Addressing Utility & Small Business Needs in Frederick, MD

August 12, 2020 - (3 min read)

Frederick, Maryland has a small city feel with big town charm. The city located just outside Washington DC is surrounded by rolling hills in Central Maryland. The town of approximately 65,000 has faced its own share of challenges since its first COVID-19 case was identified. The city has reportedly 3,100 confirmed cases and seen approximately 121 deaths. 

Mayor Michal O’Connor knew the devastating impact that the novel coronavirus had wreaked on communities nearby. That spurred quick action to address the needs of the community’s most vulnerable and to shore up the small businesses that were central to Frederick’s economy.  

Hear from Mayor O’Connor how the city supported small businesses, offered assistance for renters, and utility assistance for residents.  

What personal barriers have you faced in responding to COVID-19 in your community and how have you overcome them? 

COVID-19 arrived quickly in our community, and together, we acted swiftly to meet the growing needs of our businesses, our most vulnerable residents, and our Frederick families. It was clear that this health crisis would cause significant economic impact, leading the City to spring into action with various relief programs. We supported businesses with micro-grants and by establishing curbside pickup zones and pop up dining opportunities to ensure safe dining and retail experiences. We allocated grant programs for non-profits focused on supporting children in our community, who we know are experiencing the impacts of distance learning, isolation, and reduced community programming. We recently continued these efforts with a utility assistance fund and a rental assistance grant program to ensure our residents can keep stable housing and reduce avoidable homelessness.

These relief efforts have required collaboration from many City departments, local partner organizations, and our residents. It is clear that Frederick is in this together, and the City remains committed to our community, its evolving needs, and protecting the life, health, and safety of Fredericktonians. 


About the Author:

Melissa Williams is a communications and marketing manager at NLC. She supports NLC’s membership and partnership teams.



About Our Partner: IGNITE is a global consulting practice designed to develop, engage and ignite relationships with Mayors, CIOs and global technology firms. The objective is to architect a connected city by placing people at the center of our purpose. IGNITE has refocused the connected city space and developed a smart framework that can scale, replicate and become profitable. The result creates a visible impact that is measured by PEOPLE through citizen engagement, transformed infrastructure and improved city services.