Council Passes Bill to Enhance Support for Small Businesses Engaged in Research and Development

by Patrick Herron

Expedited Bill 31-22, Finance – Economic Development Fund – Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Matching Grant Program, alters the administration and eligibility requirements of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Matching Grant Program, which provides funding to small businesses engaged in research and development, and amends the law regarding the program and the Economic Development Fund.

“Since becoming economic development committee chair, I have focused on investing in our County’s strengths, particularly life sciences and our federal research labs,” said Councilmember Riemer. “Building on these strengths, this legislation will help the County to support and grow startup companies that are leveraging technology and research emerging from these labs.”

“Expanding our innovation and technology grant program for small businesses is essential to a thriving local economy,” said Councilmember Jawando. “Bill 31-22 will fuel economic growth by giving small businesses the tools to do great things for our community.”

“These changes are just the latest in our committee’s and this 19th Council’s intentional efforts to grow and expand Montgomery County’s global strength in biohealth sciences,” said Councilmember Friedson. “By supporting early stage life science companies, we’re ensuring these world-changing, life-saving businesses will grow, invest and enhance quality of life right here where they belong, in Montgomery County, Maryland.”

The bill would permit the Department of Finance to specify additional eligibility requirements based upon a business’s size or other characteristics and would eliminate limits under the current law upon the amount of grants. Currently, the maximum amount of a matching grant is $75,000.

The legislation will also eliminate requirements under the current law that matching grant applicants must be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and that the Department of Finance must reserve half of the matching grant funds for Phase I recipients and half for Phase II recipients.

The expedited bill is effective immediately. The full staff report can be viewed here.

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