MoCo Council Enacts Nation’s First Local Biotech Matching Funds Program
On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council unanimously enacted a bill to establish a the nation’s first local matching funds program for local biotech businesses that receive federal Small Business innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.
Though several states have similar programs in place and this idea was floated in the Maryland State legislature as recently as 2016 by Senator Brian Feldman (D-15), this makes Montgomery County the first local jurisdiction in the nation to enact a SBIR/STTR matching fund.
Councilmember Leventhal was the lead sponsor of the local legislation and has stated that the County’s biotech industry is critically important for the County’s future. All other Councilmembers were co-sponsors of the legislation.
Bill 41-17 establishes a County matching grant for County-based small businesses that receive either a Phase I or Phase II grant under either the SBIR or the STTR from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). County grant awards will be provided up to 25% of a Phase I grant with a cap of $25,000, or 25% of a Phase II grant up to $75,000, subject to appropriations. A grantee may receive one County matching grant each year and a total of five County matching grants under this program. The bill was approved with a 7 year sunset provision, meaning that this would get revisited as a program in 7 years’ time.
The goal of this legislation is to encourage small businesses that receive federal SBIR/STTR grants to locate and expand in the County.
SSGovRelations, LLC Founder & CEO, Steve Silverman, represented a coalition of local biotech companies in advocating for the creation of this innovative economic development program. Now that the program has been established, the Council must decide whether to fund it during the upcoming budget process, which should wrap up in mid-late May.
Jordan Silverman. “MoCo Council Enacts Nation’s First Local Biotech Matching Funds Program.” SSGovRelations. 3/22/2018.