A total of 376 businesses in all 23 counties and Baltimore City will receive $24.5 million through the Project Restore initiative—including $8.8 million in property assistance grants and $15.7 million in business operations grants.

Project Restore was launched by Governor Larry Hogan last year and is administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Through Project Restore, the department offers property assistance and operational grants to support startup and expansion costs and incentivize private investment in vacant spaces. In total, more than 725 businesses have now been awarded grants through Project Restore.

“Project Restore’s assistance to small and minority-owned businesses results in a tremendous investment in once-vacant spaces in designated Main Street Maryland communities,” said Nicholas Redding, President & CEO of Preservation Maryland. “When you visit – and spend money along – Maryland’s Main Streets you’re supporting local businesses and the historic properties that they steward.”

The program has added jobs, launched or expanded many women- and minority-owned small businesses, and brought empty spaces back to life to enrich their surrounding neighborhoods. Approximately 2,520 jobs will be created by the businesses awarded funding. Of those awarded grants this round, 301 are minority-owned businesses and 206 of those are women-owned businesses. An additional 20 businesses are veteran-owned businesses.

The previously vacant properties will return to active use as:

119 office spaces
110 retail spaces
61 restaurants
41 manufacturing/industrial spaces
44 other uses, such as event space, breweries, salons and indoor recreation

More than 120 of the vacant properties are located in Maryland’s Opportunity Zones and 48 are in the state’s designated Main Street Maryland districts.