BPW ap­proves $85,000 in grants for wine in­dus­try

Dorchester Star - - REGIONAL - JOE BARTENFELDER

AN­NAPO­LIS — Gov. Larry Ho­gan Dec. 21 an­nounced Board of Pub­lic Works ap­proval of grants to­tal­ing $85,000 in state fund­ing to the Mary­land Grape Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and the Mary­land Winer­ies As­so­ci­a­tion for the pro­mo­tion of Mary­land’s grow­ing wine in­dustr y.

The grant awards, which were rec­om­mended by the Mary­land Wine and Grape Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil, will be used for mar­ket­ing, re­search, ad­ver­tis­ing, re­tail/ fes­ti­val pro­mo­tions, ac­tiv­i­ties that pro­mote the grow­ing of wine grapes, and ed­u­ca­tional sem­i­nars.

“The wine and grape grow­ing in­dus­tries are a key com­po­nent of Mary­land’s econ­omy,” said Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Joe Bartenfelder. “Through the Mar yland Wine and Grape Pro­mo­tion Fund, we are help­ing to sup­port our rapidly grow­ing wine in­dus­try, grow­ing our ru­ral economies and cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able and prof­itable agri­cul­ture in­dus­try.”

Th­ese are the first Mary­land Wine and Grape Pro­mo­tion Fund grants to be awarded since 2008. The pas­sage of 2015 HB 827 al­tered the dis­tri­bu­tion of al­co­holic bev­er­ages tax rev­enue so that the rev­enue gen­er­ated from the tax on wine pro­duced at Class 4 winer­ies li­censed in the state must be dis­trib­uted to the Mar yland Wine and Grape Pro­mo­tion. The Fund is pro­jected to re­ceive up to $160,000 an­nu­ally.

Be­tween 2006 and 2008, the Mary­land Wine and Grape Pro­mo­tion Fund awarded a to­tal of $250,000 in grants. The Board of Pub­lic Works elim­i­nated fund­ing for the fund in fis­cal year 2009 bud­get due to the State’s bud­get short­fall.

The Gover­nor’s Ad­vi­sory Com­mis­sion on Mary­land Wine and Grape Grow­ing and the Mary­land Wine and Grape Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil were es­tab­lished in 2005 to pro­mote the pro­duc­tion of Mary­land wine and wine grapes in the State. The Coun­cil is re­spon­si­ble, upon ad­vice from the Com­mis­sion, with rec­om­mend­ing to the Board of Pub­lic Works how to al­lo­cate grants from the Mary­land Wine and Grape Pro­mo­tion Fund.

The Board of Pub­lic Works is made up of Gover­nor Larry Ho­gan, State Comptroller Peter Fran­chot, and State Trea­surer Nancy K. Kopp.

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