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.
Talbot County Hosts Community Economic Review Work Sessions
The Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism will host four Community Economic Review Work Sessions to share the economic resiliency toolkit developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first meeting will take place in Easton on April 7 at 8 a.m. at the Avalon Theatre.
Talbot County officials were part of a group of economic and workforce development professionals led by the Mid-Shore Regional Council and the Tri-County Council of the Lower Eastern Shore who worked with Salisbury University’s Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC) to develop the tools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resiliency toolkit will be discussed along with other information from the ESRGC’s Delmarva Index.
These tools are available to help stakeholders identify challenges facing the region and assist in long-term planning and the development of public policy. While the tools created for the Eastern Shore Economic Recovery Project will have many uses, they give decision makers information to understand long-term trends and anticipate challenges. The U.S. Economic Development Administration, a bureau within the Department of Commerce, funded the project.
“I am excited to share this information with the leaders in our communities,” says Cassandra Vanhooser, director of Talbot County Economic Development and Tourism. “These dashboards hold a wealth of information that can help us better understand our communities and the current economic climate.”
The sessions are free and open to the public. All of the meetings will begin at 8 a.m. Two opportunities remain for residents to participate: May 26, Oxford Community Center and June 23, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Van Lennup Auditorium in St. Michaels.
For more information, call Cassandra Vanhooser at 410-770-8000. For a preview of the Delmarva Index, visit delmarvaindex.org
Financial Help For Businesses
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.
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.
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).
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 2022 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.
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), 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.
Resources for Mental Health and Addiction
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
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact Addictions.com.