Skip to Content Accessibility Information

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 grant offers working capital to assist certain Maryland small businesses with disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Grant assistance is intended to provide interim relief complementing actions with its bank, business interruption insurance, and financial partners.

Applications for this program are no longer being accepted. 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 Nonprofit Relief

Baltimore County
Restaurant Grant Program
Hotel Grant Program 

Calvert County

Telework & Online Sales Grant 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 County Grant Programs (including restaurants and hotel assistance)

Charles County

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

Dorchester County

COVID-19 Grant Relief Program
Restaurant Grant Relief

Frederick County
Frederick County Grant Programs (including restaurants, hotels, and small businesses)

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, online sales & telework, and nonprofit assistance)

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

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration will accept applications for its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program starting on April 8. Additional information on the program can be found here.
  • The SBA's Restaurant Revitalization Fund is open through May 24. Read who is eligible here.
  • The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is accepting applications from small businesses, private non-profits, and agricultural businesses.
  • SBA's Targeted EIDL Advance has two priority groups for funding, including those who previously applied for EIDL assistance but did not receive it. 
  • SBA is currently offering Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans originated only by participating community financial institutions including Certified Development Companies (CDCs), SBA Microlenders, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) until May 31, 2021 or until remaining funds are exhausted. Please note that not all community financial institutions are participating in PPP. Find an eligible lender here.
  • SBA allows small businesses with existing loans to defer payments by up to six months to supplement their cash flow during the crisis. Those businesses should reach out to their lenders to talk about this sort of modification.
  • View general SBA guidance for businesses or use this interactive map to find local assistance, including Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, SCORE business mentors, and more.

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 - Governor Hogan’s Moratorium on Evictions During State of Emergency currently remains in effect. On March 16, 2020, Governor Hogan issued an emergency order that prohibits Maryland courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant who can demonstrate that their inability to pay rent was the result of COVID-19 - for example, because of lost or reduced employment, needing to care for a school-aged child, because they are diagnosed with or under investigation for COVID-19. If a tenant feels they are being unfairly threatened with eviction, they should contact the Office of the Maryland Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or call 410-528-8662.
  • 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.
  • 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.