Business Toolkit: COVID-19
Develop a Plan
As our country continues to take measures to protect public health & safety, small businesses continue to face challenges in capital access, workforce capacity, inventory & supply chain shortfalls, facility clean-up costs, changing demand, and marketing challenges.
Businesses should seek guidance from technical assistance providers such as a local Small Business Development Centers, legal counselors, insurance providers, and financial institutions. A database of free & low-cost business resources available to Frederick businesses & residents can be found here. Looking for a resource but can’t find it? Contact our office for help!
Proactive action and clear communication will be critical to overcoming the challenges of the coming months.
Maintain Access to Capital
With unordinary market demand & required closures, cashflow concerns are top of mind for many small business owners. Below are some programs designed to assist cash-strapped businesses.
Maryland State Arts Council's Emergency Grant: Application is now open for the Maryland State Arts Council's Emergency Grants for losses sustained because of programming, operations, and events that have been modified or cancelled due to the COVID-19. $5 million of funding is available to: Independent artists, Arts organizations, County Arts agencies, and A&E District management entities. Deadline to apply: April 1, 2021. Learn more here.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus crisis. SBA is currently offering first draw PPP loans for first time program participants and second draw loans for certain businesses who have previously received a PPP loan. Borrowers may be eligible for loan forgiveness.
Learn more about the PPP program here.
The State of Maryland has received U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Declaration. This means small businesses and private non-profit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply directly to SBA for low-interest federal disaster loans. This assistance is crucial and can help businesses pay bills, payroll, and accounts payable during this difficult time.
Find more information & the application for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans here.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
Learn more about the program here.
COVID-19 Employer Tax Credits
* Tax Credit for Required Paid Sick and Family Leave
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee's own health needs or to care for family members.
* Employer Retention Credit
The Employer Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Small businesses that receive small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program are not eligible.
Learn more about both Tax Credit programs here.
Last year, The City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development launched two new grant programs designed to provide local relief to small businesses struggling due to the economic restrictions of COVID-19. The following report summarizes the distribution and impact of these City programs.
State of Maryland COVID RELIEF ACT Programs:
- Small Business COVID RELIEF Grant Program— Application opens March 30 at 9am
- Small, Minority and Women Owned Business Account COVID RELIEF Program
- Commuter and Shuttle Bus COVID RELIEF Program
- Online Sales and Telework Assistance COVID RELIEF Grant Program
- Restaurant Caterers COVID RELIEF Grant Program
- Lodging and Accomodations COVID RELIEF Grant Program
Restaurant Revitalization Fund:
The American Rescue Plan Act — passed earlier this month — created a $29.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The upcoming program will be administered through the Small Business Administration directly, and will be distributed in the form of grants to eligible food & beverage service businesses.
In general, eligible establishments may receive the difference between their 2019 gross receipts and their 2020 gross receipts. The law provides for separate calculations for businesses that began operations midway through 2019, that opened in 2020, or that are not operating yet but have incurred expenses before March 10, 2021 in anticipation of opening. Award amounts will be reduced by the amount of any PPP loan an applicant has received. Grants may be used for a wide variety of expenses, including payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, supplies, food and beverage expenses, paid sick leave, and operational expenses.
More details and application information is expected in the coming weeks to appear on the SBA website.