TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Thursday announced an expansion of grant programs for business associations and small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Baltimore County will be tripling the funds available,” he said, “at a time when so many are struggling as a result of the pandemic.”

READ MORE: Baltimore Police Searching For Missing 18-Year-Old

The announcement was a lifeline for small business owners like those on Reisterstown’s Main Street, who say the past few months have been challenging.

“All of you are doubling down and we’re gonna get through this together,” State House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County) said.

The associations will spend the funding to revitalize their main streets, “from everything from holiday lighting to welcome signs to website development, security cameras and so much more,” Olszewski added.


The funding was welcome news for business owners like Kelsey Marcus, the co-owner of Reister’s Daughter, a coffee shop on the main street in Reisterstown. They opened their business in December, just before the pandemic hit.

“We lost a lot of our commuter base,” Marcus said.

READ MORE: 'I Think That Is Just Horrible': Owner Of Escaped Zebras On The Loose In Prince George's County Charged With Three Counts Of Animal Cruelty

Since COVID-19 struck, they’ve shut down their inside space at the coffee shop, built a window for take-away in the back and an outdoor space to encourage more business.

And on Monday, small businesses in the county can apply for grants of up to $15,000. Marcus said they plan to apply.

“Reisterstown is such a special community and strengthening the fabric of our small businesses has never been more important, you are the cornerstone of our economy,” Jones added.

To learn more about the programs, click below for:

The Commercial Revitalization Action Grant program for the county’s 16 business associations. Applications close on October 30.

The COVID-19 Small Business Restaurant Reimbursement Program. Applications open on Monday.

MORE NEWS: Heavy Traffic Expected Downtown Thursday Evening

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Annie Rose Ramos