Business Development's Building Blocks Newsletter

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September 2020

 In this issue:

Business Spotlight

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The Landing at Woodyard Shopping Center Marshalls Has Opened!

Marshalls opens at Woodyard Shopping Center

The Business Development Section (BDS) team recently assisted Marshalls in Clinton with the permitting and licensing process. The recently added Marshalls adds to the cadre of new stores opening in the revitalized shopping center. Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread and Beauty Mart are among other stores that have recently opened at the center. “We are so excited to have attracted an array of different businesses to the Landing, and we have some great stores lined up to come in the near future,” said shopping center owner Joe Molle.

Milk & Honey Café Reopening in Bowie

The Milk & Honey Café in the Fairwood Green Shopping Center in Bowie reopened in late August after its closing in May. The BDS helped the new owners with the Use and Occupancy Permit and inspections processes. The new owners, Thompson Hospitality, implemented several changes, including renovating the interior, establishing an outdoor seating area, adding dinner options to the menu and extending the daily closing time to 10:00 p.m. They also have plans to serve alcoholic beverages.

Thompson Hospitality said they acquired the Milk & Honey Café due to its strong brand in the community and its location.

Milk & Honey Cafe composite of 3 pictures of storefront, renovated interior and new outdoor seating.

The Inside Scoop

Hair salon opens in an existing space as example of Use and Occupancy permit requirements

DPIE Process Article

Location, Location, Location:  Use and Occupancy Permits with a Change of Use

“Location, location, location.”  Even today, this old saying is important to aspiring entrepreneurs looking for a swanky place to establish a new business. Because a great location is key, an aspiring business owner may consider opening a hair salon in what was once a popular store, a day care business in what was previously a busy warehouse or setting up a restaurant in a medical building that drew significant foot traffic. As a new business owner embarks on signing a new commercial lease, it is critical they understand County zoning and permitting requirements related to changing the use of a property/building.

A business must be able to operate in the location selected. It is an absolutely critical step in seeking a Building Permit. The Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M–NCPPC) approves all uses for property in Prince George’ County. Prior to submitting a permit application, a business may get a zoning determination letter for their proposed site. This will assist in understanding what use is allowed at the site. New business owners must be aware that a Building Permit alone will not allow them to occupy a space. A Use and Occupancy Permit (U&O) is needed before a business owner can occupy, open and operate a business. The applicant must give a detailed work description, so the U&O Permit application will be combined with the Building Permit within one application, thus cutting down on multiple applications and numerous inspections. Once the building construction has passed inspections, you will be expected to abide by the U&O Checklist before passing the U&O inspection and receiving an issued U&O Permit. These steps are all covered in DPIE’s Tenant Fit-Outs Guide.

New businesses not changing the use of a building or doing any major updates to the building structure only need to submit the requisite information and documentation. Entrepreneurs who seek to advertise their business with a sign must submit a Sign Permit application as soon as possible in the application process.

Business Development Section: Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints


As an owner, you can request your architect, general contractor or whomever applies for your permits to list your contact information on the online permit application with "View Only" privileges. The invited party will get an automated email to inform them that they have been invited to access the application. If they do not have an account, they will be prompted to make one. This will allow the invited party to stay updated on the permit status and any outstanding tasks that need to be completed by the applicant.


There are two methods that you may use to schedule an inspection with DPIE. You may do so online by accessing the following Schedule Inspection link that directs you to the scheduling portal or via telephone by calling 301-883-5390. Remember to have the following information available when arranging for the inspection: contact number, case number and the request code. The request code identifies the inspection type needed. The following link provides a list of the request codes.


What's Happening?

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Business Development Section Events


Webinar 1:

Business Licensing

On September 24, the BDS held a webinar on Business Licensing including Trade Licenses, Food Trucks, Entertainment and others, as well as Multifamily, Single Family and Short-Term Rental Licenses.
To view the presentation, visit DPIE’s Business Licensing Webinar.

BDS webinar on business licensing
Peer Review Program webinar flyer with picture of blueprint and ruler

Webinar 2:

Building Plan Peer Review Program

The BDS recently held a webinar on the Building Plan Peer Review Program, an optional program offered to allow permit applicants to hire approved peer reviewers to review their building plans in lieu of having the building plans evaluated by DPIE personnel. The program reduces the review time associated with construction plan approval. To view the presentation, visit DPIE’s Peer Review Program Webinar.

Funding Opportunities

The Greenbelt Business Improvement and Recovery Fund offers immediate financial assistance to local small businesses whose operations have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide businesses with a grant for up to $10,000. This is a working capital grant which means that funds can be used to support operating expenses related to business interruption, improvements and continuity. Applicants must meet eligibility guidelines and provide evidence of financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant program is for Greenbelt-based small businesses only. Additional details can be found at the Business Improvement and Recovery Fund link.

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Business Community News

Advertising box for DPIE's free monthly ePlan TrainingEconomic Development Corporation ad for how COVID-19 affects small businesses videoMaryland Small Business Development Center webinar adPrince George's County Chamber of Commerce August meetings

Community Feedback

Community FeedbackCommunity Feedback Quote of BDS assistance by John Mason

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2020 Census


By law, every 10 years the U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. Your participation determines representation and how billions in federal funds are distributed. If our community is undercounted, friends and neighbors miss out on an estimated $18,250 per person over a 10-year period. Statewide, that’s a total of $26.6 billion over a 10-year period.


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