Important Business Updates – April 20

MARYLAND BUSINESS RELIEF WIZARD

There are several state, local, and federal relief programs designed to help combat the economic impacts of COVID-19. The Relief Wizard is an easy-to-use tool that can direct businesses to the programs for which they are eligible. Please click reliefwizard.net.

The Maryland Department of Commerce is currently streamlining its process to review and approve loan applications. The department is also training 150 volunteers to accommodate the sharp increase in application volume. Businesses can view the status of their applications through the Department of Commerce’s OneStop Portal at onestop.md.gov.

The department is also launching a Tourism Recovery Task Force and a Manufacturing Recovery Task Force to help prepare businesses to resume operations as soon as they are able to do so. Additional task forces will be established in the coming days and weeks with the aim of helping Maryland businesses in all sectors recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. More information about these initiatives will be made available soon.

EXPANDED UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

The federal CARES Act expanded unemployment insurance benefits nationwide, giving access to sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed workers. Maryland will provide all three expanded unemployment programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

Upon availability, benefits will be paid back to the earliest date of eligibility. Please use the following link to monitor progress as these programs come online and sign up to receive email updates when filing opens for PUA benefits: dllr.state.md.us/employment/unemployment.shtml.

SBA DAILY CALLS AND WEBINARS

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is conducting daily webinars and conference calls to help small business owners understand and apply for coronavirus relief programs. The SBA offers these programs: Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL Loan Advance, SBA Express Bridge Loan, SBA Debt Relief. Calls and webinars are scheduled as follows:

3 p.m. – Daily Conference Call. 202-765-1264; ID # 827-299-626

5:30 p.m. – Daily Conference Call. 202-765-1264; ID # 310-688-488

10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. – Zoom Webinar. Meeting # 6794772946. Have all your necessary documents ready

SMALL BUSINESS RESERVE (SBR) PROGRAM

Certified small businesses have access to over $400 million in prime contracting opportunities on state-funded contracts through the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program. SBR certifications can be completed through the eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA) platform by clicking emma.maryland.gov.

Once certified, firms must recertify annually. If a business is not in the program or needs to recertify, they should complete the SBR certification process immediately. Utilize this Quick Reference Guide for more information: procurement.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2020/03/7-SBRCertification_Recertification.pdf.

MARBIDCO PANDEMIC ADJUSTMENT LOAN FUND

The Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) established the Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund Program to help Maryland’s food and fiber producers, harvesters, and primary processors adjust to business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers low-cost loans with flexible terms for working capital or equipment purchases. The maximum individual loan amount is $10,000, and no collateral security is required. Applications for the Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund must be submitted by May 31. The application form is available at marbidco.org. For questions, please call (410) 267-6807.