County Executive Isiah Leggett today joined Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Raymond Skinner to tour a Silver Spring small business, Rosta’s--a women’s clothing store-- where a combination of State and County funding has leveraged private investment nearly five times, and resulted in a newly renovated building that is creating jobs and preserving a local small business.
“Small businesses are important to the economic vitality of our community,” said Leggett, “and the investment made by Rosta’s owner Ali Rostai and the State and County is an example of public and private entities working together to sustain our communities.”
Rosta’s was located on Colesville Road until 2007 when the lease was not renewed. Rostai, who emigrated from Iran in 1978, bought the current building, located at 8618 Fenton Street, and has personally invested $3 million dollars to turn a former Jerry’s Sub Shop into an urban oasis of fashion. The 10,000 square foot store is scheduled to open in late August and will employ more than 20 workers.
“Maryland’s diverse economy is driven by our strong network of small businesses and entrepreneurs, and Governor O’Malley and I share the belief that these businesses are our strongest bridge to recovery,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “With the support of the Maryland General Assembly and our municipal and State leaders, programs and initiatives like the Neighborhood Business Works loan program will enable these vital businesses to thrive and grow for many years to come, providing quality goods and services and creating more jobs for our working families.”
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provided $500,000 funding from the Neighborhood Business Works Program. “We realize that small businesses are the engine that drives our economy and if we want to strengthen our economy, we must help our small businesses create jobs and preserve jobs,” said DHCD Secretary Skinner. “Through programs such as Neighborhood Business Works, we are finding innovative ways to ensure that those businesses have access to the capital they need to grow.”
A façade easement was purchased with Community Development Block Grant funding of $80,000 by the County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The easement enables the County to control the renovation of certain elements of an existing commercial building’s exterior, including aesthetic appearance, signage and maintenance for a ten year period. Rosta’s also received $100,000 from the County’s Small Business Revolving Loan fund.
“I have been in business in Silver Spring since 1985,” said business owner Ali Rostai. “I appreciate the State and County funding that will enable me to continue my business in the Silver Spring community.”
“This project is a great example of different levels of government working jointly to create a strong and vibrant local economy,” said Leggett. “Small businesses are part of the economic engine that will help us on the road to recovery and this is good news for Silver Spring and for Montgomery County.”
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