Emergency Relief for Businesses
Maryland Coronavirus Information for Businesses
If you anticipate having trouble making a loan payment, please notify your lender or loan servicing company as soon as possible to discuss your options. Early and regular communication is important. Get more information from the Maryland Bankers Association. And, view a list of credit unions operating in Maryland and their contact information.
- Baltimore City has created a grant fund to assist local manufacturers with start-up costs related to the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They are also providing $15,000 grants to small business enterprises in certain commercial areas. Read more.
- Baltimore County has announced $10 million in new grant funding for small businesses, as well as $100,000 for impacted artists, musicians, and performers. Small businesses can apply on the department’s economic and workforce development website starting May 11.
Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Assistance for Maryland businesses
Below are additional resources provided by a number of federal and state government agencies that businesses may find helpful. Visit Maryland Business Express page as the situation develops and as new resources become available.
- General SBA guidance for businesses can be found here. If you need additional help navigating the SBA process, Maryland SBDC can help.
- 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. See 90-day extension for tax payments for more information, or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
- Comptroller Franchot also extended business-related tax filing deadlines to June 1. Get additional information regarding business tax returns – including sales and use tax, alcohol tax, etc. – and income tax extensions.
- Businesses who paid their Maryland Sales & Use Taxes for March early may request a refund of their payment by emailing email@example.com or by calling 410-260-4020.
- Taxpayers who have set up a payment through their own online banking services will need to stop that transaction through their banks. Taxpayers who have scheduled a payment through the Comptroller’s ifile or bFile can request to have a debit from their account stopped as long as it is at least 3 days prior to the scheduled payment date. If taxpayers have individual requests for assistance, they should contact Taxpayer Services at 410-260-7980 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The federal tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15. Learn more.
- Maryland banks, credit unions, and financial service providers are operating under precautionary measures, with increased focus on mobile, phone, and online services. If you anticipate having trouble making a loan payment, please notify your lender or loan servicing company as soon as possible to discuss your options. Early and regular communication is important. More information from the Maryland Bankers Association. And, view a list of credit unions operating in Maryland and their contact information.
Employer & Worker Assistance
- The Maryland Department of Labor is now accepting applications for the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which can provide funds to help businesses with 500 or fewer employees purchasing remote access equipment and software to allow employees to work from home, provide on-site cleaning and sanitation services or other creative strategies to mitigate potential layoffs or closures. To see details or apply please visit this website.
- The Centers for Disease Control has issued guidance for businesses and employees.
- The U.S. Department of Labor has developed some guidelines for how companies can prepare their workplace for COVID-19. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a COVID-19 website with information specifically for workers and employers. There is also information on issues relating to wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Labor and Industry enforces the Maryland Health Working Families Act, also known as Safe and Sick Leave, which may be useful for employees who need to take off from work due to COVID-19. Learn more about the Maryland Health Working Families Act here, or email email@example.com.
- If a business experiences a temporary or permanent layoff, Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance’s Bulk Claim Services can open unemployment insurance claims for all affected employees. To determine if a business is eligible, please visit our Bulk Claims Services Frequently Asked Questions page. If a business is eligible, they should contact a Claims Representative by emailing UI.BulkClaim@maryland.gov. For additional information, visit the Department of Labor’s COVID-19 FAQ page.
- Labor’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning enforces the Rapid Response System, which works collaboratively with the State’s businesses and workers to minimize the impact of economic disruptions caused by layoffs and plant or business operations closing.
- Labor’s Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance is available to help Maryland business owners find timely and effective solutions to issues, so they can go about running their companies. They can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Maryland Insurance Administration has shared insight into Business Interruption Insurance on their website. MIA has also put together an FAQ addressing insurance-related questions about coronavirus.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to COVID-19.
Licensing & Permitting
- According to the Governor’s Executive Order, all licenses, permits, registrations, and other authorizations issued by the state, its agencies or any political subdivision that would expire during the current state of emergency will be extended until at least the 30th day after the state of emergency is lifted.
- Labor’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (O&P) is temporarily extending license expiration dates until May 1, which is subject to being extended as the response to the coronavirus situation evolves. They can be contacted by emailing email@example.com.
- Businesses that are licensed and regulated by Labor’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation can email DLFRFinReg-LABOR@maryland.gov with any questions or concerns they may have about licensing requirements.
Source: Maryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Business
The CARES Act
The CARES Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. Read an overview here and a Q&A from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship can be found here. More information from the U.S. Department of the Treasury can be found here. An eligibility guide for businesses can be found here.
In addition to establishing the Paycheck Protection Program, the CARES Act creates several new resources to assist businesses during this crisis:
- Relief to States and Territories
- The CARES Act also creates a $150 billion Coronavirus relief fund for states and territories.
- $139 billion is set aside for states and is allocated based on population, using latest census data. There is a minimum of $1.25 billion per state. Maryland is expected to receive an estimated $2.344 billion. Local governments in jurisdictions with populations of at least 500,000 may request a direct payment from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
- Payroll Tax Credit
- The CARES Act establishes a refundable, 50% payroll tax credit (the Employee Retention Credit) covering up to $10,000 paid per employee, including benefits from the period of March 13, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Read more, and find additional IRS guidance on Coronavirus tax relief here.
- Additional Provisions
- For companies with more than 500 employees, the CARES Act provides $500 billion distributed to distressed industries, including passenger airlines, cargo air carriers, and industries related to national security. Read more.
- The CARES Act also includes support for economic development agencies and programs, including funding for the Community Development Block Grant, assistance to minority business development centers and minority chambers of commerce, several million for state arts and humanities agencies and partners, and more, to assist businesses in need. Read more.
What Chamber Members Are Saying:
"Being an active member of the Chamber is such a meaningful & rewarding experience. The number of resources, networking opportunities, and connections throughout the county that come with being a member has made my time here well spent. Along with the Chamber’s resources, I’ve also received an enormous amount of support during the pandemic and with my business that I would not have received without my membership."
Heidi Hiller, CEO of Innovative Party Planners
"The Greater Baltimore Chamber of Commerce has given me a greater appreciation for entrepreneurship and insight into running a small business. The networking opportunities are priceless. I’ve had the privilege to meet so many like-minded business owners who are passionate about their craft. I’ve been a member since 2018 and have witnessed the chamber go through so many obstacles and changes, but the camaraderie, support, and willingness to rally together in tough times really sets this chamber apart. As a business owner, it’s refreshing to know that this resource exists whose mission is to help us thrive and grow through networking, partnerships, and giving back to our community."
Kimberly Fernandez, Owner of Girlkin Lashes
"The Greater Baltimore Chamber of Commerce is a crucial pillar of my business plan. The Chamber offers direct support relevant to my strategies for growth and sustainability. GBCC connects me with business owners and consumers in the community and fosters the relationship-building process. I find colleagues and business partners within the Chamber, and more importantly, reach clients outside the organization. My GBCC membership keeps my services and brand ‘top of mind’ and is a key aspect of my direct and drip marketing efforts. I show up and participate, and the GBCC model delivers."
Heidi Marie Bell, Owner at Heidi Marie Bell Photography
"The Greater Baltimore Chamber of Commerce feels like home! It’s great to be around like-minded business owners who are invested in our community. These types of organizations are meant to be more than just a title, more than just a resume builder, but an impactful experience, and that can be found here. There’s passion at every event the chamber hosts, and I guarantee that if you’re invested and genuine about networking, you’ll find meaningful connections at the very first event you attend. I did!"
Marcellis Mosby II, Owner at Disinfect It
"Joining the Greater Baltimore Chamber of Commerce was one of the best decisions for our business. We have been in business for 9 years and belong to many chambers and business associations. This has by far been the best! Beth and team do exactly what a chamber is supposed to do: they support your business, help you generate leads, and promote your business. They hold networking and events that will help your business grow!"
Joni Elmore, Owner at Kona Ice of Central Baltimore County