The COVID-19 public health crisis is also an economic crisis for Talbot County’s business owners and workers in every industry. We update this information daily to bring you the latest information and best resources to help you manage your business during this pandemic. At the Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism, we are here to support you, not just in times of crisis, but every day.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has developed a simple comparison tool offering the basic facts, dates, and eligibility requirements for you to start on the path to apply for the best funding option for your small business.
Questions about how your 2021 unemployment insurance tax rate was calculated? Check out information from State Senator Addie Eckardt.
Financial Help For Businesses
Town of Easton
Two New Grants Being Offered by the Town of Easton – All Easton non-profit and business owners that have been in operation since at least January 2020, and can show a loss of revenue or expenses incurred since March 3, 2021, are encouraged to consider applying for one of two new grants being offered by the Town of Easton. Information and applications can be found at this link. Applications will be approved, and monies will be disbursed on a rolling basis. There is no application period with a specific open and close date.
Project Restore – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is offering rental grants and sales tax relief rebates to help offset startup costs and incentivize commercial investment in vacant spaces through this new program. Businesses that begin new or expanded operations in spaces that have not been generating sales tax receipts for the past six months or more will be eligible. Small businesses of 50 or fewer employees will be eligible for additional benefits.
Maryland Apprenticeship Expansion Grant – The Maryland Department of Labor is now accepting proposals for grant funds to support Registered Apprenticeship Programs across the state.
Maryland Economic Adjustment Fund (MEAF) – MEAF provides loans of up to $150,000 for small and underserved businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Applicants must demonstrate credit worthiness, ability to repay, and an inability to qualify for loans from traditional lending sources.
Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program Loan Direct Forgiveness Portal streamlines forgiveness processing for PPP borrowers. Registered participants may use this streamlined process to automatically submit forgiveness request to lenders. Go to the website or check out the user guide for more information.
The American Rescue Plan extends the employee retention credit PDF through December 2021 to businesses that have seen revenues decline or had to temporarily shut down their operations due to government orders related to COVID-19. Businesses that qualify can take the maximum credit of $28,000 per an employee for 2021.
Assistance through local Small Business Development Offices can be found here.
Also through the American Rescue Plan, employers with fewer than 500 employees may receive up to $17,110 per employee to provide workers with up to 10 days of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of paid family leave. Click this link to learn more.
Business Owners’ Idea Café Small Business Grant – Business owners in business for at least six months can apply for a $1,000 grant with advertising opportunities. There are no entry fees and a complete business plan is not required.
National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grants – Business owners may apply for up to $4,000 for specific small business projects. Past recipients used growth grants to purchase computers, hire part-time help, and create marketing materials.
U.S. Small Business Administration Loans — The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.
- These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.
- Loan repayment term is up to 30 years and first payment is deferred for one year.
EIDL Advance Grant 2.0 – Eligible small businesses are able to receive additional funding if their first EIDL Advance Grant was under $10,000.
- Employ 300 employees or less;
- Demonstrate at least 30% reduction in gross receipts in any 8-week period between March 2, 2020 and December 31, 2021; and
- Are located in a low-income community, as defined for the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC).
Check on the status of your EIDL application by calling 1-800-659-2955 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has released a simpler loan forgiveness application for PPP loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
Other Assistance Programs
Work Sharing Program – This Maryland Department of Labor program is designed to avoid layoffs by preserving jobs for trained workers. Qualified employers are able to retain an entire employee group by reducing that group’s hours of work by a percentage equal to the total reduction of hours that would have been achieved by a layoff.
The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service provided guidance in Notice 2020-54 to employers requiring them to report the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on Form W-2. Additional information about tax relief for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on IRS.gov.
Check out this site from the Small Business Development Center about federal resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Financial Help for Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers the Farm Loan Discovery Tool to help farmers find agriculture loans.
Unemployment Insurance Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/unemployment.shtml
Financial Resources for Individuals and Families — Information on resources from the Department of Human Services (DHS) and Maryland Department of Labor and Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Maryland COVID-19 Information for Business – A roundup of resources for businesses affected by COVID-19.
The Maryland Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program— Website lists state contracting opportunities for small businesses. The program applies to 66 designated agencies and departments that are required to spend at least 15 percent of their total fiscal year procurement expenditures with certified SBR vendors. Vendors can become certified online in one day. There is no cost to participate.
The State of Maryland’s Procurement Forecast for Fiscal Year 2021 is now available on the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs website. The database is populated with solicitations of $100,000 or greater.
SCORE’s Small Business Resilience Resource Portal – SCORE has created a comprehensive resource portal to help you find the specific information, government resources, and financial support you need to position your business for future success.
Small Business Development Center Survival Guide – A comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to navigate the crisis, including tips on how to talk to creditors, alternative funding sources, and how to leverage social media platforms to communicate to customers.
The Hogan Administration’s COVID-19 Response – Live updates and the latest news from Governor Larry Hogan.
- Recent Announcements from the Governor’s Office.
- Responses to Questions Regarding Relief Programs. – Learn which programs are no longer accepting applications.
COVID-19 and Equal Opportunity Employment Laws — Equal Employment Opportunity laws, including the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, continue to apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Business Guide for Veterans – Digital.com developed a guide for veterans thinking about starting a business that includes links to resources.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce developed a Guide for Small Businesses to help them understand the various assistance programs, including changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), eligibility for initial PPP loans, the loan forgiveness process, and the tax treatment of PPP loans, as well as the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL Program), the Employee Retention Tax Credit, a Venue Grant program, and SBA loan programs.
Considering using a Home Equity Line of Credit to finance your business? There are many things to consider. Bankrate offers some advice.
You Are Not Alone
Feeling stressed? Anxious? Depressed by the COVID-19 public health crisis? Don’t suffer in silence. Help is available for you and your loved ones.
For All Seasons continues to have availability for crisis appointments, in-person appointments, teletherapy, and telepsychiatry, as well as 24/7 hotlines during the COVID-19 crisis. You can even text to get help. Staff is available for both long-term and short-term appointments for anyone in need of support.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Toll-Free (English) 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Toll-Free (español) 1-888-628-9454. More information for businesses here