Senator Eckardt’s update: Accountability and Implementation Board seeks applications

By Addie Eckardt, Special to Dorchester Banner
Posted 6/3/22

ANNAPOLIS - The Accountability and Implementation Board for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is creating four advisory committees to be made up of a wide diversity of voices from across the …

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Senator Eckardt’s update: Accountability and Implementation Board seeks applications


ANNAPOLIS - The Accountability and Implementation Board for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is creating four advisory committees to be made up of a wide diversity of voices from across the state to share input and feedback with the AIB on Blueprint implementation.

The purpose of these advisory committees is as follows:

  1. To channel input from various stakeholders representing the rich diversity of Maryland with members and perspectives coming from diverse geographic, racial, ethnic, cultural and gender backgrounds
  2. To identify problems, challenges and barriers that may arise and provide insights and suggestions on what the AIB can do to address them
  3. To share successes and provide input/feedback on how the work of the Accountability and Implementation Board and the Blueprint implementation are progressing

Nominations: If you know of someone who should be considered for selection for an advisory committee, you can nominate them by sending the first and last name and email address of a potential applicant to by Monday, June 6.

Applications are due no later than midnight Monday, June 20. There will be an information session on Thursday, June 2, at 12 p.m.

State Revitalization Programs Application Portal opens

These programs offer funding to support local housing, community and economic development and other revitalization projects. They are part of the department’s commitment to helping the state’s local governments and nonprofit agencies achieve their community revitalization and economic development goals.

Specifically, Gov. Larry Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget includes the following for State Revitalization programs:

  • Community Legacy: $8 million capital
  • Strategic Demolition Fund – Statewide: $9 million capital
  • Strategic Demolition Fund – Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise): $21 million capital
  • Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative: $12 million capital
  • National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund: $7 million capital
  • Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund: $10 million capital

If this is your first time applying to one of the aforementioned State Revitalization Programs, contact a regional project manager for more information and to determine your eligibility.

Applications are due Wednesday, July 13, at 3 p.m.

St. Michaels Community Center

The St. Michaels Community Center recently received three grants from the Mid-Shore Community Foundation to expand the nonprofit’s food support program with $10K in funding and to help fund the Community Center’s recently announced capital campaign for an adaptive redesign of the center’s building with an additional $25k in grants.

SMCC’s food distribution program also includes a community food pantry; a weekend backpack program; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Women, Infants and Children nutrition outreach and services; after-school and childcare meals and snacks; summer program participant meals; and more. The Community Center also participates in the Talbot County Hunger Coalition to help eliminate food insecurity for low-income individuals and families in Talbot County.

SMCC’s Community Café and pantry are currently open three days a week to provide meals and groceries for anyone in need, with limited local delivery provided by a group of dedicated volunteers. The St. Michaels Community Center also hosts food drives and holiday meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, along with year-round engaging programs and activities for children and adults.

USDA approves funding for Oxford

USDA has recently approved a loan of $2,572,000 and a grant of $2,102,000 to the town of Oxford for the improvement of quality and quantity of drinking water. Funds were awarded from the Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants program.

This Rural Development investment will be used to improve the quality and quantity of drinking water for the 651 residents of the town of Oxford. The Water System Improvement project includes the replacement of aging water mains, meters and communication systems, as well as the rehabilitation of the town’s water treatment system. Construction is expected to take two years and will result in enhanced treatment for arsenic and fluoride, more efficient communication and billing, and increased water flow necessary for emergency response.

Global Gateway Initiative

During the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Gov. Hogan announced a $2 million investment in the state’s innovative Global Gateway Initiative. Managed by the Maryland Department of Commerce, this first-in-the-nation program helps attract international businesses and ease their transition into the U.S. market by connecting them with local incubators and accelerators.

There are nearly 20 accelerators and incubators throughout the state currently participating in the initiative, which builds on the state’s Soft Landing Program announced last year during the SelectUSA Investment Summit.

In recent weeks, Maryland has welcomed a number of major international businesses, including railcar manufacturer Hitachi Rail in Washington County, diagnostic test maker Ellume in Frederick, and ZIM Shipping Lines at the Port of Baltimore.

This inaugural investment in the program will fund payments for the first 50 participating companies to assist with incubator rent costs and company registration, enhance marketing for the program, support participating incubators with website improvements, and provide seed funding to launch an innovation lab with L Marks. The funding will also allow the Maryland Department of Commerce to continue offering opportunities for training and market development, as well as one-on-one counseling for participating companies to provide guidance on the business registration process, and ongoing services and resources.

Maryland businesses are also eligible for the program, allowing them to engage with partner incubators while exploring new markets abroad. Companies can apply for an ExportMD grant for up to $5,000 to help offset the cost of their participation.

For more information, visit 

Eastern Shore Business Sentiment Survey opens

Counties on the Eastern Shore conduct the Eastern Shore Business Sentiment Survey every six months, gathering important input from local business leaders. The data collected by these surveys will be used to identify challenges facing the region, to assist in long-term planning, and to guide the development of public policy.

The second six-month survey is currently open and will close June 10. Visit to view the full Business Sentiment Survey results and more.