UPDATE: Governor Hogan announced that the entire state of Maryland has received designation for SBA assistance. Small businesses can apply here.
Maryland’s COVID-19 Business Response
The State of Maryland has taken far-reaching and proactive steps to minimize the impact of COVID-19 across our state, including ordering state employees to telework, closing public schools, closing casinos and racetracks, and activating the National Guard so it is ready to carry out any emergency functions that may be needed. State agencies including the Department of Commerce remain prepared to serve our clients in the business community.
These unprecedented measures may feel extreme or frightening, but they are necessary to slow the spread of the virus and save the lives of Marylanders.
Maryland is still “Open for Business.” – Find additional information for businesses here.
View an ongoing list of frequently asked questions here for Maryland businesses planning and responding to the Coronavirus.
Business Closures & Restrictions During COVID-19
- Closure of all Entertainment Venues and Enclosed Shopping Malls – This includes bowling alleys, amusement parks, bingo halls, casinos, racetracks, and other venues, and is in addition to the closure of bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and fitness centers that was previously announced. Businesses which provide drive-through, carry-out, and food delivery services may continue to do so. Read about specific closures in the executive order.
- Carry-out and Delivery of Alcoholic Beverages – Businesses that serve alcohol are now permitted to provide carry-out and delivery of alcoholic beverages. Read the executive order.
- Restricted Gatherings of More than 10 People – Social, community, religious, recreation, and sporting events and gatherings of more than 10 people are now strictly prohibited in all locations and venues in Maryland. This follows updated CDC guidelines. Read more about the restrictions in the executive order.
- Businesses Not Mentioned in Executive Orders for Business Closure
- If you are not a business that was specifically mentioned in the executive orders regarding business closures, you are still permitted to operate, but are required to follow health protocols such as social distancing. If you remain open, it is critical that you do everything in your power to prevent groups of 10 or more people from congregating in one area.
- Please use your best judgement and consider the possible impact on your employees and customers if you stay open. Public utility, such as the need to provide food or essential supplies, must be balanced with the need to preserve public health. Find business advice from the CDC.
- The Governor’s Office, Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and several state agencies are continuing to look at every industry and make determinations about essential services. We will update this webpage as we have more information.
- Restricted Use of Public Transportation – No one should use public transit such as MARC, Amtrak, Metro, or bus services except emergency personnel, front-line health-care workers, or those whose jobs are essential to the supply chain. There are significant reductions in MARC train, local and commuter bus, and light rail services in order to slow the spread of the virus. Please visit the Maryland Transit Administration for updated route and scheduling information.
Public Health Emergency Protection Act
The Governor signed emergency legislation on March 19, 2020 that includes:
- No Fees or Co-pays for COVID-19 Tests – Ensuring that Marylanders will not be charged fees or co-pays for COVID-19 tests
- No Price-Gouging -Prohibits price-gouging for food, fuel, medicine, cleaning products and other essential supplies
- Workers Cannot be Terminated – Guarantees that Marylanders cannot be terminated from their jobs because they have been isolated or quarantined
- Unemployment Benefits – Will allow the Secretary of Labor to extend unemployment benefits to workers who cannot work because they are quarantined, at risk for exposure, or to care for a family member with COVID-19.
Resources for Business
Below are additional resources provided by a number of federal and state government agencies that businesses may find helpful. This list will be updated as the situation develops and as new resources become available.
We encourage members of the business community to reach out with their questions by sending a message to Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov.
We also recommend that everyone regularly visit the Maryland Department of Health for the latest information on coronavirus and the Office of Governor Larry Hogan for updates on the state’s response to the outbreak.
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has activated its Virtual Business Operation Center (VBOC) as of March 6 to address inquiries from the private sector. Businesses that are interested in emergency operations engagement can learn more through MEMA’s Private Sector Integration Program.
Looking for a way to help? Please visit the new Maryland Unites website to find volunteer and donation opportunities.
The State of Maryland is committed to helping protect the health and well-being of all Marylanders. Thank you for being our partner as we face this challenge together.