COVID-19 Resources

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.


Join Us for a Private-Sector Conference Call the Second and Fourth Tuesday of Each Month at 12 Noon to Get the Latest COVID-19 Updates for Business.

Call: 415-655-0002

Code: 471 585 551


Financial Help For Businesses


Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families (RELIEF) Act– On February 15th, 2021, Governor Lawrence J. Hogan signed Senate Bill 496, the RELIEF Act. The bill’s purpose is to relieve some of the adverse economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The RELIEF Act authorizes economic impact payments to certain Maryland residents, as well as separately providing for adjustments to both individual and business tax filings.

Rural and Underserved Business Recovery from Impact of COVID-19 (RUBRIC) program — TEDCO, the quasi-public state agency that supports early-stage tech companies, is offering funding to technology-based businesses that are socially or economically disadvantaged, or based in rural areas.

COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund Grant — Available to support businesses undergoing economic stress caused by the pandemic for preventing and minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. Grants for up to $50,000 per applicant may be customized to the specific needs of the business.

Commercial Seafood Industry Grant – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering economic relief funds through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28, 2021.

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.

The Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority Loans. Non-profits, financial and insurance institutions, gambling operations, massage parlors, cannabis-related businesses, as well as real estate companies may apply for loans from $25,000 to $200,000. First come, first served until funds run out.

Maryland Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan Program — The Department of Housing and Community Development provides flexible financing to new or expanding small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Sustainable Communities and Priority Funding Areas throughout the state.


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 GrantsBusiness 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 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)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. Interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses; 2.75% for non-profits.
  • 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

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) –Re-opened through March 31, 2021 with an additional $284 billion in funding. Apply through your bank.

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


Talbot CARES Individual Assistance Grant — The program provides emergency cash assistance to county residents who are out of work or whose income has been reduced because of the COVID-19 public health emergency.


Work Sharing ProgramThis 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.


Employee Retention Credit – The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses financially impacted by COVID-19 to keep employees on their payroll. The tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer. A list of frequently asked questions can be found here.

Federal Housing Finance Agency Payment DeferralFannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) offer a payment deferral option for mortgage payments allowing borrowers who are able to return to making their normal monthly payment, the ability to repay missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or when the loan matures.

IRS Employee Retention Credit— The U.S. Internal Revenue Service allows employers to claim tax credit of up to $5,000 for paying the health premiums of furloughed employee health premiums.

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

Check out this site from the Small Business Development Center about federal resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.


Financial Help for Agriculture


Maryland Farmer COVID-19 Relief ProgramThis Maryland Department of Agriculture program is designed to provide payments for contract poultry producers who were not eligible for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) funds. Also offers bonus payments to farmers who received federal relief from the first round of CFAP funding.


U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Marketing Assistance Loans Maturity Extension – Producers of eligible commodities have up to 12 months to repay their commodity loans for crop years 2018, 2019, and 2020.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers the Farm Loan Discovery Tool to help farmers find agriculture loans.


Unemployment Information

Unemployment Insurance Frequently Asked Questions:


Additional Resources

County – The Talbot County Department of Emergency Services and the Talbot County Health Department are leading the county’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis.


Governor Hogan and state health officials announced new actions December 17 to slow the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season, including new testing and quarantine requirements for travel, and a new public health advisory to limit gatherings, including limiting retail establishments to 50% occupancy. The governor also announced an additional $180 million in emergency economic relief, including more help for bars and restaurants.

Watch the Governor’s press conference.

View the slides from the press conference.

Quarantine Requirements for Travel – Read the governor’s order and the companion health directives.

Limits on Large Gatherings and Travel. Mandatory Travel Testing  Read the advisory.

Financial Resources for Individuals and Families — Information on resources from the Department of Human Services (DHS), Maryland Department of Labor and Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to help claimants whose CARES Act benefits are expiring at the end of the month.

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 expected to be advertised or awarded through June 30, 2021.

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.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance for Businesses and Employers – CDC guidance helps prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19 in non-healthcare settings.

COVID-19 Health Insurance Resources — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have published a tip sheet on health coverage options and marketplace frequently asked questions.

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.


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.


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 Seasons24-Hour Crisis Hotline: Toll-Free: 800-310-7273 English:410-820-5600 Spanish: 410-829-6143

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