The City of Laurel Department of Economic and Community Development (Laurel ECD) will administer the City of Laurel Main Street Strong COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program. This Program will award grants in the amount of $2,500 to $25,000 to businesses located within the City of Laurel. The total fund dedicated to this Program is $223,330. The goal of this Program is to provide financial support to businesses in the City of Laurel's designated Main Street area that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds to support this program are provided by the State of Maryland through the DHCD Maryland Strong Economic Recovery Initative (MD-SERI).

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first served basis. Submission of an incomplete or inaccurate application may result in ineligibility. Please read all grant terms and application instructions before starting and submitting your application. One application per business entity is accepted.



The grants shall only be used to cover costs that:

(1) are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19;
(2) were incurred during the period that begins on March 19, 2021 and ends on December 31, 2021.

The determination as to whether the proposed use of funds by any applicant are eligible for funds from this grant shall be determined by the City of Laurel in its sole judgment, based upon applicable criteria, and is not appealable. The following constitutes examples of generally eligible and ineligible funds, though the City retains the right to determine otherwise based upon the facts of any application:

Use of Funds
  • Safety improvements to the commercial property related to COVID-19 (e.g. social distance markings, plexiglass installation, hand sanitizer stations etc.)
  • Personal and single-use PPE necessary for business operation (e.g. face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, etc.)
  • Hiring a professional cleaning service to clean and sanitize the commercial space
  • HVAC system improvements in order to improve air quality in the commercial space
  • Business expenses incurred due to the expansion or adaptation of business operations due to COVID-19 (e.g. pivoting operations to produce PPE, creation of an online storefront)
  • Business expenses incurred due to Federal, State, County, and/or City COVID-19 orders and regulations
Ineligible Expenses
  • Commercial rent payment(s)
  • Commercial mortgage payment(s)
  • Commercial utility payment(s)
  • Personal expenses
  • Payroll expenses
  • Residential rent or mortgage payments
  • Property improvements not related to COVID-19 health and safety requirements
  • State, County, or City of Laurel property taxes, and other governmental bills and obligation



  • The business must have a physical commercial location within the City of Laurel's designated Main Street area
  • The business must have a current signed leasing contract or proof of ownership of the property that they reside at
  • The business must have been negatively affected by, and the purpose of the requested grant shall be directly related to, the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The business must be able to demonstrate that it was unable to operate or operated at a reduced capacity due to COVID-19
  • The business has a current and valid City of Laurel Use and Occupancy permit
  • The business must be in good standing with the State of Maryland
  • The business and all business owners must be current on all City, County, State, and Federal tax payments
  • The Applicant is not engaged in any illegal activity (as defined by Federal guidelines)
Ineligible Business Types or Persons
  • Home-Based Businesses
  • Food Trucks
  • Businesses that do not have a physical commercial location
  • Business located outside of the City of Laurel Designated Main Street area boundaries
  • Businesses that do not have a current or valid City of Laurel use and occupancy permit
  • Businesses in which City Staff and/or elected officials of the City have a financial interest of at least 25%.


Application Instructions

  • Please read all eligibility requirements thoroughly before beginning your application.
  • The application may not be updated after submission. Please make sure your application is correct and complete before submitting.
  • Only one application submission per business entity will be considered.
  • Submission of an incomplete and/or inaccurate, application may disqualify a business from being awarded funding. Please check your application for completeness and accuracy before submitting.
  • Review the Application Deadlines written below. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
  • Applications must be submitted through this online application portal
  • If assistance is needed with the application, please contact [email protected] for assistance.


Scoring Rubric

This rubric will be used to determine which businesses are considered a priority for funding for this grant opportunity. If a Business Scores more than 50 points using this rubric, their application will be considered priority for consideration for this grant.

+10 Women Owned Business
+10 Minority Owned Business
+10 Veteran Owned Business
+10 Non-Profit
+10 Current Business Plan
+10 Business Owns Commercial Location
+10 1 or More Full Time Employee
+10 1 or More Part Time Employee
+10 Business Owner Relies on Business for Personal Income
+5 Volunteer Only Non-Profit Entity
+3 Supporting Document #1 Supports Grant Request
+3 Supporting Document #2 Supports Grant Request
+3 Supporting Document #3 Supports Grant Request
+1 Complete and Submitted Application



Applications will be accepted beginning Friday March 19, 2021 at 5:00pm.

***DEADLINE EXTENDED*** The deadline to apply will be Thursday May ,6 2021 at 5:00pm.

Applications will only be accepted electronically through the online application portal. One application per business entity will be accepted. 

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Submission of an incomplete or inaccurate application may result in ineligibility. If you have any questions regarding this grant opportunity, please contact [email protected]