Grants of Up To $10 Million For Each Rural Regional Council Will Be Made Available To Address Key Issues Like Infrastructure, Broadband, and Workforce

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that $50 million in grant funds will be made available to boost economic development activity, stimulate private sector investment, and grow jobs in the state’s rural regions. Five rural regional councils, representing the Upper, Mid and Lower Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland, and Western Maryland, will submit proposals to the Maryland Department of Commerce outlining how they plan to use up to $10 million available through the Rural Maryland Economic Development Fund.

“Today we are taking the next important step forward in our efforts to help rural Maryland come back better and stronger than ever before,” said Governor Hogan. “This unprecedented $50 million investment will help us put even more ‘open for business’ signs in the windows in our small towns, it will create thousands of new jobs in rural communities, and it will literally transform neighborhoods and communities for the better all across our state.”

Counties that will benefit from the grant funds include Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester. Regional projects that foster collaboration between the counties are encouraged. 

The grant program is designed to be flexible and allow each rural council to determine the best use of funds within the program’s guidelines in coordination with the counties they represent. Eligible uses of the funds include developing infrastructure such as utilities, transportation, and broadband to support the attraction, retention, or expansion of businesses, as well as infrastructure related to specific industry sector development including manufacturing, cyber security, and the life sciences. 

Additionally, the funding can be used for workforce development and attraction of talent, as well as projects that stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation. Planning and feasibility studies are also eligible, as well as certain capital and operational expenses. The funds may not be used for any direct incentives to the private sector. 

“Through our regional representatives, Maryland Commerce works very closely with our rural regional councils to give them the one-on-one support and resources needed to spur job growth and investment in all regions of the state,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We recognize that every county, especially our rural counties, has unique challenges and these additional funds will help them to better compete for economic development projects and look for opportunities to collaborate regionally.”

Today’s announcement marks the latest economic recovery initiative launched by the Hogan administration. In June, Governor Hogan announced Project Restore, which provides financial incentives for small businesses and commercial developers to revitalize vacant retail and commercial space. This year the governor introduced legislation to codify Project Restore. In August, the governor launched Connect Maryland, a $400 million investment to ensure universal broadband across the state.

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  1. I have a small farm. Its impossible to get hired help here, even at $25/hour. I have a peacock enclosure that collapsed from the first snow storm. I need to find people to rebuild it. I also have a rescue “forever home” for feral cats.

    1. @M Copeland … Where are you located? How can you privately recieve my info? My husband can rebuild that enclosure for you!!

  2. Is the Thomas Johnson bridge included in the development plan? There’s been 4 victims of suicide since October of 2021. Something has to change.

    1. Perhaps with all the’Free Money’, they could design more and better pedestrian access for the new bridge. Probably will need to add a couple parking spaces at the top, for those that are too lazy to walk. Maybe add some “No Swimming” signs at the top, too. Of course the signs should be multi-lingual.

  3. Governor Hogan is useless the American people need money he’s always giving businesses money now he’s just giving it to the Eastern shore it is ridiculous I hope he does not run for presidency there’s a lot of people that will not vote for him

    1. Your post makes no sense?

      The money is for 3 rural regions in the state: Eastern Shore, Southern MD, Western MD.

      Money is earmarked for utility/broadband expansion as well as funds to attract/retain/grow existing businesses.

      Most people make money by working for a business. So supporting business development does put money in people’s pockets. Where do you get your money?

      Did you read the article or just the headline?

  4. We live in rural areas because we want to be in rural areas. Anyone has the option to go to the suburbs or city. No one is holding you back. You want more business/growth, go to one of those areas.

  5. Will the P.G. county business and workforce be receiving any help from this Bill, I do not see it as one of the counties listed.

  6. Just a general thought: It really does help your comprehension of the topic if you read the article.

    This has nothing to do with the Thomas Johnson bridge..PG county is not in a rural area therefore it would not be included in a rural area program…this is not a program to finance your personal issues with your private property…this is a state program not a federal one so the President has nothing to do with this…

    It’s amazing reading comments like the ones to this article.

    1. It’s amazing to think that you believe this money will help the little people but it DOESNT, it just makes politicians rich

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