Montgomery County has created a “Tourism Anchor Institution Grant Program” that will provide financial assistance to nonprofit entities that are tourist-oriented and focus on arts, culture, agriculture and/or recreation that have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 health crisis. Eligible organizations can apply for grants starting Thursday, Nov. 19.
The program has the strong support of County Executive Marc Elrich and the County Council. The program is funded with a $5 million special appropriation that was approved by the Council. The deadline for receiving completed applications is 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30.
“We continue to develop programs to help as many organizations in the County as possible,” said County Executive Elrich. “The entities that will be assisted through this grant program are the heart and soul of our community.”
Details on the Tourism Anchor Institution grant program and application information—in English and Spanish—can be found at https://montgomerycountymd.gov/biz-resources/covid19/.
The program was created as a result of the severe impact of COVID-19 on Montgomery County’s hospitality industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics/Center Employment Statistics, Montgomery and Frederick counties experienced a 44 percent decline in leisure and hospitality jobs from April 2019 to April 2020. There was an 11 percent employment decline in all job losses during the same period. Montgomery County’s tourism anchor institutions—facilities that attract many visitors—are critical to maintaining the County’s leisure and hospitality industry and the outstanding quality of life for residents.
Grants can be used for general operating purposes. However, the funds cannot be used for the same expenditures for which organizations have received grants from other Federal, State or County grant programs. County Executive staff will review all applications to determine if grant eligibility requirements have been met.
Grants will be awarded to eligible applicants based on the organization’s annual operating budget and operating losses incurred due to the pandemic.
Organizations that are required to register with the State of Maryland must be in “Good Standing” with the State to be eligible for the Tourism Anchor Institution Grant Program. These entities can check their “standing” through the business entity search on Maryland Business Express at https://egov.maryland.gov/businessexpress/entitysearch.
Questions about the Tourism Anchor Institution Grant Program can be emailed to TourismGrant@montgomerycountymd.gov.