DHCD Maryland Strong Economic Recovery Initiative (MD-SERI) - Main Street
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is administering funding for the Governor’s Maryland Strong Economic Recovery Initiative (MD-SERI).
DHCD’s MD-SERI MAIN STREET will be a grant program for the state’s 33 designated Main Street Maryland communities and Baltimore City’s 8 designated Main Street neighborhoods to support the economic recovery of local Main Street businesses and the economic development of Maryland communities. This NOFA pertains only to the funding allocation for MD-SERI Main Street and provides a preview of the application which is projected to be available online Tuesday, November 17 at 12:00 pm.
Separate NOFAs for Tourism Nonprofits and Entertainment Venues are also available from DHCD: www.dhcd.maryland.gov
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Applicant Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible to apply, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria:
Must be an IRS determined nonprofit organization or the local government sponsor of one the state’s 33 designated Main Street Maryland programs
Must be an IRS determined nonprofit organization of one of Baltimore City’s 8 designated Main Street neighborhoods
Organizations that are in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT)
Financially viable nonprofits whose operations will continue forward
Eligible Uses of Funds
Existing and/or planned small business relief grant programs, administered by the applicant, that provide/will provide Main Street businesses assistance with costs related to capital improvements and/or operating in order for the business to continue to safely operate, expand operations and/or adapt their business model to respond to changes due to COVID-19 restrictions and prevention.
No more than 15% of the requested funds may be used for operating support that will specifically benefit Main Street businesses such as training, technical assistance and/or marketing efforts such as, but not limited to: assisting Main Street businesses establish online sales, design and merchandise training to adapt retail space to accommodate COVID-19 requirements, providing small business counseling or offering a buy local/gift card program to support Main Street businesses. Additionally, applicants may request operating funds to support existing staff costs related to the administration of their COVID-19 Grant Relief Program for Main Street Businesses.
Any awarded funds for relief grants to businesses should be awarded and deployed as soon as possible and any funds utilized for Main Street operating support to benefit businesses should also be deployed as soon as possible, but no later than April 30, 2021.
The maximum grant request amount is $500,000 and the minimum amount is $75,000.
Requested funding amounts should be based on the applicant’s ability to:
Document the impact and leverage of their existing or planned COVID-19 relief fund for businesses AND/OR
Document the demand for additional operating resources (training, technical assistance and/or marketing) for the Main Street’s ability to support local businesses AND
Make relief funds and/or operating resources available to businesses effectively and as soon as possible
An applicant must also meet all of the following criteria:
Only applications that are fully complete at submission will be considered for funding.
Requests to fund small business relief grant programs must specifically provide the following information about their COVID-19 relief program for Main Street businesses (a) program guidelines for your Main Street Business Relief Grant Program/Eligible Uses of Funds, (b) business relief grant application form(s), (c) criteria by which awards would be determined, (d) summary of process for determining awards and estimated timeline for notifying businesses of awards. Awards must be made to businesses as soon as possible.
Requests to fund operating support that will specifically benefit Main Street businesses must specifically provide the following information (a) an itemized budget for Main Street operating support, (b) description of how this support will benefit local businesses, including specific outputs and outcomes that are anticipated and (c) a timeline and strategy for implementation of the proposed activities to support Main Street businesses.
DHCD’s MD-SERI Main Street is a competitive funding opportunity and individual grant amounts may be reduced relative to requests and also based on the impact of the applicant’s current business relief programs if applicable and ability to deploy funds responsibly and as soon as possible.
NOFA release: Wednesday, October 28
Projected on-line NORI application portal opens: Tuesday, November 17 at 12:00 pm
Application portal closes: Friday, November 20 at 5:00 pm at the latest; the portal may close if or when grant requests exceed available funding.
Funding announcements on a rolling basis beginning no later than November 30, 2020.
Applicants will be required to register with the Maryland OneStop Portal. OneStop is the central hub for Maryland State licenses, forms, certificates, permits, applications, and registrations and can be accessed here: https://onestop.md.gov
It is recommended that applicants register in advance of the application round opening.
In addition to basic organizational information, such as the organization’s official mission statement, the following information and attachments will be required in the on-line application in order for an application to be considered complete. Space to answer will be very limited; it is recommended that applicants prepare answers and gather required attachments in advance of the November 17 opening of the on-line application.
Organizational Summary: A brief description of the organization’s (a) recent accomplishments in the in the last twelve months, (b) information about the applicant’s efforts to provide support to Main Street businesses since the COVID-19 pandemic began and plan for operations in Calendar Year 2021 AND (c) the applicant’s current financial condition and ability to continue operations. This funding is aimed to support organizations that can continue to operate and produce economic impact in Maryland.
COVID-19 Impact and Business Relief: A brief summary of (a) specific dollar amounts as much as possible, summarize the overall impact to Main Street businesses and the Main Street district due to COVID-19 for the period March 1 through December 30, 2020; (b) explain how you would utilize any MD-SERI awarded funds to provide resources and/or grants to Main Street businesses to sustain operations and/or adjust operations to be able to address COVID-19 restrictions and prevention through April 30, 2021, AND (c) list any COVID-19 relief funding you have been awarded to date – include the name of program, the amount of the award and the date received
Budget/Use of Funds: A simple budget form will be provided in the on-line application in which the applicant will individually list each proposed use(s) of requested funds.
All of the following attachments will be required in the on-line application in order for the application to be considered complete:
Application, guidelines, award criteria and summary of process for determining awards for the existing or planned grant program for Main Street businesses.
Timeline and strategy for implementing requested operating funds to provide resources (training, technical assistance and/or marketing) to Main Street businesses
IRS Determination Letter of nonprofit status, if applicable
Online verification of Certificate of Good Standing from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.
IRS W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification