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$16 million in grant funding is being awarded to Maryland businesses, revitalization projects. Here's what's included.

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BALTIMORE -- The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is awarding more than $16.2 million in grants to assist with small businesses and revitalization projects in Baltimore and throughout the state.

The funding efforts will focus on stimulating local economies and will be distributed to 121 local businesses and economic development organizations. 

"To ensure the continued quality of our communities and to improve the quality of life for all their residents, we must revitalize their hearts - downtowns, Main Streets, and other important community hubs and places," Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Jake Day said.  

The funds come from the Business Boost Microgrant Program, the Main Street Improvement Grant and Project Restore 2.0. 

Business boost microgrant program

The business boost program plans to give $2.1 million to 47 businesses pending local approval and aims to help businesses starting out. 

Applicants had to fit one of the priority impact attributes that contributes to Maryland's economic growth, like being minority or women-owned or one that drives economic development through innovation or technological advancements, the governor's office said in a statement. 

Main Street Improvement Grant  

The Main Street Improvement Grant will provide $966,000 to 47 awardees for designated Main Street Maryland places and Baltimore City's designated Main Street neighborhoods, according to the governor's office.   

In the Baltimore area, the grant gives $156,000 to 10 businesses in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, with $96,000 being given to seven businesses on Baltimore City Main Street and $60,000 to three businesses in Baltimore County. 

Project Restore 2.0

Project Restore 2.0's goal is to boost local economic activity by trying to repurpose vacant buildings and supporting local businesses or social organizations, with $13.1 million in block grants going to 55 awardees.

$4.41 million will be distributed among 17 Baltimore City businesses, and $600,000 will go towards two Baltimore County businesses. 

$300,000 is being given to ReBUILD Metro, a Baltimore City community change organization that plans to revitalize historically redlined neighborhoods of East Baltimore without displacing their legacy residents, per their website.   

Another $300,000 is being given to the Baltimore County Arts Guild, an organization that aims to promote and provide access of the arts.  

"Community growth and business growth are inextricably linked. When we invest in our small businesses, we invest in the neighborhoods they serve and the Marylanders they employ," Gov. Wes Moore said. "Today, we take an important step toward building a more competitive economy and a more vibrant state." 

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