COVID19 updates from the Maryland Dept. of Commerce

COVID19 updates from the Maryland Dept. of Commerce

Complete your 2020 Census today!
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August 04, 2020

Join Us With “Masks On Maryland”:
The new statewide campaign, which promotes social distancing, face coverings, and CDC hygiene practices, includes a series of announcements being aired throughout the state on local radio stations, as well as social media outreach through #MasksOnMaryland. To learn more about outreach efforts and listen to radio announcements, go here.

Governor Issues Emergency Order to Prohibit Blanket School Closures:
Governor Larry Hogan yesterday issued an amended emergency order ensuring that local schools and school systems retain the primary authority to initially determine when to safely reopen their facilities for in-person instruction based on public health guidance. Read the governor’s order.

Innovation Uncovered: Nominate a Maryland Startup:
Maryland Department of Commerce is searching for the “Maryland Future 20,” a list of innovative Maryland startups with the potential to become the state’s next major business success story. Members of Maryland’s business community and the general public can nominate a startup on the Innovation Uncovered website. Governor Hogan will announce the Maryland Future 20 in Fall 2020.

August 03, 2020

Maryland Department of Labor Announces 13 Weeks of Extended Unemployment Benefits Available for Eligible Claimants:
Maryland has begun offering an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits through the Federal-State Extended Benefits program. Under federal and state law, the Extended Benefits program is available for claimants who have exhausted both their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) assistance.

Upon exhausting both regular and PEUC benefits, MD Labor will issue written notification to all potentially eligible claimants informing them they can apply for the Extended Benefits program in their BEACON One-Stop account. If a claimant is determined to be eligible, the weekly benefit amount will be the same as the claimant received under the regular and PEUC programs.

Maryland Nonprofit Recovery Initiative DEADLINE EXTENDED:
Maryland Nonprofit Recovery Initiative (NORI) assists nonprofit organizations whose critical operations have been financially impacted by COVID-19. DHCD has extended the application deadline for the initial round of assistance. Applications may be submitted until tomorrow, August 4, 2020, 12:00 Noon. Details here.  Email questions to dhcd.nonprofitsrecovery@maryland.gov

Additional COVID-19 funding available for 501(c)(6) organizations:
A third round of emergency relief funding through NORI will soon be available to assist local 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations that have been negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland.

Approved applicants can receive up to $10,000 in grant funding for quarterly operating expenses. Applications will be available on the OneStop portal beginning August 17 and will be accepted through August 24 at 5:00 PM. Unlike previous rounds of funding where applications were awarded on a first-come first-served basis, this round will be scored and approved based on specific criteria established by MD Commerce. Details here.

July 29, 2020

Governor Hogan will hold a press conference at 3:30 pm today.
The press conference may be watched on FacebookTwitter, or YouTube.

MD NonProfit Recovery Initiative Application Deadline Extended:
Eligible nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can receive up to $50,000 in grant assistance through the Maryland Nonprofit Recovery Initiative (NORI). The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has extended the application deadline for the initial round of assistance until 12:00 noon, Tuesday, August 4, 2020.

MD Dept. of Labor Virtual Career Fair – Space Still Available for Employers:
Tuesday, August 4th. 2 Sessions: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm & 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
To participate, contact Teresa Spruill, teresa.spruill@maryland.gov

Maryland Tech Council Business Continuity Task Force:
A team of experienced business leaders who have navigated business challenges during economic downturns before, to provide guidance and referrals to entrepreneurs and operating executives. To request assistance, complete this form.

July 23, 2020

Governor Hogan Continues to Stress Vigilance In COVID-19 Fight, State Superintendent Sets Guardrails for Schools to Reopen:
All school systems must follow CDC guidelines for schools and adhere to protocols instituted by state health officials for addressing outbreaks. All schools must also meet a series of benchmarks before reopening. Watch the Governor’s press conference here.

Read the release summarizing the press conference here.

Guidance for face coverings in schools.

Guidance for addressing outbreaks in schools, camps, and childcare facilities.

July 22, 2020

Governor Hogan Press Conference Today at 5:00 PM:
Governor Hogan will be joined by Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Karen Salmon, for a press conference. The press conference may be watched on YouTubeFacebook or Twitter.

MD Non-Profit Recovery Initiative Applications Open Today:
The Department of Housing and Community Development will begin accepting applications for the Maryland Nonprofit Recovery Initiative (NORI) today at 12:00 Noon. Eligible nonprofit organizations can receive up to $50,000 in grant assistance for operational support. FAQs here.

Modifications to Federal Reserve Board’s Main Street Lending Program:
These changes are intended to provide greater access to credit for nonprofit organizations such as educational institutions, hospitals, and social service organizations. More information in this press release.

F³ Tech Accelerator Program:
Funding for early-stage companies to prepare them for potential investment from the F³ Tech Seed Fund. The program is focused on commercializing and accelerating revenue development for companies that are advancing innovations and new technologies within the agriculture, aquaculture, energy, supply chain, and environmental technology sectors. More information here.

New State Workplace Laws Will Take Effect October 1, 2020:
Details here.

July 21, 2020

MD Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA) COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund:
Low-interest rates and low-documentation loans to businesses that have experienced economic hardship due to the ongoing pandemic. Five-year term loans ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 will be available with an interest rate of 0% for the first 12 months, and 2% for the remaining term of the loan. Loans will be managed by Meridian Management Group. More information here.

MD Department of Labor Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance:
This program has been around for decades but has been under-utilized. Work Sharing allows an employer to cut costs by equally dividing available hours of work among employees. While working reduced hours, the employees will also be eligible to receive partial Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit payments based on their reduction in weekly work hours. More information here.

July 17, 2020

MD State Arts Council Emergency Grant Program:
$1 million will be available to county arts agencies; $435,000 to Arts & Entertainment District management entities; $1,565,000 to arts organizations and independent artists. Applications for funding should be made through MSAC’s Smart Simple portal. Applications will open on July 20 and must be submitted by 5:00 pm on August 3, 2020 to be considered for funding. More information here.

MSBDFA COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund:
Beginning July 20th, the MD Small Business Development Finance Authority will provide emergency financial relief through low interest rates and low documentation loans to eligible Maryland businesses. Five-year term loans ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 will be available with an interest rate of  0% for the first 12 months, and 2% for the remaining term of the loan. Go here for program details and guidelines.

July 16, 2020

MD Department of Labor Uncovers UI Fraud Scheme:
Governor Larry Hogan yesterday announced that the State of Maryland has uncovered a massive and sophisticated criminal enterprise involving more than 47,500 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims in Maryland and totaling over $501 million. Read the full press release and watch the Governor’s  press conference.

Statewide Veterans Virtual Career and Resource Fair:
Sponsored by the MD Department of Labor Veterans Program
Tuesday August 4, 2020; 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and/or 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Interested employers must be registered in the Maryland Workforce ExchangeFor more information: Alicia Dennis, alicia.dennis@maryland.gov or Sharon Egerson, sharon.egerson@maryland.gov.

IT and Cybersecurity Virtual Career Expo:
Maryland Tech Council, in collaboration with Montgomery College’s America’s Promise leadership, is hosting an IT + Cybersecurity Virtual Career Expo to connect job seekers and students with the technology industry on Thursday, July 23 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  More information here.

July 15, 2020

Governor Hogan will hold a press conference at 4:00 pm today and make a major announcement about unemployment insurance:
The press conference may be watched on FacebookTwitter, or youtube.

Employer guidance on reporting qualified sick and family leave wages:
The Treasury Department and the IRS provide guidance in Notice 2020-54 to employers with a requirement to report the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Employers will be required to report these amounts either on Form W-2, Box 14, or in a statement provided with the Form W-2. Additional information about tax relief for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on IRS.gov.

CDC Guidance General Business FAQs – Updated July 11, 2020:
Updated COVID-19 FAQs here.

MD Office of Tourism Development (OTD) Resources:
Five easy steps to make sure you’re getting the benefit of OTD support in promoting your business and events.

State Apprenticeship Expansion Reimbursement Grant:
MD Department of Labor is now accepting applications for grants to support the related instruction requirements of registered apprenticeship programs across the State. More information here.

July 14, 2020

$50 million in State Funding Available through Governor’s Nonprofit Recovery Initiative (NORI):
Governor Hogan has allocated $50 million to assist nonprofit organizations whose critical operations have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and state-of-emergency, through four grant programs to be administered by the MD Department of Housing and Community Development and the MD Department of Commerce. Organizations cannot receive grants from both departments. 

$40 million will be administered by DHCD, of which $10 million will be made available for nonprofit licensees of the Maryland Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administrations. DHCD’s press release can be accessed here, and Notice of Funding Availability, with more details, here

$3 million will be awarded through the Maryland State Arts Council (part of MD Commerce) for arts and cultural organizations affected by Covid-19 impacts. For more information contact Dana Parsons, dana.parsons@maryland.gov or go here.

Up to $8 million will be available from Commerce to nonprofits that have already applied for Commerce’s Covid-19 Emergency Grant Program but were not able to be funded in the earlier round. For more information, contact covid-19.application@maryland.gov

SBA Announces Conclusion of Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Program:
SBA has disbursed the $20 billion made available for the EIDL Advance grants. Loan funds are still available. SBA’s press release here.

SCORE surveyed pre-startups and startups in June 2020 about how COVID-19 has affected their businesses. This infographic highlights the findings.

Also from SCORE: How to temporarily close a business due to COVID-19.

July 13, 2020

NFIB Webinar: EIDL and PPP Loan Questions Answered:
Economic Injury Disaster Loans, in particular, carry terms that may cause business owners to inadvertently default, so borrowers want to be sure to understand the rules. Wed., July 15, 2020, 12:00 Noon. RSVP here.

NFIB Side-by-Side Comparison of EIDL and PPP Loans:
Revised on July 7th. Updated version here

Nonprofit COVID-19 Emergency Grant Program Applications:
covid-19.application@maryland.gov

Maryland State Arts Council Arts Recovery Grant:
Dana Parsons   dana.parsons@maryland.gov 
https://www.msac.org/grants/emergency-grant

July 09, 2020

TODAY: MD SBDC Webinar: Fast Track Cash Strategies For Small Businesses Reopening:
July 9, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2: 30 pm. Register here.

Maryland SBDC Post-COVID-19 Business Survival Guide:
Access the guide here.

Maryland Department of Health Guidance:
Food Safety updated FAQs here.

 American Industrial Hygiene Association:
AIHA’s Back to Work Safely website features expert, industry-specific guidance for both businesses and consumers to safely reopen and re-engage as they emerge from the COVID-19 quarantines.

Red Backpack Fund Grants:
One thousand, $5,000 grants awards to women entrepreneurs, funded by The SPANX by Sara Blakely Foundation. Another grant round has reopened. For information and to apply, go here

Buy Maryland Directory:
A searchable database  featuring goods produced by Maryland manufacturers, artists, crafts persons, and agribusinesses.

July 06, 2020

COVID-19 Testing Guidelines:
The Maryland Department of Health recommends that the following individuals pursue testing: Asymptomatic individuals where COVID-19 exposure may be possible, including contact with confirmed cases; residents and staff of long-term care facilities; individuals employed in close contact settings; individuals who have attended large gatherings; and individuals who have traveled to or returned to Maryland from out-of-state travel. Visit the state’s testing site locator map.

Testing on Demand:
A Maryland Department of Health order issued July 1st instructs health care providers across the state to order a test for any individual who requests it, regardless of symptoms. As some testing sites continue to require a doctor’s order, the new directive ensures that this requirement may no longer pose an obstacle to Marylanders who wish to be tested.

2020 Census:
Maryland’s self-response rate to the 2020 Census is 65.7%, placing us 12th in the nation. Maryland lost out on millions of dollars in federal aid due to under-counting of its population in the 2010 census. Take a moment today to be counted, and please share with your employees. Participate by mailphone, or online.

July 01, 2020

$190 million in COVID State Funding Relief:
Review the Governor’s press release. Details provided in yesterday afternoon’s update.

State Laws That Will Go Into Effect Today:
Legislation passed in the 2020 General Assembly session that goes into effect today, July 1, 2020.

Maryland Unites: Businesses and Organizations
More than 200 Maryland businesses and organizations  have supported their communities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Submit a business or organization to be recognized here.

Proposed State Budget Cuts:
In an effort to offset revenue declines driven by the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Larry Hogan is proposing budget cuts across state government. Today’s Board of Public Works meeting agenda.

Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA):
Use this tool to determine eligibility for benefits and requirements under the Act.

SCORE Webinar: How To Protect & Grow the Value of Your Business During a Pandemic. July 2, 2020, 11:00 am. Register here.

June 30, 2020

Today is the LAST DAY to apply for the Payroll Protection Program loan.
Borrowers must reach out to an SBA-approved lender directly.

Small Business and PPP Forgiveness — Your Questions Answered Live!
NFIB Webinar – Wed., July 1, 2020, 12:00 noon.  Register here

U.S. Chamber CO Blueprint Webinar Series:
Bi-weekly series presented by Chase for Business. Small business strategies for banking, forecasting, and budgeting for the long-term.
Register for the third installment tomorrow, July 1, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

June 29, 2020

Maryland SBDC Webinar: How To Pivot Your Marketing During COVID-19:
July 1, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Register here.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):
Federal Guidelines for employers regarding COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), among other laws.

Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019:
Signed into law in February, the SBRA was enacted to expedite and reduce the cost of Chapter 11 bankruptcy for small business debtors with debt of approximately $2.7 million. The CARES Act expanded this relief to a wider demographic by increasing the debt-eligibility threshold from the approximately $2.7 to $7.5 million. This expanded eligibility expires after one year. Details here.

USDA Technical Assistance Grants:
The Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant  program is intended to help disadvantaged groups develop the capacity to implement plans and undertake projects to improve economic and social conditions. Eligible applicants include cooperatives, groups of cooperatives and cooperative development centers. Electronic applications must be submitted to grants.gov by Midnight on August 10, 2020.

June 25, 2020

MD Department of Labor Back to Business “Shift for Success” Webinars Frederick County: 
Tonight, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Hosted by Maryland Department of Labor with resources and information to help businesses & employees transition back to the workplace. For more information and to register, go here.  A similar event will be held on July 1st for Carroll County businesses and employees.

Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland Manufacturing Focus Group:
June 30 at 11 am. Economist Anirban Basu will facilitate an open discussion with manufacturers on their ideas for helping Maryland manufacturing thrive. Free for RMI members, other manufacturers: $35.  Register Here

NFIB Information on the Paycheck Protection Program:
Video-based Step-by-Step Instructions for Maximizing PPP Loan Forgiveness through the PPP EZ Application.

June 23, 2020

Comptroller of Maryland COVID-19 Tax Response:
Go here for important tax information related to the pandemic.

On-line Minority Business Enterprise Certification Workshops:
Maryland Department of Transportation’s Office of  Small and Minority Business Policy is holding its monthly MBE application assistance workshops online for interested businesses. For more information, go here.

SBA and Treasury Announce Enhanced Transparency Regarding the Paycheck Protection Program:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of the Treasury have agreed to make public additional borrower data regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  Read the joint Treasury and SBA press release.

June 19, 2020

Additional Openings Begin Today at 5:00 pm:
With local approval, the following activities are allowed in Maryland:

    • Indoor fitness, gyms, martial arts, dance and other studio-type activities, limited to 50% capacity and with other public health protective measures.
    • Indoor entertainment and recreational attractions and malls can reopen with public health protective measures.
    • Schools buildings and Child Care Providers (with limitations)
    • Outdoor Graduation Ceremonies and Outdoor High School Sports (with limitations)

Reopening Guidance from the State of Maryland:
Best Practices and Directives can be found here. Orders and guidance here.
Maryland Department of Health directives and resources here.

covidLINK: Maryland’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative:
Information and FAQs

June 18, 2020

New and Revised Guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program:
Pursuant to the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act recently passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, SBA and the U.S. Treasury have issued new guidance as well as revised borrower and lender applications. Details here.

Revised PPP Loan Forgiveness Application and New EZ Version:
In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA has published a new EZ Version that can be used by borrowers who:

    • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
    • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
    • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to #COVID19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

Full announcement here.

June 17, 2020

Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program:
Information and Guidance  for lenders and borrowers who would like to access this program, including an updated program overview reflecting changes made on June 8th to expand the program. Interested small and medium-sized businesses should speak to an eligible lender about applying for a Main Street loan.

Discussion with Senator Ben Cardin:
Thursday, June 18, 3:30 PM. The Maryland Chamber Foundation will host Senator Cardin, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee, will answer questions about supporting small businesses as they adjust to the lasting effects of COVID-19. Go to Facebook Live or YouTube to watch the conversation live.

Federal Resources for U.S. Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19.

Export Services Costs Relief:
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) are temporarily reducing or eliminating the costs of several of their export services, providing relief to U.S. businesses affected by COVID-19. This is intended to encourage the export of non-COVID-19-treatment-related “Made in the USA” products. Details here.

June 16, 2020

SBA Again Accepting EIDL Loan and Advance Applications:
As of June 15th, SBA has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster loan portal.  Previously submitted applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. An EIDL may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other expenses. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits, with repayment terms of up to 30 years with a one year deferment.

Applicants may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of $1,000 per employee, up to $10,000. The advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for or decide not to accept a loan.

Resources from the Maryland Department of Health, Office of Food Protection.
Including COVID Food Safety FAQs

Maryland Back to Business Social Gathering Limit FAQs
(updated June 12th)

June 15, 2020

ATTENTION BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS:
The Smith School of Business @ The University of Maryland is currently developing a FREE education program to support Maryland residents and small/medium sized business owners in the aftermath of the pandemic.

We are seeking to hear from the voices of Black business owners to learn about your pain points in the wake of COVID-19 to ultimately inform the content we deliver.

Join us for a focus group led by the Smith School of Business Associate Dean, Victor C. Mullins and Michel Wedel, Pepsico Chair in Consumer Science.

Session ONE
Date: June 15
Time: 5-6PM (EST)

Session TWO
Date: June 17
Time: 10-11AM (EST)

RSVP for one Focus Group here

Updated Directives from the Maryland Department of Health:

Youth Camp Programs:
updated directive as of June 12th.

Community, Recreational, Leisure, Cultural and Sporting Events:
Updated directive  as of June 12th.

Best Practices for Restaurants and Bars:
Updated guidance as of June 12th.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration best practices checklist  for reopening food retail establishments.

Deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan: June 30th. 

SCORE’s Small Business Resilience Hub

June 12, 2020

Carroll County Health Department Supports Safe Reopening of Businesses in Carroll County:
Read the press release here.

Maryland Department of Health Implementation Directives:
Implementation directives from the Maryland Department of Health, pursuant to Governor Hogan’s executive order of June 10, 2020:

Restaurants and Bars:
DIRECTIVE AND ORDER REGARDING FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS

Sports Activities/Gatherings (updated), Community, and Recreational Events:
DIRECTIVE AND ORDER REGARDING COMMUNITY, RECREATIONAL, LEISURE, CULTURAL AND SPORTING GATHERINGS AND EVENTS

Swimming Pools (updated):
AMENDED DIRECTIVE AND ORDER REGARDING SWIMMING POOLS

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: Outdoor Youth Camps, Sports Programs, and Other Youth Programs

SBA – Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program:
Revisions to First Interim Final Rule can be read here.

Executive Order on Liquor License Fees:
New Executive Order signed by Governor Hogan on June 11th, authorizing suspension of alcoholic beverage license fees.

Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care:
FAQs for parents, and FAQs for providers, both updated June 10th.

Federal Stimulus Program – Economic Impact Payments:
IRS portal to check the status of your payment.

CDC Guidance on reopening buildings after prolonged shut-down or reduced operations.

EPA Information on Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings with Low or No Use.

State officials are encouraging anyone who has recently attended peaceful demonstrations to get tested for COVID-19. Testing sites in Carroll County and Frederick County.

June 11, 2020

Governor Hogan Announces Next Stage Two Re-openings:
At yesterday’s press conference, Governor Hogan added safe and phased re-openings through Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery’ Stage Two will continue to be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that allows local leaders to allow re-openings at their discretion.

Read the Governor’s updated executive order.

RE-OPENINGS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, JUNE 12 AT 5:00 PM:

  • INDOOR DINING. Restaurants can resume indoor operations at 50 percent capacity, with appropriate distancing, and following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, National Restaurant Association, and Maryland Department of Health
  • OUTDOOR AMUSEMENTS. Outdoor amusements and rides, including miniature golf and go-kart tracks, may resume with appropriate health and safety protocols. Capacity restrictions at pools will be increased to 50 percent with strict safety guidelines still in place. Guidelines and Best Practices.

 

SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE REOPENINGS:

  • GRADUATION CEREMONIES. The governor is encouraging local school systems to plan and hold safe outdoor graduation ceremonies with appropriate capacity and social distancing measures in place.
  • SCHOOL BUILDINGS. School systems may now begin bringing small groups of students and staff into school buildings. School systems are encouraged to prioritize summer instruction for vulnerable populations. All nonpublic special education schools may reopen to serve students with disabilities.
  • CHILD CARE PROVIDERS. All child care providers may begin to reopen, and the number of individuals child care providers can have in one room has been expanded to a maximum of 15.
  • OUTDOOR HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS. Outdoor high school sports may begin to resume practice and training activities within the same guidelines that were previously announced for youth sports programs

 

 RE-OPENINGS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, JUNE 19 AT 5:00 PM:

  • INDOOR FITNESS ACTIVITIES. After an extra week of sanitization and safety preparations, indoor gyms, martial arts, dance, and other indoor studio fitness activities may begin to safely reopen at 50 percent capacity with strict health, distancing, and sanitization measures. Guidelines and Best Practices.
  • CASINOS, ARCADES, AND MALLS. Casinos, arcades, and malls may also begin to resume operations with strict safety protocols.

June 10, 2020

Governor’s Press Conference: 5:00 pm Today:
Governor Larry Hogan will hold a press conference regarding Stage Two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.’ The press conference can be viewed live on FacebookTwitter, or youtube.

Federal Reserve Expands Terms of Main Street Lending Program:
The Main Street Lending Program (which has yet to launch) will provide a total of $600 billion in financing for small and medium-sized businesses, with changes that should make it more accessible to businesses. Loans will be made through participating lenders.

The Fed will lower the minimum loan amount from $500,000 to $250,000, raise the maximum loan amount from $200 million to $300 million and extend the repayment period from four years to five years. Borrowers are not obligated to make principal payments for the first two years. The Fed will increase the portion of certain loans it buys from banks from 85% to 95%.

Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care:
FAQs for parents, and FAQs for providers. (Updated June 6th.)

Second Round of State Grants to Manufacturing Companies:
Governor Hogan announced that Maryland has awarded an additional $1.6 million in a second round of grants to 25 Maryland companies for pivoting to or expanding production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Awardees include Integral Components in Carroll County, and Patriot Technologies and Integrated Pharma Services in Frederick County.

Maryland Department of Commerce Grant and Loan Update:
Commerce has disbursed or approved nearly all of the $150 million allocated for state coronavirus relief grants and loans, including the manufacturing grants. 5,012 businesses have been approved for grants, and 4,300 awardees have been sent agreements. The State Comptroller’s Office has disbursed roughly half of the $65 million in grant funding.

Loan agreements are placed on a fast track once completed. Of the $75 million available for loans, $65 million will be awarded to applicants who filed in the first two days the program was open.

June 09, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act:
President Trump has signed the legislation into law. Read the SBA’s press release summarizing its key provisions. SBA, in consultation with the Treasury, will promptly issue rules and guidance, a modified borrower application form, and a modified loan forgiveness application implementing these legislative amendments to the PPP.

Key Provisions:

    • Lengthens the loan forgiveness period from eight weeks to 24 weeks.
    • Lowers the amount of PPP funds that must be spent on payroll from 75% to 60% and allows 40% for other qualifying expenses.
    • Delays employer payroll tax payments through the end of 2020.
    • Exempts borrowers from the FTE loan forgiveness reduction if borrowers are unable to return to the same level of business activity as before February 15, 2020, due to Covid-19.

 

NFIB Webinar Tomorrow:
NFIB will conduct a webinar on the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act on Wednesday, June 10th at 12:00 noon.

Submit your questions ahead of the webinar to info@nfib.org.

June 08, 2020

Customer-Facing State Agencies Re-Open Today:
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and other customer-facing agencies will begin reopening select branches to customers on a limited basis by appointment only. MVA re-openings here.

SBA Debt Relief for 7(a), 504, and Micro-loan Borrowers:
As part of its coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Micro-loans in regular servicing status, as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. Details here.

Centralized Platform for Small Business Assistance:
America’s SBDC and the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) have developed a website with information from multiple federal agencies to assist small businesses with surviving and recovering from effects of the pandemic.

MD Labor Unemployment Assistance Phone Assistance Updates:
The Maryland Department of Labor has launched a new Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to expand and improve the features available for unemployment insurance claimants. Using the IVR system, claimants can now file weekly claim certifications for both regular AND pandemic unemployment insurance claims by phone. Claimants can also file a telecert for multiple weeks, reset their PIN number, check their payment status, receive filing instructions, and more without having to connect with a claims agent.

To connect with the IVR system available 24/7, call 410-949-0022 or 1-800-827-4839, toll free. Please listen carefully as the voice message and many prompts, like the weekly certification questions, have changed. Applicants can familiarize themselves with the weekly certification questions before filing a telecert.

If claimants need to connect with a live claims agent to file a new claim or inquire about an existing claim, they should call 1-877-293-4125, toll free. Live claims agents are available from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday. Starting June 14th, Labor will have Sunday hours from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

If a claimant calls during business hours, they may now provide a callback number. When an agent becomes available, the system will call the number provided and connect the agent with the claimant. If the claimant stays on hold, they will be offered the opportunity to connect with a virtual agent to have their questions answered. For more information, go here.

June 05, 2020

Congress Passes Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act:
The bill enhances the Paycheck Protection Program by increasing the time small businesses can use funds and receive forgiveness from eight weeks to twenty-four weeks, and by reducing the payroll cost rule from 75 percent to 60 percent. The President is expected to sign the bill immediately, and the SBA and Treasury will be tasked to update their regulations, guidance and forgiveness application.

NFIB Research Center:
Survey results on the utilization and financial assistance of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

COVID-19 Resources from the Centers for Disease Control:
Printable guidance for employees, customers, and others.

June 04, 2020

Maryland to Move into Stage Two of Recovery:
At yesterday’s press conference, Governor Hogan announced that Maryland will begin to move into Stage Two of the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery”  with a safe and gradual reopening of workplaces and businesses, along with additional personal services and state government offices. Beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday, June 5th, non-essential businesses may open to the public. Specific closures are still in place. Read the press release and the Governor’s latest executive order.

This comes after the state’s positivity rate dropped to single digits, and total current hospitalizations fell to their lowest level in more than seven weeks.

As with Stage One, Stage Two will be implemented with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings. All 24 of the state’s jurisdictions have now entered Stage One.

New Best Practices Guidance:
General Business
Professional and Financial Services

To review previously published best practices, go to the state’s Back to Business site.

Take the Maryland Strong: Back to Business Pledge, and display a signed pledge for customers to see.

FAQs Regarding Face Coverings from the Maryland Department of Health.

June 03, 2020

Employee Refusal of Recall to Work or Applicant Job Refusal:
If an employee refuses a recall to work or an individual refuses an offer of work, employers must notify the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) within 15 days after the refusal in order for DUI to consider whether the refusal will affect the individual’s benefits. Notification should be sent to DLUI‑DLLR@maryland.gov with the following information: date of offer, date of refusal, name and SSN of the individual, company name and Maryland Unemployment Insurance employer account number.

Grant Awards to Maryland non-profit organizations:
Maryland Humanities has awarded $515,000 in grants to 100 Maryland nonprofits, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the CARES Act.

Grant Opportunities for Businesses:
Hello Alice is administering grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 “Business for All” grants to help small businesses in crisis.  Applications for COVID19 grants close on July 16, 2020, at 11:59 PM.

The Entrepreneurial Dream Project is a $100,000 non-dilutive grant fund and mentorship program benefiting new businesses that are building during #COVID19. Submissions are open through June 15th, 2020.

FEDEX #SupportSmall Grants:
FedEx has committed $1 million to grants for small businesses in the U.S. Each grant recipient will receive $5,000 plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office that can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more.

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.