Grants and Loans to Help Businesses and Agricultural Operations
Grants and loans are still available for businesses and agricultural operations recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic. Check out the list of programs available to Talbot County businesses.
- The Town of Easton is offering grants to Easton nonprofits and businesses that have been in operation since January 2020 and can show a loss of revenue or expenses incurred since March 3, 2021. Applications will be approved on a rolling basis. There is no application period with a specific open and close date. Information can be found online at eastonmd.gov. (https://eastonmd.gov/562/American-Rescue-Plan-Application).
- The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)will begin offering rental grants and sales tax relief rebates on September 8 to help offset startup costs and incentivize commercial investment in vacant spaces through a new program called Project Restore. Businesses that begin new or expanded operations in spaces that have not been generating sales tax receipts for the past six months or more are eligible.
The maximum grant request amount is $30,000 for rent for one year (rental payments up to $2,500 per month) for qualified small business with 50 or fewer employees (full-time equivalents). Applicant’s monthly rent can exceed $2,500, but the maximum that will be paid by the Rental Assistance Grant will be $2,500 per month for one year.
The maximum grant award amount is $250,000 for one or two years for businesses that generate sales and use tax. Grant funds can be used for activities and costs related to sustaining and growing the business such as staff costs, capital improvements, marketing, inventory and supplies, utilities and the like and cannot be used for executive salaries or bonuses. Grant awards will be paid quarterly and will be based on sales and use tax generated by and submitted to the state in Calendar Year 2022.
- To support small businesses that face continued financial impacts from COVID-19, the state established the Maryland Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Administration COVID RELIEF Program with $10 million in state Relief Act funding. These Relief Act funds will be disbursed through Commerce’s existing Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Business Account, also known as the Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) program. For more information, contact Maurice Ames, director of operations, Maryland Capital Enterprises Inc., in Salisbury at (410) 546-1900.
- The Maryland Department of Labor is now accepting proposals for grant funds to support Registered Apprenticeship Programs across the state through the Maryland Apprenticeship Expansion Grant. The goal of grant is to expand Registered Apprenticeship and grow capacity by increasing staffing and infrastructure; strategically conducting outreach and education with stakeholders, including the business community and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Partners; and advancing innovative practices. More information can be obtained from Wayne Salter, apprenticeship grant program manager, (443) 562-2402.
- Maryland Economic Adjustment Fund (MEAF) provides loans of up to $150,000 for small and underserved businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Applicants must demonstrate credit worthiness, ability to repay, and an inability to qualify for loans from traditional lending sources.
Agriculture Grants and Loans
Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners interested in pursuing grants and loans should check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Loan Discovery Tool . Loans are available to purchase or expand farms and ranches, and to purchase livestock, seed, and equipment.
Additionally, youth loans are available for those between the ages of 10-20 years who are planning an educational agricultural project; microloans are available for beginning, non-traditional and specialty operations; and loans worth up to $600,000 are available to eligible borrowers looking for purchase a farm or expand operations.
Loans are also available to help producers build or upgrade farm storage and handling facilities, and for interim financing at harvest time to meet cash flow needs during times of low prices on commodities.
More information can be found locally through the Farm Service Agency Office (410) 822-1344, extension 2, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Office (410)822-1577.