Building Blocks Newsletter, May 2021

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May 2021

 In this issue:

Business Spotlight

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Happy Farm Botanicals Opening in Hyattsville

Pic of building and products - Happy Farm Botanicals is bringing natural beauty care products to Hyattsville.

The Business Development Section (BDS) recently assisted the owner of Happy Farm Botanicals with the DPIE permitting and inspection process for their facility on West Street in Hyattsville. West Street will serve as their headquarters and manufacturing and storage facility. Established in 2013, Happy Farm is a boutique formulator and manufacturer of natural and nontoxic health and beauty products. The company specializes in skin, body and hair care products, but also produces pet care and household goods.

With 30 employees and growing, Happy Farm owner Hamed Alaghebandian said he relocated his company to Prince George’s from a neighboring jurisdiction due largely to the assistance he received from the County’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC). He said the EDC helped him find a facility that would meet the company’s needs and allow him to expand. For more information about Happy Farm Botanicals, visit the company’s website.

The Inside Scoop

How to Get a Short-Term Rental License in the County

picture of RENTAL written on chalk board with notebook and pen

It’s that time of the year – the cusp of summer – when the birds are chirping, the sun is shining brightly, the temperatures are rising and travelers are looking for vacation destinations. After a year of people being locked inside due to the pandemic, the summer of 2021 is expected to be a landmark year for travel, and, as usual, the DMV is expected to draw record numbers of visitors. Prince George’s County, with its abundance of attractions and close proximity to Washington, D.C., Annapolis and Northern Virginia, is a prime location for summer visitors. Travelers have several options when deciding where to stay, from luxury hotels to more affordable motels to short-term rentals, which are popular with families and groups because they offer many of the amenities of home. Demand for short-term rentals has increased exponentially in recent years, offering opportunities for property owners to make money while sharing their homes with vacationers.

Prince George’s County is one of many jurisdictions that have experienced increased demand for short-term rentals. To support this booming business model, the County established a Short-Term Rentals Program. Under the program, homeowners must follow regulations implemented to ensure the rentals operate safely and do not create problems in the communities in which they are located. Homeowners must obtain a Short-Term Rental License. Rentals cannot exceed 30 days during any one continuous stay, and the maximum number of renters is limited to eight people. Owners must work with an established platform company, such as Airbnb, Vrbo or TripAdvisor, to do their bookings. Before proceeding with a platform, owners should make sure the platform has an approved rental license from the County. Additional requirements include providing photo evidence that the Homestead Tax Credit, which proves the property is the primary residence of the owner, has been approved. Other requirements should also be thoroughly researched before applying for a Short-Term Rental License.

Customers may apply online and upload documentation into DPIE’s new Momentum system. For customers needing additional guidance, L.I.S.A, DPIE's Live Interactive Support Associate, shows the Momentum registration process in how-to videos for individual host owners and platforms. Customers may also download the instruction manual from the Momentum page to assist them as they register. In order to have enough time for processing yearly renewals, customers should pay close attention to their license expiration date. Most importantly, failure to abide by County regulations could result in a $1,000 citation. A homeowner caught renting without a rental license may be permanently banned from licensure. Customers who receive citations may have the matter adjudicated before the Administrative Hearing Unit.  

As you plan for the summer, renting out your property can be rewarding for both the owner and the renter. DPIE’s Enforcement Division staff are available to assist owners and platforms in getting their Short-Term Rental License. Email questions related to rental licenses to For additional information, visit DPIE’s Short-Term Rentals FAQs.

Helpful Hints

Helpful Hintswhite space barWSSC logo with water drop and words Where Water Matters

Obtaining Plumbing Inspections

DPIE does not regulate water and sewer permits. County plumbing inspections are performed by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).  WSSC aids new development or redevelopment projects to facilitate the process of obtaining water and/or sewer plan approvals and permits. Applicants should contact WSSC at 301-206-8886 or 301-206-4003 for more information on plumbing inspections.

white space barscreen shot of ePlan online portal - sign in to check status of permit review

Checking the Status of Review in ePlan

To get an update on the status of your permit, applicants may log into the ePlan portal and click on ePlan Project Reports and access Parallel Review — Department Review Status Report.  This report has information about the permit status, the reviewer’s email and the reviewer’s comments.

What's Happening?

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Business Development Section

Drawing of 5 heads overlapping and intersecting with ideas, lightbulb, puzzle, headset and words Webinar


Over the last year, the BDS has conducted several webinars and prepared PowerPoint presentations for the business community on a variety of DPIE processes. These include:

• Building and Use and Occupancy Permits

• Inspections

• Special Events

• Business Licensing, and more

Customers may access the presentations here.


Funding Opportunities

BGE that's smart energy, Alice, and Global Entrepreneurship logos – companies collaborate to offer small business grants

BGE Energizing Small Business Grant

BGE, in partnership with Hello Alice and Global Entrepreneurship Network, has pledged $15 million for Maryland small businesses to assist with COVID-19 relief and recovery. Eligible businesses must be in BGE’s service area in order to apply for the $20,000 grant. For more information, visit bgehelloalice.

Maryland Financial Incentives for Businesses

A variety of financial programs are available from the State, including grants, loans and other funds for job creation, agriculture, small businesses and veteran-owned businesses. For more information, visit the Maryland Financial Incentives for Business website.

Maryland Financial Incentives for Business
Economic Development Incentive (EDI) Fund, words on green background

Economic Development Incentive (EDI) Fund

The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) sponsors an Economic Development Incentive (EDI) Fund for expansion of the County’s commercial tax base, job retention and attraction, support for small and local businesses, promotion of development and redevelopment opportunities, as well as transit-oriented development. For more information, visit the Economic Development Corporation website.

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 established since 2019.  Click the Open Door Fund link for details.

People for Change Coalition, words with hands in air
digital chips with word Technology in white

Rural and Underserved Business Recovery from Impact of COVID-19 (RUBRIC)

The RUBRIC program provides economic relief to rural and economically-disadvantaged businesses. The program focuses on recently-opened tech companies that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, click State Emergency Funding Administered by TEDCO.

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Community Feedback

Community FeedbackQuote brackets for Thank you for the help you provided with the permitting and inspections processes for my salon, Ny Chamberlainwhite space bar

Business Community News

DPIE's Free ePlan Training for September adEconomic Development Corporation ad for how COVID-19 affects small businesses videoSmall Business Development Center - Maryland adPrince George's County Chamber of Commerce August meetingswhite space bar

contact us

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