Businesses react to project restore funding, aimed at helping fill vacant storefronts, and help fund business expansion

SALISBURY, Md. –  Local businesses are getting a boost thanks to Project Restore, an economic recovery initiative that provides financial incentives for small businesses to revitalize vacant retail and commercial spaces.

A total of 376 businesses in all 23 counties of the state will receive a total of $24.5 million.

More than $600,000 of State Restore funding is headed to Wicomico County, to businesses like Justice Dog Training.

Owner Morgan Brown took over a spot that had been vacant since 2020. and she tells 47ABC she already has plans for the money.

“I’m going to set up kennels and cots I really want to get everything I need to step it up, to make sure dogs are supported in a nice kennel system,” Brown said.

She tells 47 ABC that when she filled out the application she fully believed she would not be approved.

“When I found out, I screamed, I ran through my house I was super pumped I built success for others to finally do it for myself is huge for me,” she said.

The grants are also tailored to help businesses grow and manage operational costs, which is how The Ugly Pie was able to apply and successfully receive funding.
Co-owner Heather Hall says it will help them cover their sales and use tax, and expand ventilation and storage as their business grows.

“With us, the challenge is always storage, we are constantly making more, and having a place to store ingredients and products is the struggle, you want to expand but you don’t always have reserves so just having something like this is important,” Hall said.

Hall tells 47ABC, she hopes the program can expand to more businesses in the future, and help make starting a business a bit easier.

“I hate seeing vacant spaces so the fact that there are inventive to moving into them and bringing new life into them is amazing,” Hall said.

Businesses say that they have yet to find out exactly how much funding they received individually but expect those figures to be released in two weeks.

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