2020 | Business

Business Notes: Applications for Montgomery County business grants due Nov. 5

Plus: Washington Sports Clubs closes in Silver Spring; groundbreaking planned for Bethesda memory home

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The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation is accepting applications through Nov. 5 for a business grant program.

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Economic Development Corporation accepting grant applications for business grants

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) is accepting applications from businesses through Nov. 5 as part of its “Reopen, Relaunch and Reimagine Initiative.”

The grant program gives up to $5,000 to local restaurants and retailers to prepare for the upcoming holiday season and winter months. Its goal is to help businesses recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses can apply here.

According to a press release, any owner of a locally owned restaurant or shop with fewer than 100 employees can apply for the grant. Priority will be given to the following areas:

  • Burtonsville/Briggs Chaney
  • Wheaton/Glenmont
  • White Oak
  • Aspen Hill
  • Germantown
  • Damascus
  • Takoma-Langley
  • Four Corners
  • Montgomery Hills
  • Twinbrook/White Flint

The MCEDC grant program is separate from others that Montgomery County government has offered during the pandemic.

Washington Sports Clubs closes in Silver Spring

Washington Sports Clubs has permanently closed its downtown Silver Spring location.

On Tuesday morning, there was a sign on the door of the membership-based fitness center at 901 Wayne Ave. that the club had permanently closed.

Members who were charged this month will get a prorated refund, the message stated. Members were encouraged to check their email for updates.

Washington Sports Clubs’ parent company, Town Sports International, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Delaware last month.

The Silver Spring location is the second that Washington Sports Clubs has closed recently in Montgomery County.

The downtown Bethesda location closed this summer. Its website states that the North Bethesda location on Old Georgetown Road is still open.

Source of the Spring first reported the closure of the Silver Spring location on Tuesday.

Bethesda church will break ground Friday on memory care home

St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at noon on Friday for a memory care home that will be finished next summer. The event is at the home’s site at 7701 Bradley Blvd. in Bethesda.

The home will provide assisted living and memory care for eight people who are members of the Orthodox churches in the greater Washington area, according to a press release.

Among those who will attend Friday’s ceremony are representatives from several area Orthodox churches, including those who helped fund the project and principals of the builder, Larmax Homes.

There will be a small reception following the ceremony, adhering to social distancing guidelines, the press release stated.

County warning customers about third-party ordering services

Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection is warning customers and restaurant owners about the fees charged by third-party ordering services such as Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash.

A press release from the county on Tuesday warns that companies that deliver charge restaurants commissions of 20 to 40 percent per order.

“Many patrons are unaware of these high costs, and therefore do not know to seek more sustainable ways to support their favorite eateries,” the press release stated.

County Executive Marc Elrich said in the press release that the county will explore “legislative remedies.”

“Many residents have been eager to support their local restaurants by getting take-out and delivery. I don’t think they realize how much some of these delivery services charge the restaurants, and I think that this is an important step – to let customers know that the restaurants may be paying way too much to these companies,” he said. “Numerous states and local governments continue to craft creative legislation to address nationwide issues related to food delivery apps.”

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com