ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that seven manufacturing and retail businesses will receive $500,000 to expand and grow in Maryland Opportunity Zones, which are designated communities that are eligible for federal capital gains tax incentives.

“Our state has been working hard to supercharge investment and make Maryland’s 149 Opportunity Zones the most competitive ones in America,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland Opportunity Zone funds have already received more than $333 million of equity investments, and we continue to see the expansion of businesses, new jobs, and much-needed affordable housing in these areas.”

Today’s announcement is the second round of awards made through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program. The first round of grants was awarded in January 2021.

Tenth Ward Distillery, a woman-owned operation located in Frederick, received an award and was able to expand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many distilleries across the country, Pearce’s business chose to pivot from spirits and canned cocktails production to simple surface disinfectants, many of which were donated to front-line workers and businesses within the community.

“The grant is the only way we were able to afford to move during the COVID-19 pandemic since we suffered major financial losses,” said founder Monica Pearce. “We can’t thank the state enough for this opportunity. I can personally attest that it’s provided a boost both for Tenth Ward and hopefully the local economy as well.”

Distillery staffers recently welcomed Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford for a tour of the newly expanded space they purchased with their grant funding. With the award, the Tenth Ward Distillery was able to cover the cost to build out the new space, relocate, connect and install the equipment, and add three new employees.

“I was very impressed to see and hear how these microgrants were able to make a profound impact for this business, which gave back to the local community during the pandemic,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “The award kept their doors open, and it allowed them to expand during a very uncertain time.”

Awardees for the second round of microgrants, subject to local jurisdiction approval, are:

AlleganyAeon Technologies$80,400.00
Baltimore CityZest Tea, LLC$100,000.00
CharlesDiscovery Lane, LLC$70,000.00
KentTwigs and Teacups Chestertown LLC$100,000.00
WashingtonCrist Instrument Co Inc.$50,000.00
WicomicoMason-Dixon Machining, Inc.$50,000.00
WicomicoQuality Staffing Services, Inc.$49,600.00

For more information on Opportunity Zones in Maryland, visit For more information on the Neighborhood BusinessWorks program, visit

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