Building Blocks Newsletter, January 2021

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January 2021

 In this issue:

Business Spotlight

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2 Choice Companies photos, Coming Soon banner, building they're moving into; gearing up to open a huge showroom of flooring and stairways.

Opening of Choice Companies in Largo

The Choice Companies will be opening its Southern Maryland showroom in a 99,000-square-foot industrial building at 8800 Lottsford Road at the intersection of Harry S. Truman Drive in Largo. The company’s headquarters is located in Prince Frederick. It has another showroom location in Owings Mills.

Choice Companies has been in business since 1976 and specializes in flooring and stairways for residential and commercial buildings. The BDS has assisted the company with the permits and inspections processes. For more information about the company, visit the Choice Companies website.

Inside Scoop

Business Development Section Launches Series of Web Pages

BDS icon serves as link to resources, image of arrow on DPIE web page

The Business Development Section now has a series of web pages on the DPIE website.  The web pages feature information on the mission of the section as well as helpful information and trainings on the permitting and licensing processes. Various pages feature frequently asked questions (FAQs), recommended resources, fact sheets, links to newsletters, and other areas of interest.  To view our information, visit the Business Development Section landing page.

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DPIE dropbox photo of small, tan, plastic sheds, are available for acceptance of documents, but procedures have changed.

DPIE Changes Its Drop Box Process

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DPIE has modified its delivery of services.  Although DPIE’s offices are closed to the public, the agency continues to assist our customers by providing virtual services and responding to inquiries.  To facilitate acceptance of documents and processing of applications, DPIE has changed its drop box procedures.  Access DPIE's website for details.

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ePlan Applicant User Guide cover

ePlan Monthly Virtual Training

New building and residential project applications must be submitted through the ePlan process. For customers new to the ePlan system, DPIE offers free monthly virtual ePlan Training sessions. Customers are trained on completing online applications and uploading plans for review. The sessions are held from 10 a.m. to 12 noon the third Thursday of each month via Zoom.

The next training is scheduled for January 21. Enrollment is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in attending must register by the second Thursday of the month via the ePlan Virtual Customer Training link. The following manual should be reviewed and printed out to bring to the virtual training. Those applicants who are unable to attend the class may review the following video. It explains the ePlan process step by step. Additional information about the ePlan training may be found on DPIE's main page of our website. 


Business Development Section: Helpful Hints

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Food trucks are allowed in Prince George's County with a permit; customers lined up at food truck for lunch


Food trucks may only operate during special events such as festivals, fairs and carnivals or within designated Food Truck Hubs. To apply for a Food Truck License, applicants may apply for a Mobile Food Service Facility Permit (individual license) or a Special Food Service Facility Permit (Food Truck Hub License). For additional information about the application process visit DPIE's web page on Food Truck Hubs.

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Bldg with new ownership lettering; A U and O Permit is required when change of tenant, use or ownership occurs; no construction needed


You must have a current Use and Occupancy Permit (U&O) issued by the County prior to moving into a new or an existing business, except if the business is located in the City of Laurel, which issues its own permits. U&O permits must be issued to the exact address the occupant will occupy. Visit DPIE's website for more information on how to obtain a U&O Permit.

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What's Happening?

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Funding Opportunities

Redevelopment Authority logo, purple building and agency name

Commercial Property Improvement Program Grant

Prince George’s County Redevelopment Authority (RDA) has issued its Commercial Property Improvement Program (CPIP) 2021 Funding Grant.  CPIP assists shopping center and main street owners in making improvements to exterior façade, lighting and other major building systems.  Applicants must submit their application no later than 3:00 p.m. on February 17, 2021.  For more details, click on Commercial Property Improvement Program (CPIP).

PFC Black Chamber Open Door Fund

The People for Change Coalition (PFC) Black Chamber has announced the COVID-19 Open-Door Fund, which provides grants to small businesses in Prince George’s County.  The fund provides between $1,000 to $3,000 on a rolling basis to businesses that have been open since 2019.  Click the Open Door Fund link for details.

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Business Community News

DPIE's Free ePlan Training for September adEconomic Development Corporation ad for how COVID-19 affects small businesses videoMaryland Small Business Development Center is a resourcePrince George's County Chamber of Commerce August meetings

Community Feedback

Community FeedbackBDS helpfulness quote by David Lewis, Business Manager, EDC

contact us

County, Prince George's Proud and DPIE logos, plus DPIE address, phone and email