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.
Maryland Department of Commerce: Small Business Emergency Relief Programs
Maryland has authorized $130 million in loan and grant funding for small businesses and manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs.
If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the following programs:
- Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund - This $75 million loan fund (for for-profit businesses only) offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Learn more.
- Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund - This $50 million grant program for businesses and non-profits offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Learn more.
- Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund - This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More details are expected to be announced by Friday, March 27, 2020.
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.
Payroll Protection Program
Under the CARES Act, $350 billion will be used to establish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides 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.
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.
Non-Profit Relief: Common Application for COVID-19 Emergency Relief Campaign
The COVID Collaborative is administering a common grant application to support local eligible organizations impacted by COVID-19. COVID Collaborative includes The Community Foundation of Frederick County, the Ausherman Family Foundation, Delaplaine Foundation, Inc., Helen J. Serini Foundation, the Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County, and the United Way of Frederick County.Organizations can use this application to apply for emergency grants to support increases to demands in services and/or grants to support general operating expenses when revenues have been impacted by COVID-19-related closures. Applications will be collected by the Community Foundation and evaluated for funding by the abovenamed funders.
The application can be found 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:
- Fair Labor Standards -FAQs
- Family and Medical Leave - FAQs
- Unemployment Insurance - FAQs
- Payroll Protection Program - (details available in our Maintain Access to Capital section above)
Additional workforce related resources can be found here.
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, including:
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.