Hagerstown, Williamsport and Taneytown Highlight Recipients of Maryland’s Main Street Improvement Grant Program

Hagerstown, Williamsport and Taneytown Highlight Recipients of Maryland’s Main Street Improvement Grant Program

July 9, 2024 – Governor Wes Moore today announced that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded more than $16.2 million to assist small businesses and support local revitalization projects and activities. Grants from the Business Boost Microgrant Program, the Main Street Improvement Grant, and Project Restore 2.0 will provide funds to 121 businesses, local governments, and place-based economic development organizations to spur community revitalization by attracting, retaining, and expanding small businesses, as well as promoting local cultural attractions and events.

“Community growth and business growth are inextricably linked. When we invest in our small businesses, we are investing in the neighborhoods they serve and the Marylanders they employ,” said Governor Moore. “Today we take an important step towards building a more competitive economy and a more vibrant state.”

The Business Boost Microgrant Program assists businesses in expanding or establishing locations, with preference given to home-based businesses establishing their first commercial location outside of their home. Applicants must meet one or more of the priority impact characteristics that contribute to Maryland’s economic growth, such as supporting minority- and women-owned businesses, fostering innovation or technological advancement, growing new industries, or leveraging existing regional strengths. Pending local approval, Business Boost will award $2,113,147 to assist 47 businesses, including:

  • Automating Fyodor Biotechnologies’ (Baltimore City) production capacity to increase production of its malaria urine test, the world’s first bloodless home malaria test that delivers results in minutes.
  • Assisting Stylish Auto Dealer (Charles County) in acquiring and upgrading a second auto repair shop and launching its wholesale auto business. Expansion includes hiring mechanics and store personnel.

The Main Street Improvement Grant Program provides operational assistance to local governments or economic development organizations in Maryland’s designated and affiliated Main Street Maryland communities and Baltimore City’s designated Main Street neighborhoods. Grants help winners achieve their community revitalization and economic development goals, including creating and retaining small businesses and increasing tourism for local events and attractions. The program awarded $966,000 in grants to 47 winners, including:

  • Funding to the City of Centreville (Queen Anne’s County) to support the facade improvement program and to cover National Main Street membership fees, website maintenance, photography, videography and business promotion.
  • Design, construction and installation of public art in the Main Street district of the City of Thurmont (Frederick County).

Also on the list are the city of Emmitsburg in Frederick County, the city of Taneytown in Carroll County, and the city of Hagerstown and the city of Williamsport, both in Washington County.

Project Restore 2.0 activates vacant buildings, supports small businesses, and increases local economic activity by providing financial assistance to improve the vitality of Maryland’s commercial corridors. Unlike previous rounds of the program, which funded businesses directly, $13,193,363 was awarded as block grants to 55 location-based economic development organizations, nonprofits, or local government entities working to improve a specific jurisdiction within the state. Winners, including the City of Cumberland (Allegany County), the Bel Air Downtown Alliance (Harford County), and the Ocean City Development Corporation (Worcester County), will sub-grant the funds to for-profit businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, and social enterprises to repurpose or expand vacant buildings in their jurisdictions.

“To continue to safeguard the quality of our communities and improve the quality of life for all their residents, we must revitalize their hearts – city centers, high streets and other key community centers and places,” said Jake Day, secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. “This important funding will provide strength by supporting the growth of small businesses that provide local services and employment, and the events and attractions that make Maryland’s unique, diverse communities such great and beloved places.”