Governor Wes Moore Announces $10 Million for Small Business Grants to Strengthen Local Economies Across Maryland

On Wednesday, Governor Wes Moore announced $10 million for small business and community development grants through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Project Restore 2.0 and Business Boost grant programs.
Per the news release: The funding will activate vacant spaces in business corridors, support small businesses with start up or expansion funds, create jobs, and increase local economic activity–all to make Maryland more competitive.

“When storefronts close down, our entire state feels it. Now is the time to work in partnership with the private sector to revitalize our business districts, and that’s what this grant funding is about,” said Gov. Moore. “Together, we will continue to make Maryland more competitive by moving in concert with entrepreneurs and small businesses – not in conflict with them.”

Project Restore 2.0 will provide $8 million to designated Main Streets, Arts and Entertainment Districts and other economic development organizations in a designated Sustainable Community. Grants of up to $300,000 per applicant will go to organizations that have identified priority vacant storefronts or buildings in local business districts. Those organizations would then sub-grant the funding to businesses for rental assistance, renovation and equipment to activate those vacant spaces. Businesses that receive sub-granted funds will have until December 2025 to open and be operational.

Business Boost is launching its first round of grant funding with $2 million that will be awarded directly to eligible small business owners in amounts between $20,000 and $50,000. The businesses must be new or expanding and located in designated Sustainable Communities. Preference will be given to businesses that are home-based and seeking their first commercial location, are designated as a Minority Business Enterprise, that are innovative, focused on regional strengths to grow local economies, or leverage partnerships between school districts or other education institutions in Maryland.

“By strengthening the successful Project Restore grants to fill storefronts on Maryland main streets and launching Business Boost, we are building on what we know to be the best way to help grow Maryland communities’ economies: from the center out, empowering locally-owned businesses, and bringing life back to vacant storefronts,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Jake Day. “These grants are just the beginning of the department’s renewed efforts to double down on the hearts of our cities and towns, maximizing the positive impact of our funding to create lovable places and help businesses choose to set up shop in Maryland.”

Applications will open on March 13 for small business owners to apply through Business Boost and for economic development organizations to apply through Project Restore 2.0. For more information on either grant opportunity, go to https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Business/Pages/Small-Business-Grants.aspx.

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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

www.dayofthebook.com

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.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

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

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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