Baltimore Receives $8 Million in State Grant Funds for Economic Assistance for Hotels

Credit: Ken Stanek, https://baltimore.org/

(BALTIMORE February 17, 2021) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that the State of Maryland has released $8 million in grant funds to provide economic assistance to Baltimore City hotels impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City has designated Visit Baltimore, the official destination sales and marketing organization for the city, to manage and distribute these funds. Visit Baltimore will begin accepting applications tomorrow, Thursday, February 18.

“I want to thank Governor Hogan for making this crucial funding available for our hotels in Baltimore,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “While the pandemic is far from over and we have a long road of recovery ahead, these funds will help our hotels continue to weather these unprecedented times and play a key role in our economic rebound from COVID-19.”

In order to qualify for grant funding, hotels must have been open and operational prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and must have contributed sales tax revenue. Baltimore City hotels interested in applying for grant funds should fill out an application at baltimore.org/hotel-grants/.

As part of this statewide grant program, $50 million has been distributed across each county and Baltimore City based on the percentage of total sales tax revenue generated by the accommodations to the state. Hotels interested in this new grant must apply through their local jurisdiction. This direct relief can be used for payroll expenses, rent and utilities.

Per state guidelines, the distribution of funds must be complete by March 31, 2021 and hotels receiving the funds must have their doors open by May 1, 2021.

“Our hotel partners play an important role in Baltimore City’s tourism, and it’s no secret the industry has been decimated by COVID-19,” said Visit Baltimore President & CEO Al Hutchinson. “These funds are essential for local hotels to keep their doors open and safely welcome overnight visitors back to Baltimore when travelers are ready.”

In 2019, spending by travelers totaled $6 billion in direct spending throughout the city, supporting 86,827 total jobs and generating $750 million in state and city tax revenues.

“I look forward to working with Visit Baltimore to manage and distribute this essential  funding to Baltimore’s hotel community,” continued Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “We know that our hotels in Baltimore play a critical role in hosting our visitors and boosting our economy, and I am thrilled that this funding will provide our hotels with the much needed relief they deserve.”