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City Announces COVID-19 Assistance Programs


Recently, City Council and staff have developed a plan with more than $1,500,000 in COVID-19 assistance to help those experiencing financial hardship during this difficult time. The goal of these programs and initiatives is to help the City’s residents and businesses get back on their feet as the recovery process begins.

Currently, there are two programs that eligible College Park businesses can apply for: the Small Business Assistance Grants Program and the Modified Business Assistance & Façade Improvement Program.

Small Business Assistance Grants Program
The purpose of the City’s Small Business Assistance Grants Program is to assist small businesses (and non-profits if allowed by CARES Act funding requirements) with 25 or fewer full-time equivalents (FTEs), with direct economic support for costs of business interruption caused by: required closures, voluntary closures to promote social distancing, or decreased customer demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each business/owner can receive up to a maximum grant of $15,000 from this program.

The Modified Business Assistance & Façade Improvement Program is similar to the existing program except that it does not require matching funds. For more information about these programs or to apply, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/covid19assistance#businesses.

To further help the City’s business community, the City Council authorized the following: waived non-residential business license fees until the end of FY2021 for retail, commercial, and hotel/motel establishments; suspended sign or banner permits and regulations to help businesses advertise; and provided free parking in the City’s Downtown Garage, City-controlled parking lots and meter and pay station-controlled streets until the beginning of the University of Maryland’s fall semester. By providing free parking in those areas, the City hopes to encourage more people to patronize those restaurants and businesses open through curbside pick-up or carry-out. For a list of College Park businesses currently open, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/covid-19#openbusinesses.

Resident Assistance Program
The City has also created a program to provide financial aid for residents in need. The purpose of the City’s Emergency Financial Aid to Residents Program is to provide financial assistance to families, senior citizens and other individuals who have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial assistance may be provided for eligible expenses such as rent/mortgage payments to avoid eviction or foreclosure, unforeseen funeral costs, utility payments, and other emergency needs as deemed necessary. Each eligible family/person can receive up to a maximum of $5,000 per household for indirect payments to an applicable payee (landlord, lender, utility company) and/or gift cards for eligible expenses from this program. For more information about this program, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/covid19assistance#residents.

Non-profit Assistance Programs
To support the City’s non-profit organizations that provide food to its residents, the City has awarded $64,000 in grants to the College Park Meals on Wheels and the College Park Food Bank. Both organizations directly help the City’s residents who are food insecure or unable to procure food during this time. Their daily and weekly meal deliveries and food pantries have helped hundreds in College Park’s community who have needed it most.

Non-profits may apply for the Business Assistance Grant program at the top of the page, which does accept an online application. Here is the page.

The City has been working diligently to provide as much support as possible to its residents and businesses. However, these are not the only resources available for City residents and businesses. For a non-comprehensive list of federal, state, and county resources, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/covid19 and click on the respective links.

Together we will get through this difficult time. For more information about the City’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/covid19.
[City of College Park]

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