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Group to Help Attract Local Businesses to City

Businesses like here in the Hollywood commercial district can benefit from the Tenant Improvement program

Businesses like here in the Hollywood commercial district can benefit from the Tenant Improvement program

In February of this year, Council initiated the Commercial Tenant Improvement Program, a matching grant program to attract new locally-owned businesses to the City by providing funds to prospective commercial tenants to build out the properties that they will be leasing.

To initiate the program, the City decided to pursue an agreement with the Maryland Small Business Development and Technology Center (SBDTC) that it would assist the City in reviewing and assessing applications. The SBTDC network is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the University of Maryland College Park and links private enterprise, government, higher education and local economic development organizations to provide management, training and technical assistance to Maryland’s small businesses.

At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the Mayor and Council will a few changes to the original Tenant Improvement program. The SBDTC has offered to take on grantees as its clients and provide counseling services to strengthen their business model. As such, grantees must meet the SBDTC eligibility requirements, and complete three sessions with the SBDTC after initial acceptance, before completing the application.

Business applicants will still be required to submit business and financial plans to the City for review, which will be reviewed directly by City staff instead of the SBDTC.

In a separate resolution, the Council will consider approving a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the City and the SBDTC detailing the roles SBDTC will be playing in the Tenant Improvement Program.

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