Photo courtesy Maryland government.

Governor Larry Hogan has announced a new $250 million relief package to provide assistance to businesses throughout Maryland that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ‘Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative,’ which will provide funding from the Rainy Day Fund, doubles the state’s total commitment to $500 million for emergency economic relief.

$50M: Expansion of Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund

The governor’s initiative will provide a third installment of funding to the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to businesses of 50 or fewer employees. To date, the program has distributed more than 9,600 grants to small businesses across the state. This additional relief will clear the backlog of eligible applications and bring the program’s total funding to $145 million.

$50M: Direct Relief for Restaurants

The governor’s initiative will provide direct grant relief to qualifying restaurants across the state. Eligible uses of funds include:

  • Working capital, such as rent and purchase of equipment and services to expand          outdoor dining through physical improvements including tents, heaters, warmers,        and carts
  • Sanitization services
  • Purchase of PPE
  • Technology to support carryout and delivery
  • Infrastructure improvements, including HVAC system upgrades

The funding will be allocated through local jurisdictions and must be distributed no later than Dec. 31.

$20M: Direct Relief for Main Street

The governor’s initiative will provide $20 million through the Department of Housing and Community Development to assist hard-hit businesses and local entertainment venues within Main Street Maryland organizations as well as the Baltimore Main Streets programs.

$20M: Expansion of COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund

The governor’s initiative expands total funding to $30 million for the state’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which has helped small businesses with an average of 20 employees stay open and saved nearly 9,000 Maryland jobs. Grantees have used the average award size of $22,738 per business for such things as purchasing remote access equipment and software to promote teleworking, assisting with employee training and education, purchasing cleaning supplies and services to maintain an onsite workforce, and taking advantage of the Maryland Department of Labor’s Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program by supplementing employee income.

$5M: Expansion of Small and Minority Business Low-Interest Loans

The governor’s initiative doubles funding to $10 million for low-interest loans to small and minority businesses. Administered through the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), the program provides financing to businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs. MSBDFA uses include working capital, supplies and materials, machinery and equipment acquisition, land acquisition, or real estate improvements.

$3M: Expansion of Arts Organization Funding

The governor’s initiative increases funding to $7 million for the Maryland State Arts Council’s (MSAC) Emergency Grant Program. In response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, MSAC has created special grant opportunities that provide emergency funding to arts organizations and artists for losses sustained because of programming, operations, and events that have been modified or canceled.

$2M: Hometown Tourism Program

The governor’s initiative provides $2 million for local Destination Marketing Organizations to support hometown tourism efforts that promote local restaurants, attractions and shops.

$100M: Emergency Rapid Response Fund for Small Businesses

The governor’s initiative sets aside $100 million that can be immediately deployed to areas where there is the greatest need as the pandemic continues to affect various sectors and as state and local governments wait for the federal government to act on additional stimulus relief.