Business Toolkit: COVID-19

Develop a Plan  

As our country takes important measures to protect public health & safety, common issues small businesses may encounter include: capital access, workforce capacity, inventory & supply chain shortfalls, facility remediation/clean-up costs, insurance coverage issues, changing market demand, and marketing challenges. 

Businesses should seek guidance from technical assistance providers such as a local Small Business Development Centers, legal counselors, insurance providers, and financial institutions.  A database of free & low-cost business resources available to Frederick businesses & residents can be found here. Looking for a resource but can’t find it? Contact our office for help! 

Proactive action and clear communication will be critical to overcoming the challenges of the coming months. 

Maintain Access to Capital

With unordinary market demand & required closures, cashflow concerns are top of mind for many small business owners.  Below are some programs designed to assist cash-strapped businesses. 

The City of Frederick's Back In Business Conditional Microgrant Program 

The COVID-19 Back In Business Conditional Microgrant Program is designed to financially assist City-based small businesses which have been substantially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and which have not previously received local assistance. Funding for this program is through the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development (DED) GROW Fund utilizing funds from Federal CARES Act through the State of Maryland and Frederick County. Awards will be made utilizing a random lottery-based system. 

Learn more here. 

Tax Credit for Required Paid Sick and Family Leave 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the "FFCRA"), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020, provides small and midsize employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to COVID-19.

The FFCRA gives businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid sick and family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. Workers may receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for their own health needs or to care for others and up to an additional ten weeks of paid family leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions. The FFCRA covers the costs of this paid leave by providing small businesses with refundable tax credits. Certain self-employed individuals in similar circumstances are entitled to similar credits. 

Eligible Employers will report their total qualified leave wages and the related credits for each quarter on their federal employment tax returns. Comprehensive program details, as well as instructions to apply for an advance credit for employers without sufficient  funds to cover the current payments, can be found here

Payroll Protection Program 

Under the CARES Act,  the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was established to provide loan guarantees to small businesses to assist with payroll costs for workers who are forced to stay home. Loans will be available for firms that meet SBA small business size standards, self-employed, sole proprietors, independent contractors (i.e., workers in the “gig” economy), and certain nonprofits including 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(19)s, and tribal business concerns with fewer than 500 employees.

Payroll Protection Program loans will be executed through an approved SBA lender. A list of SBA Approved Lenders in Maryland is available here.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan & Emergency Advance  

The State of Maryland has received U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Declaration. This means small businesses and private non-profit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply directly to SBA for low-interest federal disaster loans. This assistance is crucial and can help businesses pay bills, payroll, and accounts payable during this difficult time.

With the passage of the CARES Act, an additional $10 billion has been added to the SBA’s EIDL program, which provides low-interest loans to companies affected by the outbreak. There is also a new emergency $10,000 advance from SBA. This advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven. *Note - Businesses that applied to the SBA EIDL before Monday, March 30, 2020 would need to reapply to receive this add-on. 

Find more information & the application for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans here.

Protect & Manage Your Workforce

Protecting the safety of employees is everyone’s primary concern. Currently, all those living in Maryland are ordered to stay in their homes or places of residences -- except to participate in essential activities. 

Workforce during COVID-19 - Frequently Asked Questions: 

Additional workforce related resources can be found here

Stay Informed 

Maryland Department of Commerce

Maryland Department of Commerce has launched a webpage dedicated to business owners during the Coronavirus outbreak. The page will be actively updated and features important resources & announcements. Explore comprehensive State resources here. 

City of Frederick

All COVID-19 related announcements through the City of Frederick can be accessed online here

Downtown Business Updates

The Downtown Frederick Partnership has created a website to track adjusted downtown business offerings and opportunities to safely support local establishments during the outbreak. Downtown businesses and residents are encouraged to take advantage of this resource.