COVID19 updates from the Maryland Dept. of Commerce

COVID19 updates from the Maryland Dept. of Commerce

June 02, 2020

Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Employer Information:
Updated information to prepare office buildings for re-opening, as of May 27th.

Guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):
The EEOC recently updated its guidelines in response to the COVID-19 outbreak as they relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

U.S. Chamber Guidance on PPP Forgiveness:
Step-by- step guidelines designed to help borrowers understand the process by which their loan forgiveness amount will be calculated and the overall approach of the loan forgiveness process.

June 01, 2020

Maryland Department of Health FAQs on Food Safety:
Guidance updated May 29th on food safety for Phase I reopening of bars and restaurants.

Maryland Office of Tourism:
COVID-19 Travel and Tourism research resources. Insights into trends, impacts, and consumer attitudes.

Reminder: Maryland Manufacturing Network is a platform to connect suppliers and purchasers with PPE, hand sanitizer, cleaning equipment, and other items needed as businesses begin to reopen.

NFIB Webinar on Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness:
June 3rd, 12:00 noon. Ten tips to maximize your loan forgiveness and Q&A. Register here.

BIO 2020: June 8-12
For 2020, the BIO International Convention will transition to a new, virtual event format, BIO Digital. This virtual gathering of the global biotech industry provides access to key partners via BIO One-on-One Partnering, educational resources to help drive business, and insights to continue critical research and development.

May 29, 2020

Governor Hogan Issues Two New Emergency Orders:
The first order extends a prohibition on utility shut offs and residential late feesElectric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable TV, and internet service provider companies are prohibited from shutting off any residential customer’s service or charging any residential late fees. This order now remains in effect through July 1  

The second executive order expands services by state-licensed manufacturers of alcohol, including breweries, wineries, and distilleries:

  • Allowing the service of alcoholic beverages in outdoor seating areas, consistent with the same Department of Health directives for restaurants and bars.
  • Allowing third-party shipment to consumers by common carriers, such as FedEx or UPS.

 

Maryland Heritage Areas Grants Awarded:
Governor Hogan has announced that the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) has awarded 59 matching grants totaling $600,440 to heritage tourism nonprofits located in Maryland’s 13 Certified Heritage Areas. These grant funds support emergency operating costs that will help keep nonprofit organizations operational, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic ramifications continue. A complete list of grant awardees can be found here.

May 28, 2020

Governor Hogan Announces Completion of Stage 1 of Recovery:
At yesterday’s press conference, Governor Hogan announced resumption of outdoor activities, including outdoor dining at restaurants, bars and social/fraternal clubs;  opening of outdoor pools, youth sports, and day camps, drive-in movie theaters, and tour boats, effective Friday, May 29th at 5:00 pm. Read the Governor’s order here.

Governor Hogan noted that health officials will continue to watch the data closely, and if these encouraging trends continue into next week, the state will then be in a position to move into Stage Two of the recovery, which would mean lifting the order on non-essential businesses.

Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act Progresses:
Today the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (H.R. 6886). The bill would modify sections of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), extending loan forgiveness for expenses for up to 24 weeks and removing the limitation that restricts non-payroll expenses (rent, utilities) to 25% of the loan, among other changes.

Similar Senate legislation would also extend the window for the money to be spent. S. 3833 would double the loan forgiveness period to 16 weeks, and allow businesses to use the loan funds for investments to reopen safely.  It would also extend the program through December 2020.

May 27, 2020

Governor Hogan will hold a press conference at 5:00 pm regarding the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.”
The press conference should be aired on local TV affiliates and can be streamed on youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

2020 U.S. Census:
Every Marylander Counts! Maryland’s undercount in the 2010 census resulted in our state losing almost $1 billion in federal funding for critical programs. The census can be completed by mail, phone, or on-line.

News from the Federal Housing Finance Agency:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) have issued temporary guidance regarding the eligibility of borrowers who are in forbearance, or have recently ended their forbearance, looking to refinance or buy a new home. Details here.

FHFA will allow borrowers who are able to return to making their normal monthly mortgage payment the ability to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at maturity. More information on this option.

Internal Revenue Service:
News of interest from the about the 2020 tax season.

Reminder: Employee Retention Tax Credit:
Employers that qualify for the CARES Act employee retention credit may treat health plan expenses paid to furloughed employees as qualified wages for purposes of the credit. Qualified employers that do not pay wages to laid off or furloughed employees, but continue health coverage for those employees, may treat the associated health plan expenses as qualified wages. More information here.

New Directions for Maryland Manufacturing:
Webinar Series from the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland.

May 26, 2020

Maryland Back to Business Guidance:
General Guidance on re-opening, as well as new sector specific best practices for accommodations, construction and development, and personal services. Previously published guidance also for manufacturing, golf, marinas, and retail.

OSHA COVID-19 resources for businesses:
The information includes links to interim guidance (including OSHA enforcement policies) and other resources for preventing exposures to, and infection with, the novel coronavirus.

USDA Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers:
Under the CARES Act, USDA will be making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Program information here.

Last Call for Rural Maryland Council grant opportunities:
The Fiscal Year 2021 Grant Cycle Phase 1 – Letter of Intent for the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) and the Rural Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF) closes Friday, May 29th.

May 22, 2020

Health Considerations and Tools from the Centers for Disease Control for businesses as they reopen.

U.S. Chamber Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness: (updated May 20, 2020)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released an updated Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness to help businesses navigate loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program.

U.S. Economic Development Administration Funding:
EDA has published a Notice of Funding Opportunity for additional Economic Adjustment Assistance funding under the CARES Act for economic recovery projects. Eligible grant applicants include local governments, public and private institutions of higher education, and nonprofits. Minimum award is $100,000 for investments that support construction, non construction, planning, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects.

May 21, 2020

MD Labor UI Update:
All regular unemployment insurance claimants are now able to file weekly claim certifications for prior weeks missed, in just one session, using BEACON One-Stop. These claimants, who were previously limited to filing one prior week at a time, should check their BEACON portal to see if there are new claim certification weeks available to file. If there are multiple weeks available, claimants can file them all to ensure that claim filings are up to date.

Back to Business:
Updates and best practices for Maryland companies reopening in conjunction with COVID-19.

SBA Coronavirus Pandemic Loans:
Comparison guide, updated May 13th.

Downloadable Graphic Signage for Buildings:
Social Distancing
Wash Hands
If You Are Sick, Do Not Enter

May 20, 2020

Updated FAQs for PPL Lenders and Borrowers:
Current as of May 19th, reflecting SBA’s new guidance.

Key Information on Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act:
Tip sheet on accessing health insurance through the ACA Marketplace for employees who do not receive health benefits through their employer.

Health Insurance Marketplace:
Information for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Guidance for employers who provide group insurance through the ACA.

Emergency Special Enrollment:
Available through June 15th through the Maryland Health Connection, Maryland’s health exchange under the ACA.

COVID-19 information for individuals already covered through a Marketplace plan can be found here.

May 19, 2020

Paycheck Protection Plan Loan Forgiveness Guidance:
Application and instructions, including several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers:

Key updates:

  • Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles.
  • Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
  • Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
  • Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined

 

U.S. Treasury Main Street Lending Program:
U.S. businesses may be eligible for loans if they meet either of the following conditions: the business has 15,000 employees or fewer, or had 2019 revenues of $5 billion or less. Minimum loan amount is $500,000. Once the program is operational, interested small and medium-sized businesses can apply for program loans by contacting an eligible lender. A description of eligible lenders can be found in the Program term sheets. Participation in loans will be purchased by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Updated guidance, FAQs, and facility term sheets here.

May 18, 2020

MARBIDCO:
Pandemic Adjustment Equipment Grant Fund.
To help Maryland’s food and fiber producers, harvesters and primary processors adjust to the business disruptions caused by COVID-19.  Applications are due June 10th, or postmarked by June 6th.

New PPP $2 million Safe Harbor Guidance:
Businesses that accepted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds of less than $2 million will be assumed to have performed the required certification concerning the necessity of their loan requests in good faith, according to guidance posted by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on Wednesday. This guidance can be found in Question 46 of the Treasury/SBA FAQ’s.

May 15, 2020

Carroll County to Move to Phase 1 Reopening:
Governor Hogan’s announcement on May 13th of the beginning of Stage One of the Roadmap to Recovery empowered county leaders to make decisions regarding the timing of re-openings in their individual jurisdictions. Read the press release detailing the Carroll County Board of Commissioners decision.

Maryland Commerce COVID-19 Relief funding:
While some businesses who applied for funding may have received approval notifications, please note funds are still being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning with those who applied on March 23.  Please visit these FAQs for more information on disbursement.

Paycheck Protection Program Updates:
NFIB Guide to Calculating Loan Forgiveness.

SBA and U.S. Department of Treasury:
Updated FAQ document (5/13/20).

Updated Maryland SBDC COVID-19 Survival Guide:
Revised guide as of 5/13/2020.

FedEx Small Business Grant:
Federal Express is offering 200 $5,000 grants to for-profit businesses with less than $5 million in 2019 revenue and fewer than 50 employees. The business must have shipped in the last 12 months and/or plan to ship in the coming 12 months.

May 14, 2020

Governor Hogan Lifts Stay at Home Order; Phase I Re-opening Begins:
Review the new executive order and interpretive guidance regarding personal services, retail, manufacturing, and houses of worship re-openings.

PERSONAL SERVICES:
Some personal services may reopen with up to 50 percent capacity, by appointment only, and with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Guidance and best practices for personal services.

RETAIL STORES:
may reopen at up to 50 percent capacity, with curbside pickup and delivery strongly encouraged, and all public health precautions in place. Guidance and best practices for retail stores.

MANUFACTURING:
may resume operations in a safe manner that protects the health of employees, with guidelines encouraging multiple shifts and other safety precautions. Guidance and best practices for manufacturing

Governor Hogan is encouraging Maryland business owners to take the Maryland Strong Back to Business Pledge, and display a signed pledge in their place of business. If you’re in, let us know.

HOUSES OF WORSHIP:
may begin to safely hold religious services, at up to 50 percent capacity, with outdoor services strongly encouraged. Religious leaders are strongly urged to do everything possible to keep their congregants safe, and particularly to protect the elderly and vulnerable within their congregations. Faith-Based recommendations for public worship.

Alternative Processes for marriage license applications and ceremonies. 

May 13 2020

Governor Hogan Press Conference:
Today at 5:00 PM.  Governor Hogan to discuss Stage One of the ‘”Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.”  Watch live on FacebookTwitter or YouTube.

Maryland Manufacturing Network Supplier Portal:
platform for SUPPLIERS to share their current resources and capabilities and for BUYERS to identify these suppliers and share their current and upcoming needs.

COVID-19 employee guidance from the Office of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

National Endowment for the Humanities Funding:
Under the CARES Act, NEH offers emergency relief funding to cultural institutions affected by COVID-19.

LISC Small Business Relief Grants:
Applications will be reviewed based on criteria designed to prioritize particularly challenged businesses. Final grantees will be randomly selected from the top scoring applicants. Third round of funding opens tomorrow, May 14th. 

Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Guidance:
Guidance Documents on a variety of topics. Updated regularly.

May 12 2020

New Video Tutorials for BEACON navigation:
The Maryland Department of Labor has created a second series of video tutorials to help Marylanders navigate their unemployment insurance account on the BEACON One-Stop portal.

Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore present a candid COVID-19 conversation:
May 13th, 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Baltimore County’s Lion Brothers CEO, Suzy Ganz, will share her company’s COVID-19 response and recovery experiences. No cost. Participation limited to manufacturers and program sponsors.  Register here

SCORE Real-Time Mentoring:
Register to meet SCORE mentors live every Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT.

Maryland Back to Business Website:
Maryland business community leaders have developed industry-specific guidelines to help businesses as we enter this new era. These guidelines and best practices for Maryland companies will be made available on a new website. Guidance for marinas and golf courses is currently available. Additional industry sector guidance coming soon.

May 11 2020

New Unemployment Guide from the Maryland Department of Labor:
How to answer new weekly claim certification questions required by the U.S. Department of Labor. The guide lists new questions in the order they are asked, describes what the questions are asking claimants, and explains what answering “Yes” or “No” means.

Safety and Health in the Workplace under COVID-19:
OSHA standards and directives (instructions for compliance officers) and other related information that may apply to worker exposure to COVID-19.

Clarification Regarding Filing for Unemployment as a non-W2 worker:
Under the CARES Act, the PUA program was created for those not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance, such as the self-employed and independent contractors. To be eligible for UI under PUA, you must FIRST be determined ineligible for regular UI. One of the eligibility requirements for regular UI is that you must have earned a sufficient amount of money as a W-2 employee, i.e. “wages.” If you did not earn a sufficient amount of wages, you were determined to be ineligible for regular UI. That is the basis for the confusing message that non-W2 UI applicants have received. MD Labor is working to make this language clearer.

May 8, 2020

Governor Hogan’s actions on legislation passed by the General Assembly during the 2020 legislative session:
Details here

Families First Coronavirus Response Act:
FAQs by the U.S. Department of Labor

Supplemental CARES Act Funding for Economic Development:
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will make grants under its Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which is intended to be flexible and responsive to the economic development needs and priorities of local and regional stakeholders. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance investments will support a wide range of non-construction and construction activities in regions across the country experiencing severe economic dislocations brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Details here.

RFP for Fast-Track Program for COVID-19 test development: The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) is urgently soliciting proposals and can provide up to $500 million across multiple projects to rapidly produce innovative SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests that will assist the public’s safe return to normal activities. Details on the program webpage.

Maryland Department of Labor Financial Relief Guide

May 7, 2020

Maryland Stay at Home Order Amended:
Governor Hogan has announced a broadening of the list of permitted outdoor activities to now include individual and small group sports such as golfing, tennis, and similar activities; outdoor fitness instruction; recreational fishing and hunting; recreational boating; and horseback riding. These changes took effect May 7, 2020 at 7:00 a.m.  Read the amended executive order here.  


Important Updates Regarding PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculations and Return of Loan Proceeds:

On May 6th, SBA and Treasury published revised FAQ for the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program. This new guidance clarifies PPP loan forgiveness amount calculations and extends the deadline for PPP borrowers to return loan proceeds.

COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses:
FAQs from the Internal Revenue Service here.

Updated Maryland SBDC COVID Small Business Survival Guide:
Review the guide, updated on May 4th.

May 6, 2020

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Updates and Implications:
Fri, May 8, 10:00 to 11:00 AM (EDT) Register here.
Presented by: Stephen Umberger, Baltimore District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration.

Maryland Department of Labor Update on UI Issues:
Secretary Robinson details the Department’s ongoing efforts to address claimant issues regarding eligibility. Read her full statement.

State of Maryland Roadmap to Recovery:
As discussions intensify on reopening Maryland enterprises, please share the necessary four building blocks to recovery outlined by Governor Hogan and the Roadmap to Recovery.

USDA Announces $100 million for BioFuels Infrastructure:
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Department of Agriculture intends to make available up to $100 million in competitive grants for activities designed to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels.  Read the bulletin here.

May 5, 2020

SBA EIDL Reopens for Agriculture Businesses:
The SBA is accepting new EIDL and EIDL Advance Applications only for U.S. agricultural businesses. These include businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural-related industries as defined by Section 18(b) of the Small Business Act.

For other businesses, the SBA stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing those applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined application portal before the legislative change, the SBA will process these applications without the need to reapply.

Tracking PPP Expenses: Quickbooks tutorial on tracking loan spending to ensure you qualify for forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Maryland Restaurant Relief Fund:
OLD BAY, McCormick for Chefs, and CORECares Foundation are offering grants valued at up to $2,500 to Maryland restaurants impacted by COVID-19.  More information here.

Maryland Tech Council Collaboration and Response to COVID19:
Use this form to share supplies and services that you need and what you can provide. MTC will make introductions.

May 1, 2020

BEACON One-Stop Online Application Issues:
New Information from the Maryland Department of Labor on addressing the technical challenges.

SDAT Filings and Tax Credits:
Homeowners’ and renters’ tax credit applications can be submitted through Maryland One Stop, and homestead tax credit applications through SDAT’s website.  Online applications will be immediately acknowledged as received, but all applications are taking longer to process at this time.

PDFs of all SDAT filings and applications may also be downloaded, printed, and mailed, although the Department strongly encourages customers to complete transactions online when possible, as paper filings will take significantly longer to process.

New CDC Guidelines:
Reopening Guidance
for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.

April 30, 2020

Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus – Poster from OSHA.

Reminder About UI Benefits Extension:
In addition to extending UI benefits to non-W2 workers, and providing a $600 per week additional benefit from March 29th through July 25th, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation through the CARES Act adds another 13 weeks, if needed, onto the standard 39 weeks of unemployment eligibility.

Idea Cafe’s Small Business Grants. Up to $4,000. Past recipients used funding to purchase computers, hire part-time help, and create marketing materials.

Update on BEACON, Maryland’s unemployment website:
Since its launch on Friday, more than 245,000 accounts have been activated and more than 100,000 new claims have been filed. The website is now successfully activating an average of 33 accounts every minute, and an average of 780 claims are being successfully filed per hour.

April 28, 2020

SBA EIDL Advances Processed in Maryland: (as of 4/24)
Number of Advances: 12,462
Dollar Value of Advances: $56,961,000

SBA EIDL Loans Processed in Maryland: (as of 4/24)
Number of Loans: 462
Dollar Value of Loans: $105,259,200

Updated SBA Information about new EIDL applications:
With the additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package, SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis. Information on the availability of the EIDL portal to receive new applications (including those from agricultural enterprises) will be provided as soon as possible.

MD Department of Labor Steps to Address Overload of the UI System:

Virtual Waiting Line:
By entering this system, you will be able to see how many individuals are waiting for site access, receive an estimated wait time that is constantly updated, and sign-up to receive an email when the system is ready for you to access the platform. This will provide more certainty about when you will receive assistance, but, more importantly, it will help ensure the capacity problems the platform experienced in the past do not reoccur.

New Gating System:
On Sundays and Mondays, ONLY customers who are filing weekly claim certifications will be able to file. If you are unable to file your weekly claim certification on Sunday or Monday, you are not restricted from filing it on any other day. On Tuesdays through Saturdays, customers can file new claims as well as complete all other activities.

SDAT’s new online capabilities with regard to Good Standing status:
The Department has created a new Good Standing Checklist for business owners to proactively determine whether or not their business is in Good Standing with SDAT, and instruct them how to correct any deficiencies. SDAT strongly encourages all business owners to confirm now whether or not their business is in Good Standing by looking it up on SDAT’s free on-line search. The Department also encourages business owners to sign up to receive updates and timely email reminders to file these important documents.

For businesses not in Good Standing status, Maryland Corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and LPs; and Foreign (non-Maryland) Corporations and LLCs may now revive or dissolve their businesses online, and the Department is waiving the online expedited fee for these filings until 30 days after the State of Emergency is rescinded. If a Maryland business requests a certified copy of this filing at checkout, that expedited fee will also be waived. Penalty payments owed to the Department may also now be paid online, which is another reason businesses often are not in Good Standing status.

April 27, 2020

Payroll Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster loan application portals reopen at 10:30 am TODAY. Apply for a PPP loan through an SBA approved lender. More than 90% of Maryland’s lenders are approved. This includes institutions other than banks. Apply for an EIDL directly on the SBA website.

Updated State Department of Assessments and Taxation website:
Maryland SDAT has updated its site to allow online filing of resolutions, which add, edit, or remove a resident agent and change the principal office location for businesses. In addition, Maryland LLCs can now file Articles of Cancellation online and other documents updating customers on the status of their filings, which have been enhanced to provide more detailed information, increase security, and ensure authenticity.

Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery: On Friday, April 24th, Governor Hogan introduced Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery, which provides a safe, effective, and gradual approach to reopening the state as it continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The roadmap outlines four building blocks for a recovery plan and a staged reopening of Maryland businesses and activities. Details, including the complete plan, here.

Greater Washington Board of Trade briefing on the DMV’s path to recovery: Webinar with Virginia Secretary of Finance, Aubrey Layne; Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia, Jeff DeWitt; and Maryland Comptroller, Peter Franchot, who will share how they are approaching this crisis and what the path to fiscal, economic, and public health looks like in their jurisdictions.

April 24, 2020

Unemployment Insurance portal for non-W2 workers opens:
Today, April 24th, the Maryland Department of Labor is launching a new one-stop unemployment insurance application to allow all Marylanders to file all types of claims entirely online. This includes those who are eligible for regular benefits, CARES Act benefits, and individuals who were previously required to file by phone. Read an overview of the BEACON one-stop application.

House Passes $484 billion aid package:
The House of Representatives has passed the spending package the Senate passed earlier this week, which provides an infusion of funding for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program loans. The President is expected to sign the bill today. The bill contains:

  • $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with $60 billion of that money reserved for smaller businesses without existing banking relationships.
  • $60 billion ($50 billion in loans and $10 billion in grants) for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan fund (EIDL),  Farms and other agricultural programs are now eligible for those funds.

 

For companies that have not already applied for the EIDL or PPP loan program, once the package is signed into law, this will be another opportunity.  For the EIDL program, check the SBA website regularly for reopening of the application process. For a PPP loan, talk with your lender now. Get your application and documents together so you are ready to go when funding is available.

April 23, 2020

Maryland Business Relief Wizard:
The Maryland Business Relief Wizard is a tool that helps connect businesses with the resources and programming for which they’re eligible, streamlining the process of finding support. https://reliefwizard.net

Vendors Offering COVID-19 Supplies:
The Maryland Department of General Services has introduced a new Request for Information (RFI) template in eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), the state’s procurement portal. If your company would like to be considered as a vendor for COVID-19 supplies, register in eMMA or update your existing vendor profile. Select the products and services code “42000000 – Medical Equipment and Accessories and Supplies.”

The RFI template is titled “COVID-19 Emergency Medical Supplies,” ID #BPM019116. The RFI is focused on the most critically-needed items, including ventilators, N-95 masks, facial protection, medical grade hospital beds, and general PPE.

State Tax Extensions:
Maryland business and individual income taxpayers will be given a 90-day extension for tax payments. No interest or penalty for late payments will be imposed if 2019 tax payments are made by July 15, 2020. Reach out to taxpayerrelief@marylandtaxes.gov with questions.

Comptroller Franchot also extended business-related tax filing deadlines to June 1. Businesses who paid their Maryland Sales & Use Taxes for March early may request a refund of their payment by emailing taxpayerrelief@marylandtaxes.gov or by calling 410-260-4020.
More SDAT information here.

Cyber SWAT Team Hotline and Assistance:
The Cybersecurity Association of Maryland Inc (CAMI) has launched a Cyber SWAT Team Initiative to provide a coordinated breach response effort to the increase in cybersecurity attacks as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance is available to Maryland businesses.

Grants for Artists and Arts Organizations:
Maryland State Arts Council Emergency Grants.

April 22, 2020

Senate Approves $484 billion relief package

Yesterday, the United States Senate approved roughly $484 billion in new Coronavirus aid. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow. The Senate bill contains:

    • $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with $60 billion of that money reserved for smaller businesses without existing banking relationships.
    • $60 billion ($50 billion in loans and $10 billion in grants) for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan fund (EIDL),  Farms and other agricultural programs are now eligible for those funds.

 

For companies that have not already applied for the EIDL or PPP loan program, once the package is signed into law, this will be another opportunity.  For the EIDL program, check the SBA website regularly for reopening of the application process. For a PPP loan, talk with your lender now. Get your application and documents together so you are ready to go when funding is available.

The Maryland Dept. of Commerce is no longer accepting applications for its Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund. All applications are currently being reviewed. If you have already started an application, it must be completed by 5 p.m. on April 22 (TODAY) in order to be considered.

April 20, 2020

Save Small Business Fund: Application goes live at noon.
Helping small employers impacted by Covid-19 with $5,000 grants www.savesmallbusiness.com

Unemployment Benefits under the CARES Act: On April 24th, Maryland Department of Labor is launching a new one-stop shop comprehensive online application for independent contractors, self-employed Marylanders, and all other types of claims, including federal employees, multi-state wage claims, and members of the military. This will ensure that every Maryland applicant, whether they are a W2 employee or not, will have the option of filing online.
 

Funding for  Maryland local governments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) established under the CARES Act:  About $2.34 billion will be allocated to the State of Maryland. The five largest local governments (with a population in excess of 500,000) will receive a direct distribution from the U.S. Treasury of about $691 million. (Montgomery, Prince Georges, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County.) The remaining funds will be used on behalf of the State and the other 19 local governments. The local government share is estimated to be $364 million. The State will award half of the local share to each remaining county for COVID-19 health-related expenditures.

U.S. Chamber Save Small Business Fund: $5,000 grants to small employers. A short application will go live on this page today at 3:00 p.m.  Must have 3-20 employees.

Household Stimulus Checks: Check the status of your check here.

April 17, 2020

USDA Rural Development COVID Resources:
USDA has unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA):
Here is an FAQ from the U.S. Department of Labor on leave and pay eligibility for workers.

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Emergency Grants:
Operating grants up to $20,000 for nonprofit organizations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with deadlines falling on the first of each month until funds are used up. Nonprofit heritage tourism organizations located within the boundaries of a Certified Heritage Area are eligible. Guidelines and application information here.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Approvals as of 4/13/20:
Approved loans (U.S.): 1,035,086
Approved loan dollars (U.S.): $247,543,393,521
MD approved loans: 11,937
MD approved loan dollars: $3,756,206,258

For applicants with questions related to state loan and grant applications (not for application status inquiries): onestop.support@maryland.gov

April 16, 2020

On Wednesday, April 15th Governor Hogan issued a new executive order on Masks and Physical Distancing, effective 7:00 am, April 18th.

The Small Business Administration has begun issuing checks for the forgivable advances on the EIDL. Applicants should check their bank and email accounts, including their spam folder.

Due appropriations funding limits, the application portal for the EIDL–COVID-19 assistance program (EIDL loans and EIDL Advances) is temporarily closed.

Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first come, first served basis.

MD Department of Commerce Loan and Grant Applications Status:

The State’s database/workflow system places every completed application in the first workflow process, labeled as ‘in review’ in the OneStop system. The status will stay as ‘in review’ until the review team gets that specific application to move it forward. All applicants then have the ability to track their application through OneStop.

Business Good Standing:
The state grants and loans, as well as many local COVID-19 resources, require businesses to be in good standing with the State of Maryland. If you have questions about what this means and how to resolve situations of not in good standing, click here.

MARBIDCO Pandemic Adjustment Loan Program:
MARBIDCO is offering loans to help Maryland’s food and fiber producers, harvesters and primary processors adjust to the business disruptions caused by COVID-19. The program is targeted to assist existing agriculture or resource based enterprises in making timely adjustments to their business operations to help take advantage of new or continuing market opportunities. More information here.