HoCo Rise Howard County Business Grants

Round 3 HoCo Rise Business Grants NOW OPEN!

Applications have been extended and will close March 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm. You can find the links to the applications at the bottom of each sections’ instructions.

There are separate allocations of funds for the following:

  • Hotels ($ 1.6M)
  • Restaurants ($ 1.5M)
  • Home-based & Other Businesses ($ 2M)

To be eligible for any of the three, businesses must:

  • Be in “Good Standing” with Howard County and the State of Maryland
    • Business/Owner must be current on all applicable fees, taxes, penalties, and interest. (eg. real or personal property tax bills, water/sewer bills, fire inspections, landfill bills, etc.)
    • Business owner must complete a State Department of Assessment and Taxation (SDAT) business entity search prior to confirm “Good Standing” with the State of Maryland prior to making an application.)
  • Be open for business or pledge to reopen
  • Submit an accurate and complete application with the requested documentation

Applicants will be required to submit the following documentation:

  • 2019 Federal Tax Return
  • Completed and signed Form W-9 (2021)
  • Employee Roster

Home-based Businesses /All Others

The purpose of this grant is to provide funding for businesses who have not previously received a Round 2 grant from the HoCo Rise Business Grant Program. Grants will be issued on a first-come, first-serve basis to the first 400 businesses with complete and accurate applications.

Eligible uses for the funds:

  • Expenses related to losses caused by business interruption due to COVID-19 or costs associated with remaining in business or reopening, beginning March 2020.

Uses include but are not limited to:

  • Purchase of PPE/sanitation services
    • Working capital (ie. payroll support, mortgage/rent expenses, purchase of equipment or services to expand/alter services due to COVID-19)

To qualify as a home-based business:

  • The business must be registered and/or located in Howard County
  • The business owner must have a Federal Tax Return for 2019 showing business income;
  • Have generated between $10k-$500k in income; and,
  • The business should be the owner’s primary source of income.

All other eligible businesses:

  • Businesses occupying commercial space in Howard County who have not received Round 2 HoCo Rise Business Grant funding are eligible for this grant.
  • Businesses who have had to relocate their business operations from a physical commercial location to a home-based office are eligible for this grant.
  • Business must be locally-owned
  • Business must have 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees
  • The business must meet other eligibility requirements

Home-based Businesses /All Others Apply Here


These funds are available to hotel accommodations located in Howard County who collect and remit applicable state/local lodging tax and have experienced significant financial loss caused directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 public health emergency. (Note: All hotels are eligible for this grant, even those who have already received a grant from the HoCo Rise Business Grant Program.)

An eligible Howard County hotel accommodation is defined as:

  • An establishment which offers sleeping accommodations to the public for compensation and has five or more rooms for rent. (Hotel does not include a hospital, medical clinic, convalescent home, or home for the aged).

Hotels Apply Here


The primary purpose of this grant is to provide funding to restaurants who have not previously received a grant from the Round 2 HoCo Rise Business Grant programs. However, it will also provide remaining funding to restaurants that have received have received Round 2 HoCo Rise funding and submit a new application a below.

Eligible uses of funds include:

  • Working capital, such as rent and purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining through physical improvements including tents, heaters, warmers, and carts
  • Sensitization services
  • Purchase of PPE
  • Technology to support carryout and delivery
  • Infrastructure improvements, including HVAC system upgrades.

Ineligible Restaurant Businesses:

  • National chain restaurants are not eligible for this grant program (Franchisee’s may apply for one (1) of their national franchise locations in Howard County).

Restaurants Apply Here

The purpose of the HoCo Rise Grant is to provide financial assistance to Howard County businesses in targeted sectors that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency and plan to re-open. Because of the limited funding available, eligible sectors have been identified and the grant formula is intended to distribute funds to all qualified businesses in that cohort. These grants are for locally-owned storefront retail, restaurants, and farmers that have experienced significant financial loss caused directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 public health emergency.