Small Biz Bulletin – Special Edition

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Message from Special Secretary Rhee

Stay Informed

Despite the alterations to our daily routines, life is moving at a rapid pace. Now, more than ever, it is imperative you stay healthy and well-informed! In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan issued a Stay at Home order on Monday to protect public health and safety. It is incumbent upon us all to understand this new Executive Order and follow it  verbatim. At the federal level, congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act last Friday. It will infuse $350 billion to lift up small businesses during this pandemic. Implementation of the CARES Act is being developed and refined day-by-day. Please be assured that state and federal agencies, while working with strained resources, are operating with a great sense of urgency. Take advantage of the tools available to help you — webinars, resource guides, checklists, and websites. Maryland’s COVID-19 Information for Business web page continues to be an excellent resource. I encourage you to bookmark this page and visit it often so you can stay well-informed. We are in this together!

Maryland COVID-19 Information for Business

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary


Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Programs

Expansion of Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The federal CARES Act has expanded unemployment insurance benefits nationwide, giving access to sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed workers. The Maryland Department of Labor is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Labor to create new IT systems, modify the current platforms, train staff, and conduct tests in order to implement these new programs. Secretary of Labor opted to provide all three expanded unemployment programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Please use the link below to monitor progress as these programs come online. You can also sign up to receive an email update when filing open for PUA benefits.

Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance

Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund

The Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund, administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce, offers $5 million to help Maryland manufacturers produce personal protective equipment and other critical need items. Grants of up to $100,000 are available to manufacturers that can increase existing capacity or quickly pivot operations. Manufacturers must be located in Maryland, be in good standing with the state and in compliance with OSHA and MOSH regulations to receive the grant. Use the links below for complete information and to access the online application.

Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund Web Page 

Manufactuing Innovation Grant Application

Emergency Relief Loan Fund

The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund, administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce, offers $75 Million of working capital to assist for-profit small businesses with less than 50 employees that are experiencing disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Eligible uses include working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses related to the ordinary course of business operations. Use the links below to view more information and to access the online application.

COVID-19 Emergence Relief Loan Fund Web Page

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund Application 

Emergency Relief Grant Fund

The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund, administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce, offers $50 Million of working capital to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations with less than 50 full- and part-time employees that are experiencing disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Eligible uses include working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses related to the ordinary course of business operations. Use the links below to view more information and to access the online application.

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund Web Page

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund Application 


Federal Assistance Programs

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), initiated by the CARES Act and administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. The program is available to small businesses with less than 500 employees, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals affected by COVID-19. Borrowers may qualify for a loan up to $10 million (determined by eight weeks of prior average payroll plus additional 25 percent). The SBA will forgive PPP loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
This new loan program will open on Friday, April 3, 2020 and be available through June 30, 2020. Visit the PPP web page below for complete details on who can apply, loan details, forgiveness requirements, and how to apply through existing SBA lenders or a federally-insured depository institution or credit union.

Paycheck Protection Program

Economic Impact Disaster Loan and Loan Advance

The Economic Impact Disaster Loan, administered by the SBA, provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide economic support to overcome temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. A loan advance will be made available within three days of a successful application, and does not have to be repaid.  SBA’s resource partners, SCORE and the Maryland Small Business Development Centers, are available to help guide you through the application process or provide general business assistance. In addition, the SBA is conducting the following daily webinars and conference calls to assist applicants. It is recommend that you prepare for the call and know what questions you would like to ask by thoroughly reviewing the loan application in advance:

  • 3:00 pm – Daily Conference Call
    202-765-1264; ID # 827-299-626
  • 10:30 am and 8:00 pm – Zoom Webinar (download the ZOOM app for free)
    Meeting # 6794772946
    Have all your necessary documents ready

Due to overwhelming volume, the application was recently simplified, and applicants are asked to submit it during off-peak hours whenever possible. Some users are experiencing problems on Chrome. Please use an alternate browser. Use the links below for complete details and to apply online using the new streamlined application.

COVID-19 Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application

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