Building Blocks, September 2021

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September 2021

 In this issue:

Business Spotlight

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white spaceThe Learning Curve CDC logo and young girl writing on the board - coming to Prince George's County

It’s the start of a new school year, and children are excited to be back in class. The Business Development Section (BDS) recently assisted The Learning Curve Child Development Center with permitting for its facility on Old Soper Road in Camp Springs. The Learning Curve opened its first location in the District of Columbia in 2018 and now includes four centers in the District and Maryland.

Company owner Tanetta Merritt said she has more than 30 years’ experience in education. The mission of the centers is to provide a safe, nurturing, inclusive and innovative environment that encourages interactive learning for its students. The Learning Curve serves children aged 6 weeks to 12 years old. To learn more about the company, visit the The Learning Curve website.

The Inside Scoop

Blueprint of floor plan

DPIE’s Third Party Program

Fall is a great time to start a new business. Entrepreneurs may be thinking of leasing a space and building out a new gym, hair salon or café. As aspiring business owners travel around the County looking for potential locations, DPIE encourages applicants to utilize its Third Party Program to assist with plan review and inspections, especially for large commercial projects.

Currently, there are four programs under DPIE’s Third Party Program: 

Number 1 in green circle

The Third-Party Plan Review Program (TPPRP) enables owners and developers of large-scale commercial projects to retain an outside third-party team to complete reviews of their project plans. Third-Party plan reviews can save up to 75 percent of the typical plan processing time.

Number 2 in green circle

The Peer Review Program (PRP), a lower-cost option as compared to the TPPRP, allows owners and applicants to select DPIE certified peer reviewers at their own cost to expedite the plan review process, instead of County staff. Using peer reviewers can reduce the plan review and approval times by up to 50 percent. Peer reviewers can be retained for various types of building and site development projects. Under the TPPRP and PRP programs, the entire project must be reviewed and approved before construction starts.  

Number 3 in green circle

Although the above programs are not mandatory, all fire protection systems must go through DPIE's Third Party Plan Review Program for Fire Protection Systems (TPPRPFPS).

Number 4 in green circle

DPIE's Third-Party Inspection Program (TPIP) utilizes qualified, third-party professionals, in addition to County quality assurance inspectors, to conduct and document field inspections of commercial building construction projects, commercial alterations/additions and other specified projects permitted by the agency. The use of third-party inspection teams may result in faster issuance of project use and occupancy certificates when justified. Any project over $200,000 must be inspected through the TPIP.

More information about the review programs is available at the following links:

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Helpful Hints

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Parking Commercial Vehicles in Residential Zones

Commercial vehicles should not be parked in residential communities within driveways or on public streets or rights-of-way unless a vehicle operator is performing work in the area. Vehicles found in violation of the code may be fined and/or towed.

Photo of work van parked in front of a residential home
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Inspector on a walk-through of an interior space with customer during inspection

Preparing for Your Inspection

On the day of the inspection, ensure that your permits are posted and plans are readily accessible to the inspector. Work performed must be in accordance with the approved plans. Any modifications from the approved plans will require a plan revision. If you are not prepared for the inspection, call 301-883-3820 to reschedule.

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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, 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 FeedbackErin Bradley Quote thanking BDS team for presentation.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 logo with website address to check for webinarsPrince 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