Hotel Relief Grant

Hotel Relief webpage graphic-01

The Program
Harford County will administer the COVID-19 Hotel Relief Grant Program, which will provide grants to help qualifying hotels with ongoing COVID-19-related expenses. The program is being administered on behalf of the State of Maryland and is funded with the money the county received through Governor Larry Hogan’s latest round of economic relief initiatives announced on December 17, 2020. The purpose of the grant is to promote and encourage stabilization in the hospitality industry in the State of Maryland. The final amount of the hotel relief grant awards will be determined by the total number of qualified applicants.

Applicants should thoroughly review the eligibility and application process below and read the Frequently Asked Questions as applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Submission of an incomplete or inaccurate application may result in ineligibility for program funding. Harford County is committed to timely review and processing to ensure award recipients can apply this resource to the successful continuation of business operations.

Grant Terms 
Harford County received $1,005,964 through the program and the final amount of the hotel relief grant awards will be determined by the total number of qualified applicants. The program is available only to hotels in Harford County that contributed toward the county’s Hotel/Lodging Fee in 2020.

Use of Funds
Funds received must be used for the following purposes:

  • Normal operating costs, such as rent, payroll, job training, taxes, debt service
  • Purchase of PPE, sanitization services or other COVID-19 related costs

Funds may not be used to fund items outside of their normal operating cost. Prohibited costs include the following, which are not directly related to COVID-19 prevention: 

  • Purchase of equipment and soft goods 
  • Infrastructure improvements 
  • Technology upgrades 

 Eligibility
To qualify, the hotel: 

  • Must be located in Harford County;  
  • Contributed to Harford County Hotel/Lodging Fee in 2020;
  • Owns, rents or leases a permanent hotel location in Harford County that is open or will be open to the public for accommodations by March 31, 2021; 
  • Can demonstrate a reduction in year-over-year gross revenue of at least 25% for the period of April – November 2019 compared to April – November 2020;  
  • Has a minimum of 10 sleeping rooms, or if bed and breakfast, has at least five sleeping rooms; 
  • Must be in good standing with Harford County and the State of Maryland;
  • Is subject to the State of Maryland Sales and Use Tax;
  • May not currently be in default on any loans from Harford County or delinquent on any taxes, fees, or other charges owed to Harford County. 

Business MAY receive a grant allocation from the Hotel Relief Grant even if they have already received funding through another Harford County COVID-19 Business Relief Grant program. 
If you applied for other relief grants and were deemed ineligible because your business did not meet criteria for eligibility, you may still be eligible for the Hotel Relief Grant Program and are encouraged to apply.

If you have carefully reviewed the program eligibility guidelines and determined your business does not qualify for this funding source, please visit https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business to be redirected to the State of Maryland’s Coronavirus Information for Business website. The site is updated with new information frequently and features federal and state funding programs as well as the Maryland Unemployment Insurance portal.

Required Supporting Documentation
ALL FORMS ARE FILLABLE – Please download and type directly into the fillable fields before printing out for your legal INKED signature. Applicant must submit the documents provided – no substitutes allowed

  • Fully-completed (typed) application (handwritten applications will not be accepted EXCEPT where a legal inked signature is required);
  • Completed W9 form;  
  • Completed Direct Deposit Form. The Direct Deposit Form is also known as the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Form; 

Please note: The subject line of your email submission must read your business name. 

We also request that you visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GGFSLSK to complete a brief survey concerning your business.

To Apply 
Submit COMPLETE AND ACCURATE application with all required supporting documentation via email to: hotelassistance@harfordcountymd.gov with your business name as the subject line.It is imperative that all applicants ensure the accuracy of their legal business name and address when completing and signing their application, W9, and Direct Deposit/EFT forms. Failure to submit a complete and accurate application may preclude you from being awarded grant funds from this program. 

DO NOT SUBMIT APPLICATIONS MORE THAN ONCE – Applicants will receive an email notification confirming their submission. 

Harford County will ONLY ACCEPT ELECTRONIC, TYPED SUBMISSIONS with the exception of legal INKED signatures at hotelassistance@harfordcountymd.gov  beginning Wednesday, January 13 at 8 a.m. Any attempted email submission before 8 a.m. on January 13 will not be held in a queue and must be resubmitted for consideration. All forms have been made fillable for convenience. No handwritten forms will be accepted. Please label your email subject line with the business legal name to ensure expediency.  

THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS 
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 AT 5:00 P.M. 

Review
Applicants will receive email notifications confirming receipt of their application. If an incomplete application is received, the applicant will be notified of the issue and asked to resubmit. However, the applicant’s place in the queue will not be saved. 

If you need assistance with assessing your eligibility or compiling the needed documents for your application, we advise that you first consult with your financial or legal advisers. 

COVID Application
  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Payment Form Questions

Harford County will administer the COVID-19 Hotel Relief Grant Program, which will provide grants to help qualifying hotels with ongoing COVID-19-related expenses. The program is being administered on behalf of the State of Maryland and is funded with the money the county received through Governor Larry Hogan’s latest round of economic relief initiatives announced on December 17, 2020. The final amount of the hotel relief grant awards will be determined by the total number of qualified applicants.

Does my business qualify?  
To qualify, the hotel:  

  • Must be located in Harford County;   
  • Contributed to Harford County Hotel/Lodging Fee in 2020; 
  • Owns, rents or leases a permanent hotel location in Harford County that is open or will be open to the public for accommodations by March 31, 2021;  
  • Can demonstrate a reduction in year-over-year gross revenue of at least 25% for the period of April – November 2019 compared to April – November 2020;   
  • Has a minimum of 10 sleeping rooms, or if bed and breakfast, has at least five sleeping rooms;  
  • Must be in good standing with Harford County and the State of Maryland; 
  • Is subject to the State of Maryland Sales and Use Tax; 
  • May not currently be in default on any loans from Harford County or delinquent on any taxes, fees, or other charges owed to Harford County.  

What can I use the funding for?    
Funds received must be used for the following purposes: 

  • Normal operating costs, such as rent, payroll, job training, taxes, debt service 
  • Purchase of PPE, sanitization services or other COVID-19 related costs 

What can these funds NOT be used for?
Funds may not be used to fund items outside of their normal operating cost. Prohibited costs which are not directly related to COVID-19 prevention, include 

  • Purchase of equipment and soft goods 
  • Infrastructure improvements 
  • Technology upgrades

How can I access the required application documents?  
Click the links below to access all the required documentation:  
Application (click here)   
  
When can I submit the application?  
You can email the application and all required documents to hotelassistance@harfordcountymd.gov starting on January 13, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. Email subject line must read the name of the business applicant.  All forms must be typed except for where legal signatures are required.   

Will an electronic or typed signature be accepted on the application, W-9, or Direct Deposit/EFT Form?  
No. A physical signature is needed on all forms.    

Can I receive these funds if I have already received another Harford County COVID-19 Business Relief grant?  
Yes.   
  
What if I applied for another Harford County COVID-19 Business Relief grants and was told I was ineligible. Can I still apply for the Hotel Relief Grant Program?  
If you applied for other relief grants and were deemed ineligible because your business did not meet criteria for eligibility, you may still be eligible for the Hotel Relief Grant Program and are encouraged to apply.  
  
What happens if I submit my application before January 13 at 8 a.m.?  
Applications and required documents WILL NOT be accepted prior to 8 a.m. on January 13, 2021. Any attempted email submission before 8 a.m. on January 13 will not be held in a queue and must be resubmitted for consideration.  
  
How many employees do I need to have in order to qualify for this grant?  
There is no employment requirement associated with this grant.  

What documentation do I need to submit?   

  • Fully-completed (typed) application (handwritten applications will not be accepted EXCEPT where a legal inked signature is required); 
  • Completed W9 form;   
  • Completed Direct Deposit Form. The Direct Deposit Form is also known as the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Form.

Please note: The subject line of your email submission must read your business name.  

I need to resubmit my application. Do I need to resubmit everything, or just what needed correction?  
Please resubmit your application with all the required paperwork, including that which needed to be corrected, to hotelassistance@harfordcountymd.gov. Your re-submission will be reviewed in the order it was received. 

How will I know if you have received my application?
You will receive an automated response confirming the receipt of your application. If you do not receive an automated response, please check your SPAM folder and/or verify the email address to which you submitted your application reads hotelassistance@harfordcountymd.gov.  

How can I find out the status of my application?
Applications are reviewed in the order they are received by our Relief Grant Response Team. Once an application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation that your application has been received and is under review. After all documents are reviewed for completion and accuracy by our team, you will receive notification from CARESgrantinformation@harfordcountymd.gov concerning the status of your application. An application may be rejected or returned for one or more of the following reasons: the business is ineligible under program terms; information provided in required documentation is inaccurate, and/or; the application or required documentation are incomplete. In the event that the application was rejected but the business is eligible, your notification of status will clearly identify the reasons for returning the application and you will be able to resubmit a new application with the required adjustments. Due to the large number of applications we are reviewing, we will not be providing individual updates of application status. 

What type of documentation will be required in the case of an audit? This would be documentation following generally accepted accounting principles for how the funds are expended, including but not limited to: financial records, payroll records, or receipts. Records of how the grant funds are used must be produced upon receiving a request from the federal government, the State of Maryland, and/or Harford County, and these records are subject to audit. 

What if I submit an incomplete application? Will I keep my place in line?  
If an incomplete application is received, the applicant will be notified of the issue regarding incompletion and asked to resubmit the fully completed application with all documentation. The applicant’s place in the queue will not be saved as other completed applications will continue moving forward.  
  
If I have applied for other Federal and/or State COVID-19 related assistance, can I still apply for this grant?  
Yes.   
  
When will I receive my grant funds?  
Applications will be processed and funded as quickly as possible.  
  
How many businesses will be awarded funds?  
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and eligible businesses will be awarded grants until dedicated funds are expended.  
  
Is there a physical address where I can mail or drop off my application?  
No. Applications will only be accepted electronically. The applications and documentation must be submitted in one email to hotelassistance@harfordcountymd.gov. An automated response will be generated, confirming receipt of the application.  
  
How much is the grant award?  
The county received $1,005,964 from the State of Maryland and the final amount of the hotel relief grant awards will be determined by the total number of qualified applicants.
  
Is a franchise eligible for this grant?  
Yes. The business will need to be located in Harford, meet the criteria, and expend the dollars in accordance with the grant.   
  
I operate multiple hotel locations throughout Harford County.  Can I apply for each location?  
Yes. Separate applications may be submitted for each hotel location in separate emails.   

Is the data that I submit secure?  
If the applicant prefers to submit data securely, it is the sole responsibility of the applicant to submit through a secured or encrypted format. Once data has been received by Harford County Government, all data at rest is encrypted in a secure format.   
  
What information is absolutely needed for the application to be complete?  
Businesses will need to provide outlined documentation to satisfy the grant requirements.   

Who will be reviewing the grant applications?  
An extensive first-come, first-served process has been established involving county staff from multiple departments and will include several stages of management review.  
  
With regards to the MD Public Information Act Disclosure for the Relief Grant Programs, what information and documentation submitted with the application is subject to public disclosure?  
Any document deemed a public record by the Maryland Public Information Act is subject to disclosure in response to a request under said law. For more information, visit https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/Pages/OpenGov/pia.aspx.   
  
How were the eligibility criteria established for the program?  
Harford County Government created the program in compliance with the State of Maryland Grant Agreement and focused on hospitality industry as the core of the program. While we do understand that some businesses may not be eligible for funds, we highly encourage those individuals to take advantage of the business resources available through the state of Maryland at https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/maryland-small-business-covid-19-emergency-relief-fund-programs.    

Who can I contact for assistance with the application?   
If you need assistance with assessing your eligibility or compiling the needed documents for your application, we advise that you consult with your financial or legal advisors. For assistance with filling out the application, please contact our local Small Business Development Center athttp://www.mdsbdc.umd.edu/locations/northern-region.