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Commissioners Approve Hotel Relief Fund to Support Lodging Establishments Impacted by COVID-19

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – The  Commissioners have approved the St. Mary’s County Hotel Relief Fund to provide grants to local hotels and other lodging facilities. The Commissioners recognize the COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic hardship for many businesses and to provide local relief from this hardship, have activated the Hotel Relief Fund for hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments. Grants will be processed through the Department of Economic Development.

The grant program will have a maximum budget of $371,000. The goal is to provide grants to support St. Mary’s based lodging establishments (hotels and bed and breakfasts).

Grants may be used for:
• Normal operating costs, such as rent, payroll, job training, taxes, debt service or similar costs
• Purchase of PPE, sanitization services or other COVID-19 related costs

Grants may NOT be used for:
• Costs outside normal operating costs
• Purchase of equipment and soft goods not directly related to COVID-19 prevention
• Infrastructure improvements not directly related to COVID-19 prevention
• Technology upgrades not directly related to COVID-19 prevention

Grant amounts will be determined using a formula set by the Maryland Office of Tourism Development and will be based on the number of sleeping rooms, with a maximum grant amount of $31,000. Lodging establishments must be in good standing with the State of Maryland, St. Mary’s County Department of Land Use and Growth Management, Office of the Treasurer and St. Mary’s County Finance Department.

Eligible businesses can submit an online application starting at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at  https://www.yesstmarysmd.com/hgrants/. The deadline to apply is 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.

Additional eligibility requirements:
• Based in St. Mary’s County.

• Current (paid in full) FY21 local accommodations tax.

• Have at least 10 sleeping rooms (bed-and-breakfast accommodations must have at least five (5) sleeping rooms).

• Demonstrate a reduction in year-over-year gross revenue of at least 25% for the period of April 2020 - November 2020 compared to the gross revenue of April 2019 - November 2019.

• Operational and hosting guests as of Nov. 1, 2019.

• If currently not hosting guests, must be reopen to the public for the provision of accommodations by no later than March 31, 2021.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the grant portal at any time before Jan. 15 for more information on required documents, applicant eligibility, and to create a user account before submission of the application.

If you have any questions, please contact Kellie Hinkle, Economic Development Deputy Director,  at Kellie.Hinkle@StMarysMD.com or by calling 240-925-7178

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