BOOST Initiative

Downtown BOOST Program: Presented by Fearless will support the long-term success of five creative, Black-owned Baltimore businesses in Downtown Baltimore storefronts. Scroll down to learn more about the program and how to apply.



Seeking entrepreneurs that…

Present a strong business plan—Applicants should demonstrate in their application they can successfully execute their concept, as evidenced by financial performance, employment levels, and capital reserves.

Create a broad community impact—Priority will be given to businesses that seek to cross-pollinate with other businesses Downtown and provide signature experiences for both local residents and visitors.

Have original ideas—Businesses must be creative and unique for Downtown Baltimore. Priority will be given to businesses that offer services or products that do not exist anywhere else in Baltimore.

Support Downtown Baltimore’s recovery—Applicants should demonstrate in their application how their store will increase local foot traffic and attract new customers to Downtown Baltimore in the post-COVID economy.


Up to $50,000 in grants to support build-out and operations:

● Up to $20,000 toward the interior improvements of the retail space

● Up to $10,000 for exterior improvements and signage

● $20,000 BGE Energizing Small Business Grants. (BOOST grant recipients will also need to apply and qualify for BGE’s Grant Program but will be given priority consideration.)

● Affordable lease at one of 9 storefronts listed in the Downtown BOOST Program: Presented by Fearless Storefront Brochure

PLUS... robust technical, legal, marketing, zoning and permitting, and accounting support from local partners!


As in the rest of the country, storefront vacancies have increased in Downtown Baltimore due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Black-owned small business have been most at-risk for closure, and have historically had less access to capital. Additionally, targeted business incentives will ensure Downtown Baltimore’s retail sector has a swift and equitable recovery in 2021.


Download the BOOST Overview and Brochure for more details. Click Here.


● Fully completed Application Form

● Certification and Acknowledgment

● Proof of matching funds (optional)

● Proof of SDAT Status of Good Standing

● Business Plan

● Most recent year’s financial statement

● Cash Flow Statement


● Retail businesses that that have been operational and registered with the state of Maryland for at least 1 year, with preference for applicants of color

● Applicants should currently employ at least 2 employees

● Qualifying retail businesses includes any small business that will operate an open, activated storefront in which goods and services are exchanged, including: include food and beverage establishments, clothing stores, markets, and specialty retailers

● Businesses should be currently operating in the Greater Baltimore area, with priority given to those based in Baltimore City


Gather required materials and then CLICK HERE

-or- Download the PDF Application and submit via email to Sam Storey,


UPDATE! We are hosting information sessions to go over the program guidelines in detail and take questions. Registration is required.
Previously recorded: Thursday, February 11, 5pm - View Now


Downtown BOOST Program: Presented by Fearless will match awardees with retail spaces in the Downtown along the Charles Street, Calvert Street, Pratt Street and Howard Street corridors. Review the storefront brochure for architectural drawings, build out details, and maps of each location (Pages 12-19 of the BOOST Overview).


Downtown BOOST Program: Presented by Fearless is supported by our sponsors and program partners.