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Date: Oct 15, 2020

Up to $30,000 Grants to Support Holiday Lighting, Welcome Signs, Website Development, Farmers Markets and More

Recognizing the need for additional support for Baltimore County’s small business corridors amid the pandemic, County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced an expansion of the Commercial Revitalization Action Grant program, providing grants of up to $30,000 to eligible business associations.

“Main streets are the bedrock of our communities and we’re proud to do even more to help our small, independent businesses offer safe, secure, and festive shopping and entertainment experiences,” said Olszewski. “We are pleased to provide increased support for our invaluable small businesses as we continue building a better Baltimore County together.”

Baltimore County traditionally offers annual grants of up to $10,000 to business associations in County Commercial Revitalization Districts for projects that benefit businesses in their communities, such as holiday lighting, welcome signs, website development, street trees, security cameras, farmers markets and more.

This year, Baltimore County is making grants of up to $30,000 available, allowing business associations to increase their investment in neighborhoods at a time when so many small businesses have struggled with lost revenue.

Supporting Commercial Revitalization Districts

Baltimore County's 18 officially designated Commercial Revitalization Districts are provided support from County officials who work closely with businesses, property owners, business associations and communities to provide a range of services aimed at maintaining the health and vitality of neighborhood commercial areas.

Baltimore County's Commercial Revitalization Districts are:

  • Arbutus
  • Baltimore National Pike
  • Catonsville
  • Cowenton-Ebenezer
  • Dundalk
  • Essex
  • Lansdowne
  • Liberty Road
  • Loch Raven
  • Merritt-Sollers Point
  • North Point
  • Overlea-Rossville
  • Parkville
  • Perry Hall
  • Pikesville
  • Reisterstown
  • Towson
  • Woodlawn

For more information about the Commercial Revitalization Action Grant program, please visit the County’s website or email Applications are open until October 30, 2020.

Reisterstown Designated Main Street Maryland

Olszewski announced the expanded grant program today during a tour of Main Street in Reisterstown, which in September officially received a Main Street Maryland designation.

Created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Main Street Maryland program strives to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods.

The Olszewski administration made efforts to secure a Main Street Maryland Designation in Reisterstown a top priority.

Reisterstown is the second officially designated Maryland Main Street in Baltimore County.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced an important step forward in the digital transformation of Baltimore County, launching the first phase of the County’s newly redesigned website——which features a completely revamped homepage, improved accessibility options, and streamlined access to the most frequently used services.

Visitors are encouraged to provide feedback about their experience, which will help shape additional improvements over the coming months.

“Government should be open and accessible for all our residents and Baltimore County’s newly designed website will empower visitors to easily access the critical services and information they need to be engaged and informed,” Olszewski said. “This new site will provide all users—on any device—with a better online experience so they can more easily access the full menu of County resources so that we can better serve the residents of Baltimore County.”

New Features and Functionality to Improve User Experience

In addition to the new look and feel, the Beta launch of the website released today provides a more user-oriented experience, offering visitors access to information that follows current best web practices, mobile optimization and ADA accessibility standards.

Throughout the development process, the County prioritized the following principles:

  • Clear, straightforward content that answers questions of Baltimore County constituents
  • Easy to use navigation and site search to quickly find content
  • Interaction over narrative content
  • Minimum page elements with maximum convenience of use

“I’m really proud of the work that our team put into this project. We know that more than 60 percent of Baltimore County’s website users access the site using a mobile device, so we prioritized developing an interface that allows for easier interaction,” said Baltimore County Chief Information Officer Rob O’Connor. “After the Beta release, the team will continue to review feedback and conduct user testing so that we can provide an optimal experience for anyone wanting to interact with Baltimore County online.”

Completely Redesigned Homepage

Upon accessing the Baltimore County homepage, constituents and visitors are presented with the most commonly requested services on the County website. With nearly 6,000 pages and millions of visits annually, the County’s web team identified the most commonly used services to feature, which include:

  • Pay and View Property Taxes
  • Pet Adoption
  • Police and Fire News
  • Careers with Baltimore County
  • Schedule Lookup for Trash and Recycling
  • Jury Duty
  • Pay a Ticket
  • County Parks Directory and Information Page
  • County Code and Zoning Regulation
  • Directory of All County Services Offered

Extensive, constituent-driven research and analysis of hundreds of sessions helped drive the first phase of the redesign. Over the next year, Baltimore County will continue updating all sections of the site and modifying the design based on user feedback.

Constituents are encouraged to look through the site and provide feedback.

Revised October 16, 2020               
A new website for Baltimore County

We're working to provide you with a better experience, and want your feedback. Learn more about our project and give your feedback.