“Project Restore” just awarded $24.5 million to 376 businesses to revitalize downtown areas in 23 counties across this state

On December 7, 2022, Maryland‘s governor, Larry Hogan, announced awards for 376 businesses through Project Restore, an economic recovery initiative that provides financial incentives for small businesses to revitalize vacant retail and commercial spaces.

A total of 376 businesses in all 23 counties and Baltimore City will receive $24.5 million through the initiative, including $8.8 million in property assistance grants and $15.7 million in business operations grants.

The Project Restore awards show how instrumental this program has been in revitalizing business and commercial areas in our communities,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.

The program has added jobs, launched or expanded many women- and minority-owned small businesses, and brought empty spaces back to life to enrich their surrounding neighborhoods,” he added.

Project Restore was launched by the governor last year, and is administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

Through Project Restore, the department offers property assistance and operational grants to support startup and expansion costs and incentivize private investment in vacant spaces.

In total, more than 725 businesses have now been awarded grants through Project Restore.

The latest application round received almost 800 applications. Approximately 2,520 jobs will be created by the businesses awarded funding.

Of those awarded grants this round, 301 are minority-owned businesses and 206 of those are women-owned businesses. An additional 20 businesses are veteran-owned businesses.

By jurisdiction, the three jurisdictions receiving the most awards are Baltimore City (104), Prince George’s County (37), and Anne Arundel County (30).

The previously vacant properties will return to active use as:

  • 119 office spaces;
  • 110 retail spaces;
  • 61 restaurants;
  • 41 manufacturing/industrial spaces; and
  • 44 other uses, such as event space, breweries, salons and indoor recreation.

Project Restore has been an incredible success in advancing our mission to make Maryland Open For Business, and today’s awards extend that impact even further in downtowns and on Main Streets across the state,” said Governor Hogan.

We’re now able to extend the initiative’s impact even further across the state—with just over 80% of this round of grants going to minority-owned businesses—supporting jobs and economic recovery for years to come,” he concluded.

More than 120 of the vacant properties are located in Maryland’s Opportunity Zones and 48 are in the state’s designated Main Street Maryland districts.

Photo of downtown Baltimore by Evaldas Daugintis from Pixabay.

View the full list of recipients (PDF).

Learn more about Project Restore.

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