FrostburgFirst Implements COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Mini-Grant Program
As small businesses around the country continue to suffer financial fallout due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FrostburgFirst is pleased to announce the successful implementation of the COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Mini-Grant Program. Thanks to funding provided by the State of Maryland, designated Maryland Main Street Programs across the state will receive $7 million to provide direct financial assistance to small businesses in their districts.
“Maryland communities would not be the same without our vibrant, historic Main Streets,” said Governor Hogan. “We are proud to support local small businesses and help them recover from the economic toll brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
FrostburgFirst applied for and was awarded $99,830 in funding from the Maryland Strong Economic Recovery Initiative. FrostburgFirst was also able to secure additional funding through the MD Department of Housing and Community Development’s Main Street Improvement Program, a series of FrostburgFirst t-shirt fundraisers, operational support from Maryland State Arts Council, and a donation by Armstrong Insurance and ERIE Insurance, bringing the total available funds for the mini-grant program to $120,000.
“The pandemic has hit our small businesses particularly hard,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The state and Baltimore City Main Street programs have a crucial role to play in supporting those businesses, and this funding will allow them to provide grants to their local businesses that will ultimately restore the vitality of their commercial districts and impact Maryland’s economic recovery.”
FrostburgFirst’s COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Mini-Grant program provides immediate, direct payments to eligible small businesses in downtown Frostburg to help with expenses such as website and e-commerce development, online marketing, rent, utilities, and payroll expenses, as well as capital improvements and other expenses related to the impact of the pandemic. Applications for the mini-grant program were open from February 1 – 12, and over 30 applications were submitted. Applications are now closed. Currently, the FrostburgFirst Mini-Grant Committee is reviewing applications so that awards can be disbursed as soon as FrostburgFirst receives the funds from the State in the next few weeks.
“The Frostburg business community has made incredible efforts to adapt to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis. FrostburgFirst’s priority is to ease the transition to new business models, help alleviate pressing operational expenses, and ensure that Frostburg small businesses thrive,” said Deirdre Robertson, Executive Director of FrostburgFirst. In the spring of 2020, FrostburgFirst distributed $11,000 in mini-grants to Frostburg small businesses to assist with developing online presence and marketing strategies. Collaboration from local web developer Paul Maxey was integral in making the first round of the mini-grant program effective. Paul Maxey, owner of Maxey Web Development LLC, developed discounted packages for website development or improvement, social media consulting, and e-commerce development in order to ensure that grantees could make the most of their awards. By the end of March, FrostburgFirst will have disbursed over $130,000 in COVID relief to local businesses.
Last year, the impact of the local efforts of the state’s 33 designated Main Street Maryland communities resulted in 180 businesses expanding or opening, 665 new jobs, and 130 private and public investments totaling over $80 million. Since 1998, the total impact of these efforts has resulted in nearly 3,300 businesses expanding or opening, over 12,000 new jobs, and more than 6,000 private and public investments totaling over $740 million.
Frostburg has a long history of coming together as a community. The attitude of the small business community reflects the spirit of this rural mountain city. Frostburg has weathered many storms in its over 200-year history; from tornados to fires to the coronavirus pandemic. FrostburgFirst is proud to serve the Frostburg community and strives to contribute to the overall quality of life for residents, to encourage tourism, and to participate in economic development that will enhance Frostburg.
To learn more about FrostburgFirst, or to donate to our continuing efforts, please call (301) 689-6900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.downtownfrostburg.com to find information on our business community, upcoming events and promotions, and to explore beautiful Frostburg. For more information about the state’s Main Street Maryland program, visit mainstreetmaryland.org.