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.
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.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund ProgramThe American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. Learn more 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
- 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 Accommodations COVID RELIEF Grant Program
- Project Restore will provide financial support to Maryland’s small businesses and commercial developers re-occupying or investing in vacant commercial and retail space. Through Project Restore, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will offer rental grants and sales tax relief rebates to help offset startup costs and incentivize commercial investment in vacant spaces. 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 for the program. Small businesses of 50 or fewer employees will be eligible for additional benefits. Learn more here.