3/31/2020 Update: Essential Businesses, The CARES Act, and More.

With so much change in our daily lives, it can feel overwhelming to keep up, but don’t worry. The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce is keeping our finger on the pulse of COVID-19 and changing developments in Maryland. Here are a few updates we’ve compiled from local government sources.

Update on CARES Act

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.

If you wish to apply for an Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.

Also, we encourage you to subscribe to our email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow us on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955.

Update on Essential Business Flyer

As mandated by the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act, all workplaces must post the attached flyer.

Governor Hogan released an amendment to his order closing non-essential businesses, prohibiting residents from traveling for non-essential purposes.

At this time, Maryland residents may continue to travel across state lines for work.  Residents of other states may enter our state for work at essential businesses. 

Currently, there is not a state-issued “Letter of Clearance” or similar document for employees of essential businesses to carry.  It is recommended that employers draft and print their own letters containing:

-Name and address of the employee

-Name and address of the business

-Nature of the employee’s work and reasons why it fits the definition of essential

-Employer’s signature and contact information


Employees should have this letter on their person when traveling to-from work.


To see the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s updated guidance on essential businesses:  click here. For more information, review all of the State’s legal interpretive guidance.

If a business is still unsure if it is essential or non-essential:

  1. First, carefully review the Orders, all available guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and all legal interpretive guidance issued by the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel (linked above) to confirm that the business, organization, or facility is not addressed in some way.
  • If “non-essential” status is still unclear, make a good faith determination about whether it is “non-essential”, based on:
  1. the Order’s purpose, which is to “reduce the threat to human health caused by the transmission of the novel coronavirus in Maryland, and to protect and save lives”; and
  2. how similar businesses, organizations, and facilities are treated under the Order.
  • If the business, organization, or facility decides to remain open pending more detailed legal advice, strictly adhere to all applicable guidance from the CDC, MDH, and OSHA regarding social-distancing and environmental cleaning and disinfection.

For more information on the rights of employees during the Shelter in Place order, please download the following PDF. 

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