Governor Hogan Announces Awards For 376 Businesses to Revitalize Downtowns and Main Streets; 80% of Awards For Minority-Owned Businesses

Per the State of Maryland: Governor Larry Hogan today announced awards for 376 businesses through Project Restore, an economic recovery initiative that provides financial incentives for small businesses to revitalize vacant retail and commercial spaces. A total of 376 businesses in all 23 counties and Baltimore City will receive $24.5 million through the initiative—including $8.8 million in property assistance grants and $15.7 million in business operations grants.
View the full list of recipients.

“Project Restore has been an incredible success in advancing our mission to make Maryland Open For Business, and today’s awards extend that impact even further in downtowns and on Main Streets across the state,” said Governor Hogan. “We’re now able to extend the initiative’s impact even further across the state—with just over 80% of this round of grants going to minority-owned businesses—supporting jobs and economic recovery for years to come.”


Project Restore was launched by the governor last year, and is administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Through Project Restore, the department offers property assistance and operational grants to support startup and expansion costs and incentivize private investment in vacant spaces. In total, more than 725 businesses have now been awarded grants through Project Restore.

The latest application round received almost 800 applications. Approximately 2,520 jobs will be created by the businesses awarded funding. Of those awarded grants this round, 301 are minority-owned businesses and 206 of those are women-owned businesses. An additional 20 businesses are veteran-owned businesses. By jurisdiction, the three jurisdictions receiving the most awards are Baltimore City (104), Prince George’s County (37), and Anne Arundel County (30).

The previously vacant properties will return to active use as:

  • 119 office spaces
  • 110 retail spaces
  • 61 restaurants
  • 41 manufacturing/industrial spaces
  • 44 other uses, such as event space, breweries, salons and indoor recreation.

More than 120 of the vacant properties are located in Maryland’s Opportunity Zones and 48 are in the state’s designated Main Street Maryland districts.

“The Project Restore awards show how instrumental this program has been in revitalizing business and commercial areas in our communities,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The program has added jobs, launched or expanded many women- and minority-owned small businesses, and brought empty spaces back to life to enrich their surrounding neighborhoods.”

For more information on Project Restore, visit

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



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