Media contact: Tyniah McDuffie, Communications and Community Engagement Manager

December 21, 2021 (Montgomery County, MD) – The Montgomery County Green Bank, in conjunction with City First Enterprises, closed a Small Business Energy Savings Support (SBESS) loan with The Urban Winery in Silver Spring, MD. The Urban Winery will use the proceeds from the SBESS loan to make key property improvements to meet energy efficiency code requirements and re-open to the public.

After facing a variety of challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, The Urban Winery had to close its physical location in early 2020. The entrepreneurial and community-minded owners of this Silver Spring business stayed focused on coming back and took the opportunity to develop a re-opening strategy built around in-person tasting events, including providing space for large events. To make those changes, The Urban Winery is required to make certain energy efficiency improvements that meet the change-in-use code requirements and new interior design characteristics.

“We have been grateful for the Green Bank throughout this process. In a time when restaurants and retail outlets need the help to undertake re-opening improvements, the Green Bank’s financing provides the flexibility we need to execute our needed energy efficiency property improvements to achieve our re-opening plan,” said co-owner Damon Callis. “We look forward to re-opening in the new year with an improved space to serve the community.”

The Green Bank’s SBESS loan program is designed as a flexible program to support small businesses investing in their properties to grow back greener through the pandemic. From roof insulation, mechanical and electrical upgrades, and building envelop improvements, the program supports many types of energy efficiency measures that enable businesses to meet or exceed code, execute on a business plan, and maintain a level of service to customers, employees, and tenants during challenging times.

“One of the key benefits of energy efficiency is that it keeps money in the pockets of businesses,” said the Green Bank’s Chief Investment Officer Steve Morel. “This $156,000 SBESS loan from the Green Bank is a flexible financing option that will allow The Urban Winery to limit the upfront investment of property improvements. This way, the business has more resources to expand by connecting operational savings to its growing businesses plan.”

As a pandemic recovery program, the SBESS loan supports small businesses in achieving energy efficiency requirements and upgrades that may otherwise be financially unattainable. This closing marks the second Green Bank effort to support small business re-openings. The Green Bank plays an essential role in helping businesses grow and meet the demand of a more sustainable future.

About the Montgomery County Green Bank:  The Montgomery County Green Bank is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping businesses and residents affordably implement energy efficiency and clean energy solutions. The Green Bank supports the county by driving investment into energy efficiency and clean energy through lending and investment partners in the region. These efforts include working with homeowners, renters, and commercial entities of all varieties. For more information, visit www.mcgreenbank.org.

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