The HoCo RISE Small Business Assistance Grant program deadline has been extended to Tuesday, June 30, 2020 for all three of its grant programs:

  1. Farm Grants – Qualifying full or part-time farmers.
  2. Storefront Retail Business Grants – Locally-owned, small retail, and select service merchants in commercial space that were forced to close in accordance with Governor Hogan’s Executive Orders closing non-essential businesses in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  3. Restaurant Re-Opening Grants –  Locally-owned restaurants in commercial space to assist with required PPE and other accommodations needed to begin outdoor or indoor service or accommodate more robust take-out and/or delivery services.

Additionally, the Storefront Retail grant now has an expanded list of eligible businesses to include other types of storefront service providers that were forced to close or operate at limited capacity. Examples include but are not limited to fitness facilities, fine art studios, dry cleaners, and other service providers. Applications will remain open until Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm. Further Grant eligibility expansions include:

  • Farmers are not required to have an Activity Code in their tax documentation;
  • Bar-restaurants classified as Drinking Places by their activity code may now apply for the Restaurant Grant; and
  • The Business Formation Date requirement has been changed from June 1, 2019 or earlier, to December 31, 2019 or earlier.
  • Qualifying locally-owned franchisees are now eligible to receive a grant for one of their Howard County franchise locations.

The purpose of this grant is to provide financial assistance to Howard County businesses in targeted sectors that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency and plan to re-open. Because of the limited funding available, eligible sectors have been identified and the grant formula is intended to distribute funds to all qualified businesses in that cohort. These grants are for locally-owned storefront retail, restaurants, and farmers that have experienced significant financial loss caused directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Eligible uses include expenditures related to reimburse for the costs of business interruption caused by the required business closures due to COVID-19, or for costs required to re-open safely.

For more information and grant details, visit