The Queen Anne’s County Board of Commissioners voted July 26, to approve two new economic development initiatives designed to create and retain jobs in Queen Anne’s County.
The approved programs are part of the county’s Revolving Loan Fund program; the Strategic Assistance Revolving Loan program and the Commercial Vineyard Establishment Revolving Loan program. The goal of the Revolving Loan Fund program is the creation and retention of jobs in the county and to date, five businesses have received assistance through the Business Development loan program and each have created employment opportunities.
The purpose of the Strategic Assistance loan program is to assist existing companies in growing their business through expansion within the county, support product diversification and other growth opportunities. The fund is available to companies that have been located in Queen Anne’s County for three or more years and are well positioned for growth. Projects seeking funding must be located within established Priority Funding Areas (PFA) in the county. Priority funding areas include incorporated municipalities, business parks, and other areas within the county including Kent Island.
The adaptive re-use of vacant commercial buildings is strongly encouraged. As a direct result of receiving this funding, the company must demonstrate the retention and/or creation of full-time jobs. The Strategic Assistance program encourages the utilization of existing commercial/industrial buildings for companies seeking to expand.
The Commercial Vineyard Establishment loan program is to assist in the preservation of agriculture land and to promote agri-tourism in the county and on a regional level by providing financial assistance to aid in the establishment of commercial vineyards. Recognizing that the establishment of a viable commercial vineyard takes approximately three years, this program allows borrowers the flexibility in repayment options during the time that the vineyard is not fully operational. The use of loan proceeds must relate to the installation of new commercial vineyards, including, but not limited to, the prepping of land for vineyard installation, purchase of vines, vineyard equipment and supplies. The purchase of wine making equipment and rolling stock, such as automobiles and trucks, are not eligible for financing under this program.
For more information about these programs, including specific guidelines, contact Jean Fabi, Queen Anne’s County Economic Development Manager at 410.604.2100.