Businesses Disrupted by Wheaton Town Plaza Construction May Be Compensated

WASHINGTON — Close to 100 businesses in Wheaton that could be impacted by the ongoing construction of a new, 14-story Montgomery County office building and town plaza, may get compensated for interruption of their businesses.

The Montgomery County Council has created a Small Business Assistance Program to provide both technical and financial assistance to qualified downtown Wheaton, Maryland, businesses that can demonstrate financial impact to their businesses since construction began in June on the Wheaton Town Plaza project.

Construction is expected to last for three years.

Under the program, businesses could be eligible to receive up to $75,000 over the three year construction period for documented declines in their business directly attributable to the construction project.

The new, 308,000-square-foot Wheaton Town Plaza office building will be home to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which is relocating from downtown Silver Spring.

It will also house several county departments and will have street level retail space.

Adjacent to the building will be a 20,000-square-foot entertainment plaza being built on the current site of the Mid-County Regional Services Center, which is moving into the new office building.

“Big plans sometimes have growing pains, and to ease the pain of the existing small businesses that we want to be part of the revitalized Wheaton, we have created this innovative program,” said County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett.

“Before this project began, we promised these businesses that have been the fabric of Downtown Wheaton that we would provide help to them, and through this program, we are doing just that in a way rarely found in any development project in the nation.”

Many of the businesses in the area are small, single-proprietor businesses with Latino ownership.

The program also includes nonfinancial assistance, including help with marketing and business planning that take into consideration the changes during construction.

The County said businesses can apply for assistance to the County’s Department of Finance, which is overseeing the program, starting Sept. 5 online.

The first of quarterly reimbursements could be made to businesses owners within weeks of applications, the County said.

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