About the Program

The City of Laurel Department of Economic and Community Development (Laurel ECD) will administer the Laurel Legacy Small Business Grant Program.

The goals of this Program include:

  1. To provide financial support to Laurel’s established businesses that been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. To provide financial support to Laurel’s established businesses that need to make changes to their business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. To support established businesses within the City of Laurel in order to proactively prevent vacancies due to the COVID-19 pandemic  

 

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first served basis. Submission of an incomplete or inaccurate application may result in delay or ineligibility. Please read all grant terms and application instructions before starting and submitting your application.  Applications are limited to one (1) per business entity that has been located within the municipal boundaries of the City of Laurel (“City”) for at least the last five (5) years.

 

Grant Amount

This Program will award grants in the amount of $5,000 to $50,000 to businesses that have been located within the City of Laurel for at least five (5) years. The total fund dedicated to this Program is $500,000.

Funds to support this program are provided locally through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), via the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

 

Grant Terms

The City will provide grants of between $5,000 and $50,000 to businesses that have been located within a property zoned in any of the commercial, office, or industrial within the incorporated boundaries of the City for at least the past five (5) years.

The grants shall be used solely to cover eligible costs that meet the goals of this Program (as set forth above), examples of which are covered under “Use of Funds,” as set forth herein. The determination as to whether the proposed use of funds by any applicant are eligible for funds from this grant shall be determined by the City in its sole judgment and discretion, based upon applicable criteria, and is not appealable. The following constitutes examples of generally eligible and ineligible uses of the grant funds, though the City retains the right to determine whether, based upon the facts of any application, and in the sole judgment and discretion of the City, the purpose of the requested funding satisfies the goals of the Program:

  • Use of Funds
    • Utility improvements that are required due to safety, efficiency, or changes in business operations
    • Equipment and equipment installation costs required for the business due to safety, efficiency, or changes in business operations
    • Point of Sale systems and accessories that are required due to safety, efficiency, or changes in business operations
    • Office equipment, computers, and software that are required due to safety, efficiency, or changes in business operations (examples: laptops, monitors, printers, video conferencing membership)
    • Interior remodeling of the commercial, office, or industrial business location (e.g. painting, lighting, flooring, bathroom renovation)
    • Exterior signage
    • Window signage
    • Exterior awnings and canopies
    • Professional, engineering, architectural, and permit fees that are related to any of the above uses

 

  • Ineligible Expenses
    • Rent or mortgage payments
    • Exterior renovations, except those explicitly stated under “Use of Funds”
    • Furniture
    • Artwork and décor
    • Security systems
    • Payroll expenses

 

Eligibility

In order for a business to be eligible it must have been located within the municipal boundaries of the City, with a valid City of Laurel Use and Occupancy permit, for five (5) or more continuous years.

Within that five (5)-year period, a business applicant may have changed its address, but it will still be eligible for this grant as long as all of the addresses were within the l municipal boundaries of the City, and as long as a valid City of Laurel Use and Occupancy permit was held for the entirety of the period.

Each business applicant must also be able to demonstrate how it was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be achieved in one or more of the following ways:

  1. The business is able to demonstrate a significant loss of revenue between March 3, 2021 and January 3, 2022 compared to revenue of 2019
  2. The business is able to demonstrate a change in its business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic that requires (or has required) operational and/or safety improvements

Ineligible Business Types or Persons

  • Houses of Worship
  • Banks and Financial Institutions
  • Food Trucks
  • Corporate-Owned Franchises
  • Businesses in which City Staff and/or elected officials of the City have a financial interest of at least 25%

Eligible Locations

  • The business must be located within a property located within the municipal boundaries of the City, and shall be able to prove that it has been at that location, or another location within the City limits, for at least the past five (5) years.
  • The current location of the business must be on a property in any of the following zones:
    • C-N – Commercial Neighborhood
    • C-C – Commercial Community
    • C-G – Commercial General
    • C-SH – Commercial Shopping Center
    • C-V – Commercial Village
    • C-VAC – Commercial Village Activity Center
    • O-B – Office Building
    • O-B-E – Office Building
    • I-CS – Industrial Commercial Services
    • I-G – Industrial General
    • I-RTP – Industrial Research and Technology Park

Additional eligibility requirements:

  • The business must either own its own property or space, or have a current signed lease that is valid until January 3, 2024 or later
  • The business must have a current and valid City of Laurel Use and Occupancy permit
  • The business must be in good standing with the State of Maryland
  • The business, all business owners, and the property owner must be current on all City, County, State, and Federal tax payments
  • The Applicant  cannot be engaged in any illegal activity

 

Application Instructions

  • Please read all eligibility requirements thoroughly before beginning your application.
  • The application may not be updated after submission. Please make sure your application is correct and complete before submitting.
  • Only one application submission per business entity will be considered.
  • Submission of an incomplete and/or inaccurate application may disqualify a business from being awarded funding. Please check your application for completeness and accuracy before submitting.
  • Review the Application Deadlines written below. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
  • Applications must be submitted through the online application portal
  • If assistance is needed with the application, please contact ECD@Laurel.md.us

 

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted beginning Monday January 3, 2022 at 9:00 am.

The deadline to apply will be Friday July 1, 2022 at 11:59 pm.

Applications will only be accepted electronically through the online application portal. One application per business entity will be accepted.

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Submission of an incomplete or inaccurate application may result in ineligibility. If you have any questions regarding this grant opportunity, please email ECD@Laurel.md.us