WILLIAMSPORT, Md. (WDVM) — Washington County small businesses have a lifeline from Governor Larry Hogan’s administration to help weather the economic downturn from the pandemic.
Hagerstown and Williamsport will share more than $350,000 in stabilization grants to help mom-and-pop shops catch up on their bills, keep workers on the payroll and wage marketing campaigns to attract customers. Williamsport’s mayor, Bill Green, said the funds are a matter of survival to some small shops on his main street.
“It’s important,” said Green. “Governor Hogan’s awarding these is really helping out a couple of our businesses. One really suffered. The owner couldn’t be open most of the entire year. So she’s really looking forward to this.”
Both the mayor and Councilman Dennis Grove see the challenges firsthand.
“The restaurant near town hall has been barely able to be open just because of the limited customer traffic,” said Grove. “You can’t sit inside, and there are no facilities outside where you can sit in the wintertime.”
The mayor and council turn to their capable Main Street program manager to work one-on-one with 17 small businesses. The state funds helping keep the doors open as the pandemic moves into the rearview mirror.
“Now we can maybe pay for a future project that they had planned,” said Kathyrn Gratton, manager of Main Street Williamsport, “but because last year was a downer they couldn’t pull it off. Now we’re hoping they can.”
The govenor’s grant awards have a limit of $5,000 per business.