State Restaurant Assistance Grant

state restaurant grant funding-01
Application period open 8 a.m. February 3, 2021 - 5 p.m. February 19, 2021
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The Program
Harford County food service and beverage establishments will be eligible to receive additional funding through the State Restaurant Assistance Grant Program Round Two administered by Harford County to offset COVID-19 related costs associated with supporting and sustaining operations.

The funds are provided locally through the State of Maryland and were released as a second round of funding for restaurants announced as part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s latest economic relief package. The total amount of the grant award will be determined by the final number of approved program applicants. 

Applications can be submitted beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, February 3; the deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on Friday, February 19. Applicants should thoroughly review the eligibility requirements and application process below and read the Frequently Asked Questions.

A business may receive a grant allocation from this State Restaurant Assistance Grant even if they have already received funding through other Harford County COVID-19 business relief grant programs or another State of Maryland funded grant, including the Harford County COVID-19 Winter Restaurant Relief Grant Program and the previous round of State Restaurant Relief Grant funding.  

Grant Terms  
Harford County will provide a grant award to an eligible Harford County food service establishment to be used to sustain operations.   

Use of Funds 
Funds must be used for:
  • Working capital, such as rent, payroll, and job training;
  • Purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining such as tents, heaters, warmers, and carts;
  • Infrastructure improvements such as HVAC system upgrades;
  • Technology to support carry-out and delivery;
  • Purchase of PPE and disposable food containers and utensils;
  • Sanitizing services; or 
  • Other costs permitted under a State Restaurant Assistance Grant that grantee, or any municipal corporation located within grantee's jurisdiction, may already be operating as of the effective date of this agreement. 
To qualify, a restaurant must: 
  • Be located in Harford County;  
  • Own, rent, or lease a permanent or mobile commercial food and/or beverage service location in Harford County (home-based food service establishments are not eligible);  
  • Have been in operation prior to February 1, 2021;  
  • Be open to the public primarily for on-site food and/or beverage preparation and service; 
  • Be in good standing with Harford County Government, and registered with the state, if required to do so by law; and
  • Not be in default on any loans from Harford County or delinquent on any taxes, fees, or other charges owed to Harford County.  
Businesses that do not qualify for this funding source may visit 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 
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: 
  • Fully-completed application;
  • Completed W9 form; and 
  • Completed Direct Deposit Form (also known as the Electronic Funds Transfer Form). 
To Apply  
Submit a complete and accurate application with all required supporting documentation via email to: with your business name as the subject line. All applicants must ensure the accuracy of their legal business name and address when completing and signing their application, W9, and Direct Deposit/EFT forms. Incomplete and inaccurate applications may need corrections and/or adjustments after being reviewed, which will delay grant approval. The applicant’s place in line will not be held.

Only submit an application one time; applicants will receive an email confirming their submission. Harford County will only accept electronic, typed (except for legal inked signatures) applications at beginning Wednesday, February 3 at 8 a.m. Applications sent before 8 a.m. on February 3 will not be held in a queue and must be resubmitted for consideration. Anyone who needs assistance with assessing their eligibility or compiling the required documents is advised to consult with their financial or legal adviser.           

After filling out your application, please take the brief survey found at
COVID Application
  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Payment Form Questions

Harford County will administer a State Restaurant Assistance Grant Program, which will provide grants to eligible Harford County food service and beverage establishments to offset COVID-19 related costs in regard to supporting and sustaining operations. The total amount of the grant award will be determined by the final number of program applicants. 


Does my business qualify?  
To qualify, a restaurant must:  

  • Must be located in Harford County;  
  • Must own, rent, or lease a permanent or mobile commercial food and/or beverage service location in Harford County (home-based food service establishments are not eligible);  
  • Must have been in operation prior to February 1, 2021;  
  • Must be open to the public for on-site food and/or beverage preparation and service;  
  • Must be in good standing with Harford County Government, and registered with the state, if required to do so by law; and 
  • 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 are to be used for the sustainment of operations. These costs may include, but are not limited to:  

  • Working capital, such as rent, payroll, and job training 
  • Purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining, such as tents, heaters, warmers, and carts 
  • Infrastructure improvements, such as HVAC system upgrades 
  • Technology to support carryout and delivery 
  • Purchase of PPE and disposable food containers and utensils 
  • Sanitization services 

My business serves food/drink, but that's not its primary purpose. Am I still eligible?
No, businesses must be primarily for on-site food and/or beverage preparation and service.

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 starting on February 3, 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.  

When is the deadline for applications?

The deadline is Friday, February 19 at 5:00 p.m.

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?  
What if I applied for another Harford County COVID-19 Business Relief grants or State of Maryland funded grants and was told I was ineligible. Can I still apply for the State Restaurant Assistance 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 Restaurant Assistance Grant Program and are encouraged to apply.


What could make me eligible for this program if I was ineligible for other Harford County COVID-19 Business Relief grants? 

Some examples of newly eligible businesses may include: mobile food service establishments; food and/or beverage service establishments that have been in operation since October 1, 2020; or food and/or beverage service establishments that did not meet employee requirements for the Small Business Relief Grant; Seasonal establishments and establishments not open a minimum of 5 days per week.  
What happens if I submit my application before February 3 at 8 a.m.?  
Applications and required documents WILL NOT be accepted prior to 8 a.m. on February 3, 2021. Any attempted email submission before 8 a.m. on February 3 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 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  


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 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?  
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 at the conclusion of the application period.
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 An automated response will be generated, confirming receipt of the application.
How much is the grant award?  
The amount will be determined by the total number of 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 am a convenience store who prepares and sells food. Am I eligible?  

Yes, but all food must be prepared and served on location.  


I am a mobile food service location that operates in Harford County. Am I eligible?  

Yes, if the business’ address of registration is in Harford County and all food is prepared and served on location.  
I operate multiple restaurants or restaurant locations throughout Harford County. Can I apply for each location?
Yes. Separate applications may be submitted for each restaurant location in separate emails.  


Can I use the funds for expenses associated with a tent to expand seating capacity outside of my restaurant?  


If I prepare food in one location but serve it in another, am I eligible?  

No, all food must be prepared and served on location.  


Are home-based business eligible?  

No, home-based businesses are ineligible for the program.  


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
How were the eligibility criteria established for the program?  
Harford County Government created the program in compliance with state of Maryland parameters and focused on businesses 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  


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 at