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Financial Assistance

State Programs

COVID RELIEF ACT Programs

The bipartisan Relief Act of 2021 was signed into law on February 15, 2021, and includes more than $1 billion in tax relief and economic stimulus for struggling families and small businesses who are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a summary of the Relief Act.  Additional information from the Comptroller of Maryland on assistance provided by the Relief Act can be found here.  

Funding is extremely limited and may ultimately result in approval on a first-come, first-served basis. The application process will be open for a limited period, and Commerce anticipates substantial interest in these programs. We encourage you to apply as soon as applications become available. Commerce will provide funding through six new programs targeting specific groups of businesses. These include:

Small Business COVID-19 RELIEF Grant Program

To support Maryland’s small businesses facing continued financial impacts from the novel coronavirus, the state established through bipartisan legislation the new Maryland Small Business COVID-19 RELIEF Grant Program in 2021 with $10 million in state Relief Act funding. The application period for this program closed on April 6, 2021. If you submitted an application and want to check your status, please check the application portal. If you have questions about the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant, please contact COVID-19.application@maryland.gov.

**If your business does not qualify for this grant, please note that the bipartisan RELIEF Act of 2021 established a Sales and Use Tax Credit for which your business may be eligible. More information can be found here.**

Small, Minority and Women Owned Business Account COVID-19 RELIEF Program

To support Maryland’s small businesses facing continued financial impacts from the novel coronavirus, the state established through bipartisan legislation the Maryland Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Account COVID-19 RELIEF Program in 2021 with $10 million in state Relief Act funding.

Commuter and Shuttle Bus COVID-19 RELIEF Grant Program 

To support Maryland commuter and shuttle bus companies facing continued financial impacts from the novel coronavirus, the state established through bipartisan legislation the Maryland Commuter and Shuttle Bus COVID-19 RELIEF Grant Program with $8 million in state Relief Act funding.  The grant is directed to those companies that were impacted by reduction of routes by the Maryland Transit Administration.   

The following programs will be administered by each county and Baltimore City. As available, links to county websites with details for applying for these programs will be posted below under "Local Programs."

Online Sales and Telework Assistance COVID-19 RELIEF Grant Program 

To support Maryland small businesses seeking to expand online sales and teleworking capabilities for their employees due to the continued financial impacts from the novel coronavirus, the state established through bipartisan legislation the Maryland Online Sales and Telework Assistance  COVID-19 RELIEF Grant Program with $500,000 in state Relief Act funding. Applications will be available through each county and Baltimore City.  

Restaurant and Caterers COVID-19 RELIEF Grant Program 

To support Maryland restaurants facing continued financial impacts from the novel coronavirus, the state established through bipartisan legislation the Maryland Restaurants and Caterers COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. Commerce is providing $22 million to the local jurisdictions to provide relief restaurants in their areas, with a portion set aside for economically disadvantaged establishments. Applications will be available through each county and Baltimore City. 

Lodging and Accommodations COVID-19 RELIEF Grant Program 

To support Maryland hotel, lodging and accommodation businesses facing continued financial impacts from the novel coronavirus, the state established through bipartisan legislation the Maryland Lodging and Accommodations COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. Commerce is providing $10 million to the local jurisdictions to provide relief for lodging and accommodation businesses in their areas. Applications will be available through each county and Baltimore City.

Additional Maryland COVID-19 Relief Programs

$5 million will go to help socially or economically disadvantaged tech-based businesses in the state’s rural counties, administered by the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO).

Additional state financial assistance programs launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic include:

Local Programs

Allegany County

Restaurant Relief Fund
Lodging Relief Fund

Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, and nonprofit assistance)
Eviction Prevention Program

Baltimore City

Hotel Relief Grant
Baltimore City Grant Programs (including restaurants, and online sales & telework)

Baltimore County
Restaurant Grant Program
Hotel Grant Program 

Calvert County

Restaurant Relief Fund and Hospitality Relief Fund

Carroll County

Carroll County Grant Programs (including restaurants, online sales & telework, and nonprofit assistance)
Lodging and Accommodations Relief Grant 

Caroline County

County Grant Information

Cecil County 
Cecil Cares Small Business Grant
Cecil Catalyst COVID-19 Loans

Charles County

COVID-19 Business LoansGrants;
Restaurant Relief Grant
Hotel Relief Grants

Dorchester County

COVID-19 Grant Relief Program
Restaurant Grant Relief

Frederick County

Restaurant Relief Grant
Hospitality Grant

Garrett County

Garrett County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, online sales & telework, and nonprofit assistance)


Harford County

Harford County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, and nonprofit assistance)

Howard County
Grants for hotels, restaurants and other businesses

Kent County
Kent County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, online sales & telework, and nonprofit assistance)

Montgomery County

Montgomery County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, and online sales & telework)

Prince George’s County
Hourly Employee Relief Fund 
Open Door Grant Fund
Other grant programs (including restaurants, hotels, online sales & telework, and nonprofit assistance)

Queen Anne’s County

Queen Anne’s County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, online sales & telework, and nonprofit assistance)

Somerset County

Somerset County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, and online sales & telework)

St. Mary’s County

Restaurant Relief Fund
Hotel Relief Fund

Talbot County

Talbot County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, online sales & telework, and nonprofit assistance)

Washington County

Washington County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, and online sales & telework)

Wicomico County

Wicomico County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, and online sales & telework)

Worcester County

Worcester County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, and online sales & telework)

Federal Programs

Small Business Administration

Paycheck Protection Program

Need assistance applying for PPP or EIDL Loans?
The Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can help. Sign up for free counseling today via their website and select the County of your business location for assistance.

The CARES Act

  • Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020, which offered a tax incentive for employers to help their employees with student loan repayment. The new stimulus bill signed on December 21, 2020 extends the ability for employers to make tax-free student loan repayment contributions for employees until 2025. Information about the eligibility requirements for an educational assistance program can be found at the Internal Revenue Service website in § 127 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • The CARES Act established the Employee Retention Credit. This refundable, 50% payroll tax credit covering up to $10,000 paid per employee, including benefits from the period of March 13, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Read more, and view additional IRS guidance on Coronavirus tax relief.

Additional Resources

  • Eviction and Homelessness - $11.7 million in general funds will be directed to the Maryland Legal Services Corporation to provide legal services to families facing eviction and other housing security issues. More grants were announced in November
    
  • Independent Lenders - Maryland banks, credit unions, and financial service providers are operating under precautionary measures, with increased focus on mobile, phone, and online services. If you anticipate having trouble making a loan payment, please notify your lender or loan servicing company as soon as possible to discuss your options. Early and regular communication is important. Visit the Maryland Bankers Association or view a list of credit unions operating in Maryland and their contact information.
    
  • Maryland Manufacturing Network - Offers a central location where buyers, such as health care systems, local emergency management agencies, and essential companies, can identify which suppliers have PPE, health care equipment, and other essential items.
    
  • Neighborhood BusinessWorks - Provides flexible financing to small businesses and non-profit organizations in sustainable communities and priority funding areas
    
  • Opportunity Zone Microgrant Funding - Microgrants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 are available for early stage businesses and/or businesses that are expanding within an opportunity zone in Maryland. 
    
  • Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Account - The state’s Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) Fund uses proceeds from slots to assist small, minority, and women-owned businesses located in targeted areas surrounding six Maryland casinos.