On Monday, Governor Hogan ordered all non-essential Maryland businesses, organizations, establishments, and corporations to close. This new order is aimed to increase the state’s social distancing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Governor Hogan reasoned that while these closures are “incredible difficult financially,” they will “save the lives of thousands of your fellow Marylanders.” Maryland is following federal guidelines to determine which businesses qualify as essential.
In an effort to provide emergency economic relief during this detrimental time, Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of Labor have launched several new programs to help businesses get through this crisis. Here’s what you need to know about each program:
1. Maryland COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund
Through the Maryland Department of Labor, the state is making funds available to help businesses prevent or minimize unemployment that results from the pandemic. The $7 million fund will provide up to $50,000 to applicants which can provide support for technology that would allow employees to work from home, cleaning and sanitization costs or training and professional development opportunities. The award will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.
The Department of Labor is accepting grant applications from small businesses for awards from now through 30 days after the State of Emergency ends (subject to funding availability).
To apply, visit the Department of Labor’s website.
2. Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund
The $75 million loan fund from the Department of Commerce is designed to provide interim relief for impacted for-profit businesses of 50 employees or less. It will provide loans of up to $50,000, not to exceed three months of cash operating expenses.
3. Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund
The $50 million fund will provide grants of up to $10,000 for businesses and nonprofits with up to 50 employees. It’s designed to provide working capital to those impacted. The funds are not to exceed three months of cash operating expenses.
4. U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan
Last week, Hogan also announced that Maryland was officially designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. That means Maryland businesses are eligible to apply for the program, which provides low-interest federal loans for businesses impacted by the pandemic. To receive the designation, the state was first required to show five businesses that were impacted.
5. Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund
A $5 million fund is being developed to provide incentives to small businesses who manufacture masks, personal protective equipment and other needed supplies for healthcare workers. More details are expected by March 27.
Azrael Franz will be updating our website when information on this fund is released.