Governor Hogan’s Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative

Governor Hogan yesterday announced the $250 million ‘Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative,’ which will provide funding from the Rainy Day Fund to directly assist restaurants, small businesses, local entertainment venues, arts organizations, and Main Streets across the state. The initiative doubles the state’s total commitment to COVID-19 emergency economic relief for Marylanders to $500 million.
$50 Million: Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund
A third tranche of funding to the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to businesses of 50 or fewer employees. This additional relief will clear the backlog of eligible applications. No new applications will be accepted.

$50 Million: Direct Relief for Restaurants
Direct grant relief to qualifying restaurants across the state. The funding will be allocated through local jurisdictions and must be distributed no later than December 31, 2020. Eligible uses of funds include:

  • Working capital, such as rent and purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining through physical improvements including tents, heaters, warmers, and carts
  • Sanitization services
  • Purchase of PPE
  • Technology to support carryout and delivery
  • Infrastructure improvements, including HVAC system upgrades

Direct Relief for Main Street communities
$20 million through the Department of Housing and Community Development to assist hard-hit businesses and local entertainment venues within Main Street Maryland organizations as well as the Baltimore Main Streets programs.

$20 Million: Expansion of COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund
The state’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund has helped small businesses with an average of 20 employees stay open and saved nearly 9,000 Maryland jobs. Grantees have used the average award size of $22,738 per business for such things as purchasing remote access equipment and software to promote teleworking, assisting with employee training and education, purchasing cleaning supplies and services to maintain an onsite workforce, and taking advantage of the Maryland Department of Labor’s Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program by supplementing employee income.

$5 Million: Expansion of Small and Minority Business Low-Interest Loans
Administered through the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), the program provides financing to businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs. MSBDFA uses include working capital, supplies and materials, machinery and equipment acquisition, land acquisition, or real estate improvements.

$3 Million: Expansion of Arts Organization Funding
Increases funding for the Maryland State Arts Council’s (MSAC) Emergency Grant Program. MSAC has created special grant opportunities that provide emergency funding to arts organizations and artists for losses sustained because of programming, operations, and events that have been modified or canceled.

$2 Million: Hometown Tourism Program
Funding for local Destination Marketing Organizations to support hometown tourism efforts that promote local restaurants, attractions, and shops.

$100 Million: Emergency Rapid Response Fund for Small Businesses
Sets aside $100 million that can be immediately deployed to areas where there is the greatest need, as the pandemic continues to affect various sectors and as state and local governments wait for the federal government to take action on additional stimulus relief.

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