MD-SERI Grant Program for Main Street Small Businesses 2021

Application Process and Eligibility

Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street (HLMS) has the opportunity to disperse Covid Emergency Relief Grants for Main Street Communities, funded by the State of Maryland to support local businesses within the HLMS catchment area. HLMS represents one of the largest designated Baltimore City Main Streets covering over 1.5 miles in length. The need-based grant will be awarded through a grant application process open to all eligible businesses based on the criteria explained below. A portion of the money will be used to provide advertising and other activities that will broadly benefit all HLMS businesses.

HLMS has created an objective, transparent process for determining which applicants are eligible and will be awarded using a scoring rubric. The grant will be administered by HLMS staff and board members. There are three deadlines you can pick from, March 12nd, March 26th, and April 16th at 5:00 PM. Applications will remain open and awards will be given out on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted.

Please check your spam folder or contact us if you do not hear back 5 business days after your application is submitted.

All application information disclosed to HLMS will be kept strictly confidential and not be sold or otherwise released to any entity other than requirements for complying with grant reporting for this grant. Documentation showing need will be required to receive funds. After grant funding is utilized, additional documentation will be requested to show proper use of grant funds.

About the Grant:

SERI grants are one-time awards with no repayment due. Grant funds are awarded based on need. Grant funding will be available to industries and businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the criteria set forth. At this time and contingent on multiple factors, it is estimated grant award will be $1,000. HLMS cannot guarantee that all applications will be funded nor the full requested amount will be awarded. If any funds remain at the end of the program, requests for additional funding for specific or extraordinary cases will be heard by the grant review committee.


Locally-owned small businesses who meet all 3 eligibility standards are eligible for funding. As set forth by the State and the terms of this grant, a business must:

  1. Have a permanent, physical address located within the catchment area of the Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street commercial district (see zoning map);

  1. Be in good standing with the State of Maryland; AND

  1. Have suffered demonstrable loss in revenues and/or increase in costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic from March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020.

Revenue loss or increased costs as a result of COVID-19 may be proven by many factors including, but not limited to:

  • Past years revenue/tax returns vs 2020 revenues

  • Gross receipts

  • Loss of bookings/events

  • COVID related capital expenses, such as walk up windows, barriers, lighting, outdoor furniture

  • PPE supplies/sanitization services

  • Utility bills

  • Mortgage/rent bills

  • Bank statements from previous months (Business Account statements Preferably)

  • Canceled checks

  • Wages

  • Equipment rentals

  • License fees

  • Insurance costs

  • Or any other method of proving revenues and expenses

Please contact Regina Lansinger directly to discuss any issues or concerns regarding documentation, eligibility, how to look up permits, etc.

Scoring Criteria

A committee will meet on a regular basis or as needed to review applications. All applications will be scored according to a points system scoring matrix. An impartial grant review committee will review grant applications immediately after the 2 deadlines in March, and every month thereafter. Businesses will receive scoring points for specific needs and COVID-19 related revenue reductions or increased expenses.

Businesses who have applied for but have not received other grants/loans/funding from other sources or who were not eligible for other funding sources will be prioritized. Business required to be closed for extended periods of time based on State and/or local regulations will also be prioritized.

Eligible Uses of Grant Funds

Grant funds can be used towards the following:

  • Rent/mortgage (payment will be paid directly to landlord)

  • Utility expenses

  • Staffing expenses

  • Paid sick leave for COVID positive employees

  • Capital purchases for COVID related equipment or systems

  • Exterior enhancement such as signage and walk-up windows

  • Third-party delivery fees

  • Additional expenses not covered by other relief grants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Future/upcoming expenses will be considered on a case-by-case-basis.

Expenses can be reimbursements starting from March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020, or for future purchases up until June 15, 2021, as long as documentation can be provided. All funds must be spent and receipts/documentation submitted by June 15, 2021.

Grant Info Session- Learn more more SERI

Thursday, March 18 at 7:00 PM

Thursday, March 25 at 8:00 AM

Wednesday, April 7 at 8:00 PM

Please join an optional virtual meeting to learn more about the grant application and process. There will be time for questions and answers. Community news and updates will be shared as well.

Meeting Link:

Meeting ID: 854 9454 3376

Click here to see how to use Zoom

How to Apply

Step 1: Complete form online. LINK HERE

Or download FORM HERE. Paper copies are available upon request. Forms can be dropped off or emailed to HLMS.

Deadline(s) are:

Friday, March 12, 2021 at 5:00 PM


Friday, March 26 at 5:00 PM


Friday, April 16 at 5:00 PM

NEW: Round 2 applications are due May 18, 2021 by 11:59 PM.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis if funds are available.

Step 2: Schedule one-on-one meeting with HLMS staff to review application. Meeting can be done virtually or in-person. Please check your spam folder or contact us if you do not hear back 5 business days after your submission.

Step 3: Submit requested documentation/paperwork

Step 4: Pick up your check or receive a check by mail

Step 5: After funds are expended, submit receipts or documentation to HLMS. Must provide this proof of funds used 30 days after, or before June 15, 2021, which ever comes first.

Step 6: Complete program survey. Must be completed 30 days after funds are used, or before June 15, 2021, which ever comes first.

Questions? Contact HLMS staff

Regina Lansinger, Director

Questions regarding eligibility

410-319-7150 office

443-414-7606 cell

Julie Lin, Program Manager

Technical Assistance, online issues, or application

443-540-8272 cell

NEW: Accepting applications- Round 2- due May 18, 2021 before midnight.

If you have already applied, you do not need to do anything. Your application will automatically be included in the second round.

Grant Q & A available on Facebook