Although the majority of our partners and sites are nonprofits, we also know that many of the valuable supporters of our heritage community are for-profit businesses. For that reason, we wanted to make you aware of a new grant opportunity aimed at supporting the efforts of these stakeholders to safely open to the public.
Yesterday, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced the Small Business Customer and Employee Protection Grant Program, which is designed to assist local businesses purchase products and services needed for safe reopening in compliance with COVID-19 regulations. The program is supported with $ 5 million from the county’s allotment of funding from the Federal CARES Act, and will be managed by the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation (AAEDC).
“Local government will never have the resources to prevent the economic disruptions brought on by this pandemic, but we can step in to help small local businesses meet the challenges they face in protecting both their customers and their employees from COVID-19.” said County Executive Pittman. “This program not only helps our small businesses to reopen safely, but it allows them to implement best practices that will serve the future public health needs of our county.”
About the Small Business Customer & Employee Protection Grant Program
The Small Business Customer & Employee Protection Grant Program (CEP) aims to help Anne Arundel County small businesses pivot and compete in the COVID-19 economy. With this funding support, businesses can implement changes to comply with regulations, enact safe and healthy best practices and maximize sales and customer engagement opportunities.
Businesses can apply for a grant of up to $10,000 that can cover the following purchases:
- PPE for employees
- Protective shields/dividers
- Sanitation products and services such as:
- Disinfection UV lamps
- Biocide/mold bomb foggers
- Digital signage, floor/wall/window graphics, hand sanitizer stations
- Technology (hardware, software, website upgrades, applications, online platforms) for the purposes of:
- Wellness scans
- Virtual meetings
- Customer communications and marketing (does not include paid advertising)
- Delivery vehicles and equipment; If purchasing a delivery vehicle, funds can be used for a down-payment and wired directly to a dealership
- Services such as legal and human resources consultations to understand compliance regulations
- Workforce training to help employees understand and act on compliance regulations
The program can reimburse for past purchases made after March 29, 2020. Businesses will be required to submit invoices to demonstrate proof of purchases.
AAEDC is committed to serving as many qualified businesses as possible.
- Anne Arundel County based for-profit businesses with 50 or less employees
- The application will require documentation such as 2019 or 2018 business tax returns, 2019 or 2018 Schedule C, or a 2019 profit and loss statement.
- Sole Proprietors can apply provided they file a schedule C on their personal tax returns, are registered and good standing with the State of Maryland and have 2 or more employees.
- A business must be in good standing with the State of Maryland
- Preference for funds will be given to industries most directly affected by local/state/national quarantine rules
Excluded industries include: adult bookstores, adult video shops, other adult entertainment facilities, gambling facilities, gun shops, liquor stores, massage businesses not licensed by the Maryland Department of Health, pawn shops, check cashing establishments, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, or firms involved in multi-level marketing.
AAEDC is currently developing a portal on its website where businesses can create an account and complete the entire application process. To be notified of when the online application is available, interested businesses should get on AAEDC’s notification list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
For more details on the program and the application process, please see the FAQ document.
About the Anne Arundel Development Corporation
The mission of the AAEDC is to serve as a catalyst for business growth in Anne Arundel County thereby increasing job opportunities, expanding the tax base and improving quality of life. It provides investment and technical assistance and fosters community revitalization initiatives. AAEDC plays a vital role in enhancing commercial districts, improving county infrastructure, increasing agriculture-based business and promoting high-value business sectors such as technology and national defense. News and updates are available on the corporation’s website: www.aaedc.org.