TAKOMA PARK, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland leaders are calling for funding to help businesses affected by the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George’s County.
Construction of the Purple Line began a few years ago, and since then, more than 60 businesses took a hard hit in the Takoma Park area. Now, officials are asking Governor Hogan to allow $2 million in funds to help the struggling businesses. In addition to the already existing challenges, such as lack of parking, noise, road closures, and traffic, there is an extra burden of COVID-19 closures and restrictions.
Officials say as the fate of the Purple Line remains uncertain, many small, minority, and immigrant-owned businesses are left without help. Last week, Gov. Hogan announced a business relief package that will withdraw $250 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund. It is unclear when businesses will benefit. Del. Jheanelle Wilkins (D) stated, “With a stroke of a pen, he can spend this money and get it into the hands of these businesses today.” Takoma Park Mayor, Kate Stewart said, “This is not just some inconvenience for a few months. We’ve been living this for years, and now the future is uncertain.”
So far, six businesses have closed in the district along with University and New Hampshire Avenue due to Purple Line construction, the pandemic, or both.