Grant offers thousands of dollars for small businesses in Montgomery County

It’s the second time Montgomery County is stepping up and helping small business owners who are continuing to feel the impact of the pandemic.

The grant that offers up to $10,000, does not apply to all small businesses, including certain food categories such as a restaurant, or a licensed daycare.

Business owners who could qualify include, gift shops, specialty stores, spaces providing retail or a small gym.

Last year, the county had $1 million in grant money, this year, the county has a total of $2 million for its Small Business Rental Assistance (SBRA) grant program.

I spoke with a couple of business owners, who got enough money last year to stay afloat and even hire back former employees.

"It was helpful for rent so you could pay towards rent," said Christin Shifflett, co-owner of My Gym in the Kentlands.

"That way you could use it toward other resources to pay for basically hiring because hiring has been a huge struggle as we pretty much lost our staff."

"Many of these businesses had to shut down as you know during Covid," said Judy Costello, special projects manager, with the Office of the County Executive.

"So now they’ve opened up and the stories they are telling us is that even though things are better they’re still dealing with staffing which is a huge challenge for many of our small business owners and they’re still trying to get their customer customers back."

Small business owners who received grant money last year will not qualify to apply again.

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"It gave me some breathing room because retail is very difficult," said owner of the Cottage Monet, Caya Calgri, in Rockville.

"What Montgomery County did and our city of Rockville did Was instrumental in keeping me open. It wouldn’t have happened I mean people didn’t come in during Covid people didn’t come in pre-Covid and then people didn’t come and post Covid because they were still a little wary and then you had the worries of the economy."

First time applicants can apply here.