Frederick County COVID-19 Business Grants Distribution

“Beginning in May, Frederick County Government pulled together a grants team made up of members from Economic Development, Finance, Interagency Information Technology and others to create processes for businesses to access grant dollars because they were facing unprecedented challenges with unexpected expenses and lower revenues.  More than $12.3M was awarded through over 1,995 grants. Grant funds came from the Relief Act of 2021 Federal CARES Act ($7.2M), the State of Maryland ($3.2M) and the Frederick County Office of Economic Development Small Business Fund ($500,000).  Below is a breakdown of how the grants were awarded.” 

Helen Propheter, Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development

Overall Business Grants Distribution

Frederick County Grants Administered by the Frederick County Office of Economic Development

Jump Start Grants 

In May 2020, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner launched the Jump Start Grants.  The program was administered by the Frederick County Office of Economic Development and designed to assist small for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations that experienced financial loss caused by the coronavirus.

The Frederick County Jump Start Grants Program offered three grant opportunities:

Full-time Farmer Grants - $6,000 in one-time funds to qualifying full-time farmers. Full-time farmers qualify if they earned the majority of their gross income (51% or greater) from farming over the past two years.

Small Business Grants - $10,000 in one-time funds for businesses with physical commercial space and with 10-50 employees, full or part-time. Businesses can be for-profit or nonprofit;

Micro Business Grants - $3,300 in one-time funds for businesses with up to nine employees. Employees can be W-2 or 1099 employees of a for-profit or nonprofit business, including sole proprietors.

When I discovered that I was receiving the Microgrant I felt blessed. The grant was a blessing! It enabled me to pay my rent ( previous and future), utilities, restock supplies, insurance and purchase all of the supplies needed to meet the safety protocols for a safe environment for my business. Thank you for the generosity of this grant so that I can pass all of this  on to my clientele and continue to provide a safe place for my clients and myself” Tammy  

This [Jump Start] grant will allow us to continue with our previous workforce in pace and provide for their steady employment”    Harold

Outdoor Heater Grants

Launched in October 2020, the Outdoor Heater Grant program was designed to assist with the purchase of heaters and fuel for outdoor dining areas.  Under the program, restaurants and farm-based craft beverage facilities that are 800 square feet or smaller were eligible to receive a one-time grant of $2,700, while larger facilities were eligible to receive a one-time grant of $5,400. 

Childcare Provider Grants

The Childcare Provider Grants program was designed to assist Frederick County’s licensed child care providers with the increased operating costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Round 1 of the Childcare Provider Grants program occurred in August 2020, and Round 2 occurred in October 2020.

“Child care providers are facing an unprecedented challenge to remain financially sustainable. Families expect and our children deserve quality, affordable childcare. By assisting licensed child care providers, we are supporting Frederick County families and their children as parents return to work.” Executive Gardner said. “Between unexpected expenses and lower revenues, providers are in a tough place at a time when our community needs them more than ever. We know child care is key to opening our economy and supporting our families.”

Restaurant and Food Service Relief Grants

In November 2020, Frederick County developed a Restaurant and Food Service Relief Grant Program with Funding from the State of Maryland.  The program was designed to provide financial assistance to licensed Frederick County food and beverage providers impacted negatively by restrictions on indoor dining capacity as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Licensed wineries, breweries and distilleries were also eligibile to apply.

A total of 207 applications were submitted and a total of $2,582,644 was awarded.

The grants were provided to targeted sectors of the food service industry via a tier system.  

Tier 1 – 44 Applicants

  • Food Trucks-Must be licensed with the Frederick County Health Department, food trucks home base must be in Frederick County
  • Caterers- Must be licensed with the Frederick County Health Department, caterers must occupy physical commercial space inside Frederick County.
  • Bakeries- Must be licensed with the Frederick County Health Department, bakeries must occupy physical commercial space inside Frederick County.
  • Carry-out Restaurants: Must be licensed with the Frederick County Health Department.

Tier 2 – 163 Applicants

  • Dine in Restaurants- Must be licensed with the Frederick County Health Department
  • Wineries, Breweries or Distilleries- in compliance with licensing requirements for their sector.

“Thank you for selecting [our business] for the Frederick County Food Service Grant.  We are forever grateful for your support in helping us to keep our business alive and moving forward at this time.” K.L.

Round 2 Distribution

Due to additional funding of $1.2M from the State of Maryland, Frederick County provided a 2nd round of restaurant and food service grants in January 2021.

246 grants were issued for a total of $1,243,921.43.

Tier 1 grant recipients were awarded $1,250.00 each.

Tier 2 grant recipients were awarded $6,152.73 each.


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Questions about the grant program can be emailed to the Office of Economic Development.

Frederick County Hospitality and Lodging

In February 2021, Frederick County developed a Hospitality and Lodging Grant to provide support to hotels and bed-and-breakfasts. “The hospitality industry has been particularly hard hit during the health pandemic, with fewer people traveling,” said County Executive Gardner. “This new initiative will offer some support to an important part of Frederick County’s economy.”

To be eligible, Frederick County hotels must have 10 or more rentable rooms, and bed-and-breakfasts at least five rentable rooms. Eligible businesses must be current in their payment of hotel taxes and be in good standing with the State of Maryland and Frederick County, and must have experienced a reduction in gross revenues of at least 25% between April-November 2020 compared to gross revenues from April-November 2019. 

Round 1

$411,328 was distributed to17 businesses representing 1,546 rooms.  

Round 2 

$421,867 was distributed to 18 businesses representing 1,625 rooms. 

Round 3 

$439,283 was distributed to 20 businesses representing 15 hotels and 5 Bed and Breakfasts.

KN95 Mask Distribution

Frederick County Executive Gardner in partnership with the Frederick County Office of Economic Development provided nearly 7,600 KN95 masks for free to Frederick County restaurant and craft beverage workers.  The first round was distributed on December, 2020 and the second round was distributed the last week of February, 2021.  The first round included 2 masks per employee and the second round included 5 masks per employee for customer facing, front line server staff. The program was available for Frederick County restaurants and craft beverage providers that offered dine-in seated food service.

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development distributed the following masks representing both rounds (12/2020; 2/2021)

# of Businesses who received masks – 146

# of Servers represented – 2,114

# of Masks distributed – 7,580