Wicomico Accepting Restaurant Relief Grant Apps

SALISBURY – A local agency began accepting applications this week for a restaurant relief grant program.

On Monday, Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development, Inc. (SWED) began accepting applications for its new Restaurant Relief Grant Fund. Using $836,000 in funding from the state of Maryland, Wicomico County restaurants significantly and negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – especially with regard to indoor dining capacity – can apply for grants up to $15,000.

“We appreciate the State of Maryland’s partnership and in recognizing the challenges facing our restaurant industry,” said Wicomico’s Acting County Executive John Psota. “A special thank you to SWED once again for your leadership in helping small businesses throughout Wicomico County mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Earlier this month, Gov. Larry Hogan announced the creation of a new financial assistance program available to restaurants as part of a $250 million economic recovery package. The grant program, which distributed $50 million across the state, included $836,000 in funding for Wicomico County.

“This economic recovery initiative will be critical to the struggling restaurants, small businesses, and Main Streets across the state that are attempting to weather this crisis,” Hogan said. “I have directed our team to ensure that this much-needed funding gets out the door as quickly as possible.”

SWED will have grant amounts in three levels – $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 – and are based on the number of full time equivalent employees. Restaurants that receive grants through the restaurant relief program can use the funding on rent, payroll, infrastructure improvements, technology, personal protective equipment, sanitation and other expenditures incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30.

With funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SWED recently completed its first two business assistance programs, deploying $9 million to more than 900 small businesses throughout Wicomico County. Grant awards for the restaurant relief program will commence on Monday, Nov. 23.

For more information, visit www.swed.org.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.