Governor Larry Hogan announced the first round of awardees for Project Restore, a $25 million economic recovery initiative that provides financial incentives for small businesses and commercial developers to revitalize vacant retail and commercial spaces, offering rental subsidies of up to $2,500 per month and business operations grants of up to $250,000 per year.
A total of 144 businesses in 23 jurisdictions will receive $3.6 million in rental subsidies and $7.2 million in business operations grants over the next two years, totaling $10.8 million in support.
Project Restore was launched earlier this year to offer rental grants and operational grants to help offset startup costs and incentivize commercial investment in vacant spaces.
Applications are being reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The program has received more than 800 applications requesting more than $75 million. An additional round of approved applications is expected to be announced in early 2022. The program is currently closed for additional applications.
“Project Restore is one of many initiatives in Maryland’s recovery from the pandemic, and it’s playing a key role in the revitalization of business and commercial areas in our communities,” said the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Secretary Kenneth C. Holt in a news release. “Our department is administering nearly $2 billion in pandemic relief assistance to businesses, nonprofits, entertainment and tourist venues, renters, and homeowners.”