$3.3 Million in State-Funded Grants Provided to Local Nonprofits Supporting Economic Development in the County
The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) has announced the 108 recipients of the MoCo Economic Development Grant Program for Nonprofits. A total of $3.3 Million in funding will be distributed to the selected nonprofits that are contributing to Montgomery County’s economic recovery.
The MoCo Economic Development Grant Program for Nonprofits awarded grants ranging from $7,500 to $45,000 to nonprofits with a wide variety of missions. The program also included 19 High Impact Grants, with awards ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. Those specially selected grants were awarded to nonprofits to carry out particularly impactful work in the economic development and job creation space. The work of these nonprofits includes STEM education, women and minority entrepreneurship, workforce training and support for underserved communities.
“Montgomery County is home to the largest number of nonprofits in Maryland. This program recognizes the importance of our local nonprofit community to the economy, not just for the numbers they employ but also how their individual missions can make an impact in critical economic development areas,” said Benjamin H. Wu, President and CEO of MCEDC. “We’re pleased to award special High Impact Grants to selected nonprofits to fulfill the potential of their economic development programs. We look forward to working with all of the nonprofit grant recipients to support a rapid economic recovery.”
Three examples of High Impact Grant recipients:
Learning Undefeated’s mobile STEM lab will engage Montgomery County Public Schools students in hands-on, experiential STEM learning focused on minority entrepreneurship. The Emerging Leaders program includes hands-on workshops & career-focused sessions that nurture technical skills and support job prospecting for young women of color (ages of 14-22).
“This new partnership with MCEDC supports young women – who are so underrepresented in STEM careers – by sparking interest in high-demand industries such as cybersecurity and biotechnology, building confidence, and fostering lasting relationships to carry them into their careers,” said Brian Gaines, Learning Undefeated’s CEO.
Housing Unlimited is a Silver Spring-based community nonprofit that provides affordable, independent housing to vulnerable residents in mental health recovery, while promoting economic development activities in Montgomery County. It plans to use the grant monies for the homes that need funding for capital improvements, structural repairs, replacement of aging HVAC systems and other expenses including assisting with costs for a new maintenance position.
“We are honored to receive this grant from MCEDC,” said Abe Schuchman, CEO of Housing Unlimited. “As a small nonprofit business in Montgomery County, this grant will help us expand our charitable mission while at the same time contributing to the economic growth of the County.”
The Red Wiggler Community Farm is a sustainable farm in Germantown where people with and without developmental disabilities come together to work, learn and grow healthy food. With the funding influx, the farm plans to continue to grow its Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) distribution efforts and salaries in an equitable manner. They are on track to accomplish their FY21 goal of distributing 50% of total vegetable yield to their neighbors in need through partnering with local food banks, food hubs and pop-up pantries.
“During the pandemic, we pivoted from distributing 30% of our total fruit and vegetable yield to neighbors in need to a full 50%. The High Impact Grant will help us maintain that 50% goal of stocking food banks and pantries at a time when our capacity is stretched,” said Woody Woodroof, Executive Director of Red Wiggler Community Farm. “We appreciate the support for our program and the positive benefits it brings to Montgomery County’s community of people with developmental disabilities, the agricultural ecosystem and workforce development.
The program included two rounds of application submissions and a selection committee review of the applicants. The eight-person selection committee identified qualified recipients for the grant awards and included State Senator Cheryl Kagan (D-17) and Lesley J. MacDonald, Executive Director of Nonprofit Montgomery.
“Nonprofits are the backbone of our community and have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These grants will help to continue their critically important services,” said Senator Cheryl Kagan.
“Nonprofit organizations are an important economic engine in Montgomery County,” said Lesley J. MacDonald, Executive Director of Nonprofit Montgomery. “These grants recognize the many ways that nonprofits contribute to a thriving community.”
To learn more about the MoCo Economic Development Grant Program for Nonprofits, see the grant page. Funding was provided by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). DHCD appropriated the state funds through the General Assembly-passed RELIEF Act of 2021 that was signed into law by Governor Hogan earlier this year.
The MoCo Economic Development Grant Program for Nonprofits is the latest of multiple business assistance funding administered by MCEDC to support a pandemic economic recovery. In the past year, MCEDC has provided more than $22 Million in direct grant support to businesses for Restaurant Relief (3 phases), a Local Production Fund, a Telework Assistance Fund and the 3R Initiative, as well as the MoCo Economic Development Grant Program for Nonprofits.