The Maryland Bankers Association applauds the U.S. Congress’ passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, an important federal stimulus bill that will help provide greatly needed help to Marylanders and Maryland businesses.

Maryland’s banks are keenly aware of the economic and financial pressures resulting from the coronavirus emergency. The 87 FDIC-insured community, regional and nationwide banks across Maryland are helping their customers experiencing a financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 in numerous ways.

The federal CARES Act stimulus bill contains several important provisions to enhance how banks are helping their business clients through this crisis.

Among the provisions of the CARES Act is $350 billion in substantial enhancements to the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs made to small businesses directly through banks. These loans, through the Payroll Protection Loan Program, will be structured as a new part of SBA’s 7(a) loan program structure, will be available through banks and other SBA lenders. The objective of the CARES Act is to infuse $350 billion into small businesses, nonprofits and independent contractors, in an expedited and responsive way to help them through this crisis.

According to MBA’s President and CEO, Kathleen Murphy, “MBA is optimistic about the new Payroll Protection Program and the impact of this program.  It is designed to provide rapid, efficient, low-cost financial assistance to help businesses with payroll and operating costs.  MBA and banks across Maryland eagerly await the loan program guidelines to be issued by the SBA and Treasury potentially as early as next week so that this program can become operational as soon as possible.”

Maryland businesses can prepare by contacting their bank or SBA lender to express interest in the program and by getting their payroll and financial information together to help expedite the application process.