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Category: Business Page 1 of 15

Hard Times Café Closes its Door

Early this week, the Hard Times Cafe in the College Park shopping center closed its doors.

A sign on their website says: “Thank you for your support! After 24 years, we have decided to close the College Park location. We will miss you. Our Rockville Hard Times Cafe is ready to welcome you. We will continue to support the College Park area with catering and special events. We had a great run. Thank you again for your support!”

The Shopping Complex management is working to find businesses to fill the vacant space. More to come soon.

City Joins Communities to Support Small Businesses

The City of College Park joins communities across the country in celebrating local small businesses! Read more here.
For this Small Business Saturday and beyond, help support a local College Park business by shopping small. For a directory of businesses, including restaurants and retail stores in College Park, visit www.collegepark.life.
[City of College Park]

City may Assist More Hotels and Restaurants using ARPA Grants

The Hospitality and Hotel industry in College Park suffered severe economic calamity during the Pandemic. Loss of revenue from room occupancy, conferences and food sales displaced workers and reduced many services offered by the hotels and restaurants.

The Mayor and Council approved the use of ARPA Funds to assist College Park Hospitality and Hotel industries recover from financial hardship caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. To date, using ARPA funds, the City has issued 86 grants to Families and Individuals totaling $125,718.06, and 49 grants to Businesses for a total of $1,212,657.00. These allocations were made by authority and permission from the City Council at the implementation of our $2,500,000 ARPA funded Small

Business and Hotel Hospitality grant program. Additionally, the City made a $3,000,000 ARPA Grant to the Community Preservation Trust and The College Park City University Partnership (CPCUP). To further assist the hospitality industry, staff recommend the following RPA fund allocations to the following applicants:

(a) $300,000 to The Hotel/Southern Management Companies

(b)  $150,000 to Cambria Hotel/Southern Management Companies

(c) $350,000 to GrillMarx UMD Restaurant

At tomorrow’s meeting, the City Council will discuss the allocation of the proposed grants.

Today is Small Business Saturday. Let’s Support Our Local Businesses

When you Shop Small, you’re not just supporting neighborhood favorites – you’re investing in a community. Whether you’re a local or in town for the holidays, explore our small businesses near you – and Shop Small all season long. You can explore small businesses in College Park here: http://shopcollegepark.org Small Business Saturday in support of small businesses and merchants throughout the year. The City supports our local businesses that create jobs, boost our local economy and preserve our communities, be sure to look into business productivity. According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are 30.7 million small businesses in the United States that are responsible for 64.9 percent of net new jobs created from 2000 to 2018; and small businesses employ 47.3 percent of the employees in the private sector in the United States.

Bagel Place Closes its Doors after Serving 35 Years

After operating for 35 years, one of College Park’s favorite businesses closed its doors yesterday. It looks like the landlord wants a longer-term lease, but Bagel Place wants a shorter one so that they may retire early.

A sign on Bagel Place says “Thank you for your support over 35 years”

The City tried to help find a solution, and even tried to look for a place but sadly things didn’t work.

In a letter to the community (please see below), the owners of Bagel Place are asking the community members to call the property owner [Curtis Property at Management 301-702-3200] and ask to keep them in business. Bagel Place owners said they have one month before the current lease expires.

The community members have also started an online petition asking Curtis Property to reconsider its decision.

 

Hollywood Shopping Center Gets Some Help with Improved Lighting

Recently, the Hollywood Shopping Center added 22 energy-efficient LED lights and 4 Floodlights encompassing the entire perimeter of the Center.

Located at 9805 Rhode Island Avenue, the shopping center has My Organic Market (MoM’s) as its anchor tenant, Proteus Bike and Brews, Pizza Roma and a few other stores. The shopping center is owned by Carrollton Properties, LLP and Hollywood Shopping Center, LLC

On October 25, 2021, the Hollywood  Shopping Center was awarded a grant in the amount of $9,029.83 for an exterior lighting project. The Shopping Center also received an Energy Saving rebate from Pepco in the amount of $2180.

The City started the Business and Façade Improvements Grants program several years ago. The grant is used by College Park businesses to make exterior improvements for signage and lighting. During the covid-19 pandemic, the city amended the funding guidelines to match the full amount of the improvements to 100%.

Currently, there is robust demand for applications throughout all areas of College Park. Funding for the program is provided by the State of Maryland grants program.

The City is considering additional funding through its COVID-related American Recovery Plan (ARPA) allocation.

Local Business ‘Shop in Maryland’ May Join New City Hall’s Retail Space

Shop Made in Maryland is a proposed new retail establishment focused on local goods in Maryland and College Park.

This store is based on the successful Shop Made in D.C. chain owned and operated by the same entrepreneurs.

The space will include a coffee bar and small cafe, and beer and wine service are slated for the evenings. Classes and seminars will be offered for retail customers and local entrepreneurs, and if they need too much clients, the use of a bookkeeping software could be the best choice for this. This store will become a destination for visitors and everyone looking for unique, locally-made, high-quality products. The City is requested to provide a grant to offset a portion of the expense to build out the retail space.

If you have a small or medium-sized business and it’s starting to grow and you are looking for a good bookkeeping services, find out here.

If you have a small businesses like pawnshops then you can try to download software and apps to help you opt with customer service and deliveries and inventories. Because, From customer management to inventory management, PawnMaster helps you run your pawn shop more efficiently.

The City may consider requiring the Terrapin Development Corporation and/or Prince George’s County to also provide funding for Shop Made in Maryland, and for the business to offer a certain number of events to be held at the City Hall facility (inside or on the plaza).

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will consider approving a grant of up to $75,000 for Shop Made in Maryland. The funding for this grant would come from the City’s allocation of federal ARPA funding. The FY22 budget includes APRA funding for business support and economic development.

City’s COVID Small Business Assisstance Program to End Dec 10

As the state is in its third phase of recovery, the COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to affect our lives in numerous ways. From working and schooling at home, to ordering groceries online or only ordering takeout, College Park residents have had to adjust their whole way of life. Unfortunately, for some, this crisis meant losing their jobs or livelihoods because of business closures or service disruptions. Many restaurants and businesses had to lay off their workers and/or close their doors leaving their futures uncertain. For more on how to handle business on this uncertain times, check this new blog post using the link https://business-insolvency-company.co.uk/what-is-a-statutory-demand/.

In response to the crisis, the City has created programs to address resident, business, and non-profit organization needs. The 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 our 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.

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 our business community, the City authorized the following: waived non-residential business license fees until the end of FY2021 for retail and hotel/motel establishments; and suspended sign or banner permits and regulations to help businesses advertise.

For a list of College Park businesses currently open, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/covid19#openbusinesses.

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 get up to a maximum of $5,000 per household for indirect payments to applicable payee (landlord, lender, Utility Company) and/or gift cards for eligible expenses from this program. For more information about this program or to apply, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/covid19assistance#residents.

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

The City has been working very hard to provide as much support as possible to our residents and business community. However, these are not the only resources for our residents and businesses. For a non-comprehensive list of federal, state, and county resources, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/covid19. Further resources can be found on their websites.

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]

Shop Local – This Saturday

We should continue to reinforce safety messages from the Health Department about shopping safely during the holidays, especially by shopping online, but we definitely want residents to consider supporting our small and local businesses for their holiday shopping. Shop local. Shop College Park. Shop Prince George’s!

College Park’s Original Ledo to Close its Doors Tomorrow. New Ledo and Juicery to Start Soon

The original Ledo restaurant, College Park

After operating 65 years of business in College Park, and Adelphi, the original Ledo restaurant is closing its doors as early as tomorrow.

The owners listed the business for sale in January 2020, as the owner was looking to retire.

In a few months, the restaurant will return under new management. Greenbelt based Chesapeake Hospitality VIII, LLC has signed a lease with the City of College Park. The City owns the 5,800 square feet of rentable space at 4509 Knox Road store and the parking garage on top of the store.

The City Council approved the lease agreement at last Tuesday’s Council meeting.

According to the lease agreement, Chesapeake Hospitality will sublease about 2,000 square feet of the space to Annapolis based Rutabaga Craft Juicery, LLC

Chesapeake Hospitality will operate a sit-down, self-service carry-out / curbside delivery or catering restaurant which features Pizza and related products which may include subs, sandwiches, salads, wings, pasta, desserts, smoothies, ice creams, beverages, plus Rutabaga juice bar.

Hours of operation of the new business are expected to be from 11:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

The date Ledo Restaurant, Inc. transfers possession of the Premises to the Tenant with the consent of the City. They expect to go to the settlement very soon.

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