DPIE - Building Blocks, July 2021

View as a webpage

 BDU Building Block  Masthead

July 2021

 In this issue:

Business Spotlight

Business Spotlight banner

Wellspring Manor and Spa Reopening

pic of outside brick building - Wellspring Manor, an upscale wellness retreat purposed for relaxation and rejuvenation, reopens.

The Wellspring Manor and Spa in Upper Marlboro is reopening after closing last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the time they were closed, owners Lisa and Kevin Alexander made enhancements to the property. The BDS assisted them with the DPIE permitting and inspection processes for the improvements.

The bed and breakfast establishment originally opened in 2018. The manor, which had been vacant for nearly a decade prior to its restoration, was formerly home to members of Governor Larry Hogan’s family. The Alexanders said they opened Wellspring to meet the need for a high-end retreat destination in the County. Wellspring offers all-inclusive accommodations and spa services for its overnight guests. In addition, they have an art gallery which offers monthly viewings to the public. For more information, visit the Wellspring Manor and Spa website.

Wellspring Manor’s sleeping and spa accommodations.

The Inside Scoop

Commercial signs help advertise who you are, the services your business provides and your location.

How to Apply for a Sign Permit

Advertising on signs can enhance a small business’s ability to reach customers. Signs publicize your business, attract window shoppers and draw new customers. Signs also inform the neighboring community that a new business is opening soon. Signs can also generate word-of-mouth marketing, which is the key to success. However, it is important to know that all signs, including banners, are only permissible with a sign permit. Failure to have a sign permit may lead to a citation and fines.

Hiring design professionals and getting your vision on paper can take many months of planning, creativity and resources. After completing the requirements for permitting and licensing, getting a sign erected to advertise your business is the final step before opening doors to customers. For customers interested in obtaining a sign permit, applications may be submitted through DPIE’s online application system. Applicants must also complete a hard copy of the Sign Permit Application. Once your application has been approved by plan screening, you will be invited to upload your documents into DPIE’s ePlan system to be reviewed by DPIE and Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M–NCPPC) staff.

DPIE requires all sign permit applications to have a structural drawing submitted with an original seal and signature dated by a professional engineer licensed in Maryland. A site plan must also be submitted for freestanding, ground-mounted signs. Illuminated signage requires an electrical permit. In addition, M–NCPPC must review your application for compliance with zoning regulations and for the allowable square footage. Customers new to the ePlan system may review DPIE’s ePlan video to familiarize themselves with the plan submission process. After a permit has been issued and construction is completed, customers must schedule an inspection. Find additional requirements for sign permits by reviewing DPIE’s sign informational webpage and Sign Permit Fact Sheet.

To make sure a commercial sign is erected in a timely manner and before your business opens, you should commence your sign permit application at the same time as applying for your building and use and occupancy permits. The first step is to figure out what type of sign is preferred – a building mounted, entranceway or freestanding sign. Applicants should also check their municipal requirements. Some municipalities will have additional requirements, and it’s prudent to determine the local municipal rules for sign permits. For additional information on municipal jurisdiction requirements, review the Municipalities Responsibilities in Prince George's County chart.

Helpful Hints

Helpful Hintswhite space bar
Blue food truck offering asian menu with patrons waiting to order

Operating a Food Truck

To obtain 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). Additional information about the application process and food truck licenses can be found on DPIE's Food Truck Hubs website page.

white space bar

Before You Lease or Buy. . .
Contact DPIE!

Before you lease or purchase commercial or industrial property, contact M–NCPPC's Planning Information Services Office to ensure that you can use or develop the property as you intend. You may also obtain a zoning designation letter for $50 from Planning Information Services. Email PPD-InfoCounter@ppd.mncppc.org or call 240-302-3460 for more information.

Warehouse for sale
white space bar

What's Happening?

Whats Happening? words on blue background header

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 and Business Licensing, and more. Customers may access the BDS presentations here.


Funding Opportunities

BGE that's smart energy, Alice helloalice.com, 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.

white space bar

Community Feedback

Community FeedbackHamed Alaghebandian, Owner - Happy Farm Botanicals, thanks BDS for assistance with Inspections.white 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