Frequently Asked Questions: Back In Business Conditional Microgrant

1.  How should I calculate my employee count? 

An employee is an individual that is hired by the business and whose earned wages are reported through W-2 reporting. Individuals whose earned wages are reported through 1099 forms should NOT be counted as employees. These 1099 subcontractors are encouraged to consider their own eligibility to apply for this grant instead. 

Employees who work 30+ hours a week will be considered full-time. Employee numbers may have fluctuated substantially this year. Please provide the full-time employee number as of March 13, 2020.  

Within the application, space will also provided to take part-time workers into consideration. You will be asked to submit the combined number of hours part-time employees worked in the first week of March 2020 (3/1/2020 - 3/7/2020). For example --  If you had 4 part-time employees who worked 10 hours, 20 hours, 15 hours, and 15 hours respectively that week, you should report 60 combined part-time hours. This number will allow our team to calculate the number of full-time equivalents.

2. What qualifies as loss of revenue? 

In Round Two of the Back In Business Microgrant program, revenue loss is defined as any decline in July sales revenues as compared to last year. This is a removal of the requirement in Round One to demonstrate 25% loss of revenue.   

If your business is awarded a grant and your business is audited, you must be able to demonstrate through the submission of tax returns what the business gross income was on July 2019 compared to July 2020.  

3. What can the grants be spent on?  

  • Conditional grant funds shall be used on the following items: 
    • Commercial rent or mortgage payments for the business location
    • Commercial equipment/supplies needed to address safe COVID19 operations 
    •  Commercial utilities for the business location (such as water, sewer, electricity, etc.)

Eligible expenses must occur prior to December 30, 2020.  

4. Are non-profits eligible?  

 Yes, assuming they meet all other eligibility requirements.  

5. Are faith-based organizations eligible? 

 Yes, if they are a formally registered nonprofit and meet all other eligibility requirements.  

6. Will sole proprietors who do not have employees be eligible? 

Yes, sole proprietors who meet all other eligibility requirements can apply for the program for consideration for an Individual Business Award.  

 7. Will businesses that are receiving other loans and grants be eligible for this grant program? 

If you received the Small Business Resiliency Grant, Frederick County JumpStart OR the City of Frederick Profit Non-Profit grant you were ineligible for the first round of this grant program, but are now eligible for the current Round Two lottery. We encourage you to apply! 

Businesses who have qualified for/received any other COVID 19 assistance (private, State, or Federal) are not disqualified from this program. 

While your application for, or receipt of, other grants or loans does not disqualify you from receiving City funds, funds should not be used for the same purposes.      

 8. Are franchises of national chains eligible?
Yes, if the franchisee’s business meets all other program criteria, he/she is eligible to apply.  

9. What percentage of your business must be based within City of Frederick limits?  

To be eligible, a majority (more than 50%) of a business’ operations and employees must be physically-based within City of Frederick limits.  

 10. How will the City support contractors that lost income due to job cancellation? 

Businesses that are considered sole proprietorships and that meet all other eligibility requirements are eligible to apply. If audited you would need to submit Schedule C of tax returns from 2019 and 2020.   

11. Are there any restrictions for my industry? 

There are no restrictions on industries. Any business can apply as long as they meet all the other grant requirements.   

 12. Will you need a computer to submit the application? 

Yes, you will need access to a computer since the application is only available online.  

 13. Can I mail my application in or drop it off somewhere?  

Applications will only be accepted via online submission.  

 14. What is the deadline for these grants?  

Round Two of the grant application window will open 3 PM Thursday, October 8, 2020 and remain open until 12:00 pm Friday, October 16, 2020. Applications will NOT be reviewed in a first-come, first-serve basis. We encourage you to submit the application at the time most convenient to you during the application window.  

15. What supporting information/documents do I need to submit? 

In addition to basic business background information, you will be required to provide the following documentation and data: 

  • A screenshot image proving your business is currently registered and in good standing with the State of Maryland

 To obtain this screenshot, please visit www.egov.maryland.gov/BusinessExpress/EntitySearch/Search and search under your business’ legal name.  

  • Your company's DUNS number -OR- a screenshot showing you have begun the process of obtaining one

 The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number is a unique nine-digit identification number provided by Dun & Bradstreet. You may have a number without even knowing it. If you are not sure if you have a DUNS number call D&B using the toll-free number 1-866-705-5711. If you do not have a number already, you may also obtain one using the same number as above. Full instructions (including the information you will need to have on hand to obtain a new number) may be found here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/duns_num_guide.pdf 

NOTE: There is no fee associated with obtaining a DUNS Number. Avoid clicking on any pop-up that solicit payment. 

For those worried their DUNS Number application will not be completed prior to the application portal's close, a screenshot verifying the process has been started is sufficient documentation for the first round of application. The DUNS Number will have to be produced prior to final award. 

  • SAM Number - OR - a screenshot showing you have begun the process of obtaining one

The SAM (System of Award Management) Number is needed to verify that a business is not debarred from doing business with the federal government. Unless the business has done work with the federal government before, it is likely the business may not already have this number. Businesses may begin the registration process here: https://www.sam.gov/SAM/pages/public/samStatusTracker.jsf#step1content

For those worried their SAM Number application will not be completed prior to the application portal's close, a screenshot verifying the process has been started is sufficient documentation for the first round of application. The SAM Number will have to be produced prior to final award.

  • Revenue numbers from July 2019 and July 2020

While you will not be asked initially to upload documentation of these numbers, your business may be subject to an audit at a later point. 

  • Employee count (full time and part-time) as of March 13, 2020; Total part-time hours worked in first week of March 2020

Employees who work 30+ hours a week will be considered full-time. Employee numbers may have fluctuated substantially this year. Please provide the full-time and part-time employee counts as of March 13, 2020.  

Within the application, space will also provided to take part-time workers into consideration. You will be asked to submit the combined number of hours part-time employees worked in the first week of March 2020 (3/1/2020 - 3/7/2020). For example --  If you had 4 part-time employees who worked 10 hours, 20 hours, 15 hours, and 15 hours respectively that week, you should report 60 combined part-time hours. This number will allow our team to calculate the number of full-time equivalents.

  • The names of all other COVID-19 related relief programs (Federal, State, & Local) you have applied for, as well as the use of those fund awarded

Such programs include, but are not limited to: Payroll Protection Program, SBA Economic Disaster Loan, Maryland State Arts Council Emergency Grant, Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund, Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan, Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant, COVID-19 Emergency Relief Campaign (United Way & Frederick Community Foundation), and more.  

  • W-9 Form


All eligible applicants later selected through the lottery system to receive the grant will be required to sign a Grant Agreement Letter.  Grant awardees will also be required to submit a Back In Business Expense Substantiation form and provide proof of payment. Checks will be dispersed within approximately 15 business days of the receipt of all required documentation. 

16. Will I get confirmation that my application has been received?

During the application process, you will have the opportunity to enter an email address you would like a copy of the completed form to be submitted to. Following the submission of an application, you will be taken to a confirmation page. This confirmation page will confirm your application has been received and provide next steps. You are encouraged to print a screenshot of this page for your records.

 17. How long will this process take; when can I expect to receive the money? 

Eligible applicants will receive notification if they were selected through the Round Two lottery by October 21, 2020.  At that point, these conditional awardees will receive instructions regarding additional necessary documentation. Grant funds will be available for distribution as reimbursements for designated eligible expenses, within two weeks of expense use & submission of receipts/documentation.  

17. How will I get the money?  

Grants will be distributed as checks issued by The City of Frederick.  

18. How can I check on status of application(s)?
You will first receive a confirmation email upon successful completion of the application. By October 21, 2020  you will next receive a notification and instructions via email if your application is selected through the lottery. Those not selected through the lottery will also be notified via email at this time. 

 19. Will my information be kept confidential? 
Financial information is kept confidential. The names of any business that receives a grant, and the dollar amount of the grant received, are public information.  

 20. Will I need to pay the money back?
This is a grant, not a loan, so you will not need to pay it back as long as you comply with all of the terms and conditions of the Grant Contract Agreement.  

21. Is this a one-time payment?  

Yes.  

22. If I have additional questions who can I contact?  

 For general questions about eligibility and grant applications, please contact business@cityoffrederickmd.gov