses previously covered by another federal, state or local government COVID-19 related program, losses covered by an insurance policy or capital improvements to the business property.
“With the cold weather months coming, restaurant owners and food service managers are now planning on how they can continue to attract and safely accommodate customers,” said Ben Birge, president and CEO of Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC). “These grants can help them afford some of the costs related to their planning as well as ongoing operational expenses so they can weather these challenging times.”
The grant will be disbursed in the following amounts to qualified and approved businesses:
● $10,000 for catering businesses, bed and breakfast establishments and dine-in, non-drive through restaurants; and
● $5,000 for food trucks.
A qualified business must:
● Be located in Anne Arundel County;
● Have been open and operating prior to March 13, 2020;
● Be in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation; and
● Submit a copy of an active food service license issued Anne Arundel County Department of Health, a signed W-9 form.
The AAEDC is currently developing a portal on its website where businesses can create an account and complete the entire application process. The application period is expected to open in mid-November. For additional information, inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Humanitarian Relief Fund, managed by the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp., provides temporary financial assistance in the form of a $500 Visa gift card to restaurant workers who have lost wages, including tips, because of reduced hours or reduced customers in restaurants and food service businesses. To apply, visit www.aawdc.org/relief or call 410-424-3240.