Available COVID-19 Business Resources
Federal U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration has declared D.C., including Prince George's County, as an economic disaster area.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act
The Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act is a very easy guide for business owners and includes a lot of new financial resources for businesses, including an Emergency Economic Injury Grant up to $10,000.
Businesses also can apply online for Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters at the Disaster Loan Assistance website.
View the Coronavirus Business website.
Maryland Department of Commerce
The Department is offering three new business assistance programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund - This $75 million loan fund offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Learn more.
- Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund - This $50 million grant program offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Learn more.
- Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund - This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More information coming by Friday, March 27, 2020.
COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund
Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Labor have launched the new COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.
Labor is accepting grant applications from small businesses for awards from now through 30 days after the State of Emergency ends (subject to funding availability).
How It Can Help Me
- Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing remote access (ex. computers, printers, etc.) equipment to allow employees to work remotely from home versus being laid off;
- Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing software or programs that an employee would need to use from home;
- Supporting businesses that take advantage of the Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program by supplementing the employee's income and benefits;
- Providing funds to cover the costs of cleaning/sanitization services so that small businesses are able to keep employees at work on site, but only if a frequent deep cleaning to prevent exposure occurred;
- Paying for liability insurance for restaurants that convert to delivery while under emergency circumstances;
- Providing funds for training or professional development opportunities for employees to avoid layoffs; and
- Adopting other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs in the small business community.
Examples of How a Business May Demonstrate the Need for Layoff Aversion Funds
- I run a call center where employees usually work in an office setting. To support social distancing, I'd like my employees to work remotely, which will require equipment such as reliable headphones and laptops for each employee. If they do not have this equipment, I will need to layoff my staff.
- I could ask employees to use their personal phones and work remotely, but I do not have the funds to support the cell phone packages. If provided funds to reimburse employees for the increased data usage, my business could avoid layoffs.
- My employees could work remotely if they had a specific software or computer application, but I cannot afford to purchase. Without this software, I will need to layoff my workforce until we can go back to the office.
- I need my 8 employees to continue to work on site, but I am concerned about their potential exposure to COVID-19 and cannot afford frequent deep cleaning to help limit potential exposure. If I had funds to support the deep cleaning, it would allow my workers to continue to work and would foster a safer work environment.
- Due to the impacts of COVID-19, my employees have more down time than usual. If I were able to offer the opportunity for them to take project management training online during this down time, they will increase their skill sets, making them a valuable asset to our company and less likely a candidate for layoff.
More information and apply at COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund Policy.
View the Prince George Coronavirus website.
View the Central Maryland Chamber website.