December 1, 2021

County Executive Elrich and Councilmember Glass Joined by State Delegates to Announce $231,000 Appropriation to Assist Small Businesses Impacted by Purple Line Construction

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and Montgomery County Councilmember Evan Glass, a member of the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee, were joined this week by Council President Tom Hucker; State Delegates Jheanelle Wilkins, Lorig Charkoudian and David Moon; Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart; Javier Rivas from the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC); and business leaders to announce that $231,000 has been appropriated to the County by the Maryland Department of Commerce to assist small businesses that have lost revenue due to the Purple Line construction.

The event was held in front of the Silver Spring Library, which will be one of the stops on the Purple Line, the future 16.2-mile light rail line that will extend from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.

“It was a little over a year ago, many of us stood together on a cold day asking the State to provide much needed funding to assist small businesses that had lost revenues due to Purple Line construction,” said County Executive Elrich.” “Thanks to efforts of our delegation, led by Delegate Wilkins, we were able to stand together this week to announce this important appropriation. I also want to thank County Councilmember Glass for his partnership as the lead Council sponsor for this appropriation. Hopefully, this is just the beginning and more help is on the way. I am very optimistic that House Bill 114, which was vetoed earlier this year, will be overridden during next week’s special session of the General Assembly. This would provide an additional $2 million to assist businesses for Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024 and help even more businesses.”

Councilmember Glass said: "Last weekend, we celebrated Small Business Saturday, but we know that we need to support small businesses every day of the year. The delays in the Purple Line construction, compounded by the pandemic, have made it even more difficult for businesses along the route to survive. I want businesses in Long Branch, Lyttonsville, Takoma Park and Bethesda to know that relief is on the way—and that these funds are just the beginning.”

Next week, the Maryland General Assembly will have a special legislative session to address legislation before the end of the year. During that special session, House Bill 114 is slated to be discussed. The bill was vetoed during the regular session of the General Assembly in the spring, but the veto could be overridden during the special session. If the veto is overridden it would mean an additional $2 million in funding would be made available to the businesses in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024.

Delegate Wilkins of District 20 said: “We’ve worked for several years to reach this point, and I’m proud of the State, County and business coordination, that helped to deliver these critical funds to our small businesses that are doubly impacted by Purple Line Construction and COVID-19. These funds are just the start of the comprehensive support necessary to ensure that these businesses can thrive during and after construction.”

Delegate Moon said: "Through no fault of their own, businesses along the Purple Line route have faced the double-whammy of COVID-19 closures and construction disruption at the same time. I'm glad to see a half million dollars in relief funds flowing to the community, but disappointed Governor Hogan vetoed an additional $2 million in aid. I'll be ready to join colleagues and override Hogan's veto next week in Annapolis."

The Maryland Department of Commerce appropriated the $231,000 in funding to Montgomery County that will assist local businesses with grants of no more than $5,000.

"Maryland Commerce is very pleased to work with our partners in Montgomery County to get funding into the hands of businesses that have lost customers and revenue due to the Purple Line construction," said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. "Our small businesses are the foundation of our economy in Maryland, and we are committed to providing the support and resources needed so they can grow and flourish."

Javier Rivas, Senior Small Business Development Manager said: “Since 2018, the Latino Economic Development Center has been advocating for a construction impact mitigation grant program for businesses adversely affected by the Purple Line construction project. The establishment of the Purple Line Light Rail Grant Program is a step in the right direction, set to benefit close to 40 businesses. LEDC will continue to offer its robust programming, so existing small businesses are well-positioned to leverage the economic opportunities that await with the completion of the project.”

Businesses interested in learning more about the grant program and other assistance can go to on LEDC’s website.