By Anna Walker

Anna Walker head shot
Anna Walker

“Taking Care of Business” is a new Hyattsville Life & Times column, in which we seek to provide a behind-the-scenes look into how local businesses and business owners operate to make a positive impact on Hyattsville. Recently, I had the enlightening opportunity to learn how the Maryland Office of the Comptroller serves small businesses in our community. 


The Honorable Peter Franchot is the 33rd comptroller of Maryland. He has served as comptroller since 2006, and isa a strong, independent voice and fiscal watchdog for Maryland taxpayers. 


“I believe in funds going into the local economy,” he said. Franchot sees small businesses as a major vehicle for accomplishing this ideal. 

comptroller and vigilante
Comptroller Peter Franchot visited Vigilante Coffee Company on Feb. 10 to present the business with a Certificate of Recognition as one of Maryland’s best local coffee shops.
Photo credit: Anna Walker

Franchot works hard to recognize small businesses throughout the state, including right here in Hyattsville. In February he presented a Certificate of Recognition to Vigilante Coffee Company, acknowledging the popular spot as one of Maryland’s Best Local Coffee Shops for their pioneering entrepreneurship, commitment to quality coffee, and expert customer service. The certificate noted that Vigilante’s years of dedication to the perfect cup has helped it become a landmark locally owned business that impacts the surrounding community. 


Andy Doyle, Vigilante’s general manager, said, “It was a pleasure to have the comptroller and his team visit us here in Hyattsville and recognize us as one of the best coffee shops in Maryland. Receiving the proclamation is an honor, but mostly we are just proud to be a part of such a thriving local small business community here in Hyattsville.” 


Franchot vigorously supports the impact of small businesses on their communities and wants them to thrive and be competitive. “The bottom line is for our office to provide customer service,” he said.


As tax season approaches, the Comptroller’s Office is vigilantly making sure that small businesses are aware of legislative issues on both federal and state levels that could impact them. Businesses — and individuals — can call 800-MDTAXES to reach a real person for information and assistance or visit 


In addition to being a frequent patron of Hyattsville businesses, Franchot, as a member of the Maryland Board of Public Works, has approved contracts providing grant support to numerous organizations that directly impact Hyattsville, including these:


  • $125,000 to the City of Hyattsville for the Hyatt Park Placemaking Project
  •  $30,000 to the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation Board of Directors for the Hyattsville Veterans Memorial
  • $380,000 to the Doctors Hospital, Inc. Board of Directors for the renovations to the Doctors Community Hospital facilities in Hyattsville and District Heights


“Hyattsville is successful in competing for grant funding, provides a good return on these investments, and is on the radar for doing great things,” Franchot said. “It’s a strong community under the strong leadership of Mayor [Candace] Hollingsworth. Hyattsville is on the rise.”