Gov. Larry Hogan has announced a series of new actions to support Maryland’s small businesses as the state continues to battle the most recent COVID-19 surge. The governor continued his call on Congress to provide additional emergency relief for struggling families and small businesses. While we continue to wait for action from Congress, Maryland is taking additional steps to help workers and businesses including:

Unemployment Taxes: Businesses are facing automatic increases in unemployment taxes thanks to circumstances that were no fault of their own. Today, the governor announced that he will sign an Executive Order to protect Maryland businesses from sudden or substantial increases in their unemployment taxes for 2021.

Business relief: The governor also announced that the state will forgive $75 million in emergency business loans, which will now be converted to grants.

Christine Ross, president and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement in response:

“We are continually grateful for the leadership of Governor Hogan and the Maryland Departments of Commerce and Labor, who remain laser-focused on addressing the financial and operational challenges faced by Maryland businesses. We have known since the early days of the pandemic that employers would ultimately confront increases in unemployment taxes. The governor’s announcement today represents a tremendous step in mitigating the impact of increasing costs on Maryland’s businesses. We look forward to continuing to work together on solutions that blunt the economic impact of COVID-19 on our state’s job creators.”