Financial Assistance Available Through State and Federal Government for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

March 24, 2020

Governor Hogan announced new programs to assist small businesses.  These new efforts are aimed at providing relief and helping businesses during these challenging times.  Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or Maryland manufacturers, are encouraged to research these programs for qualifying guidance:

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund – This $75 million loan fund (for-profit businesses only) offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Learn more.

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund – This $50 million grant program for businesses and nonprofits offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed three months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Learn more.

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund – This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health care workers across the country. More details are expected to be announced by Friday, March 27, 2020.

The Maryland Department of Labor is now accepting grant applications for the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which can provide funds to help businesses with 500 or fewer employees purchasing remote access equipment and software to allow employees to work from home, provide on-site cleaning and sanitation services or other creative strategies to mitigate potential layoffs or closures. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs. To see details or apply please visit this website. If you have any questions, please email

Also, as of March 19, the entire state of Maryland received the official designation for Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance. Individual businesses can now apply directly to the SBA for low-interest loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Visit SBA’s website to apply.

Regarding employees who are laid off:  Laid off employees will qualify for unemployment benefits if the coronavirus (COVID-19) causes an employer to shut down operations or cut back on operations.  Maryland unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own if they meet the monetary criteria and the weekly eligibility criteria:  Maryland Department of Labor FAQ about COVID-19 and Maryland’s Unemployment for Businesses and Employees:

Remember that most restaurants in the County are now offering takeout service.  Please consider patronizing these establishments to help them keep revenue coming in.  You can visit the Facebook group Southern Maryland Is Hungry for information about local establishments.

The St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development will regularly post updates, information, and resources for the business community. Updates will occur through our various social media channels, newsletter and website