Business Assistance Programs

Relief Program Eligibility Wizard (If you are unsure what you may qualify for)

Click below to navigate within this page:

Federal Assistance Programs (Comprehensive Overview)
SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) (APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED)
Employee Retention Tax Credit
Small Business Debt Relief Program
Maryland Assistance Programs
Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund (APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED)
Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund (APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED)
Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund
Maryland COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund (APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED)
MARBIDCO Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund Program (Agriculture)
Unemployment Insurance
Farmer Relief Fund by American Farmland Trust

If you have any questions regarding which financial assistance program may be right for you, please contact a Business Specialist.

Federal Assistance Programs

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Businesses who are anticipating applying to the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) should begin preparing now. Application submission begins on April 3.

The PPP provides up to $10 million in forgivable loans to assist businesses in keeping employees. Even if your business has already reduced employment, you are still eligible based on employment levels prior to February 15.

To Prepare:

  1. Read the PPP information sheet from the US Treasury carefully.
  2. Contact your current SBA partner bank and let them know you are interested in participating. If you do not currently bank with an SBA partner bank, refer to this list of statewide and county specific SBA banks.
  3. Download the PPP Application. Read the application carefully and prepare all information requested therein.

Although companies may be eligible for loans under both programs, they are unable to seek recovery under the EIDL loan for the same costs that are requesting to be covered by a PPP loan.

The Paycheck Protection Program’s forgiveness form and instructions has been released and can be found here.

The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.

The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:

  • Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
  • Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
  • Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
  • Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined

Return to Top of Page

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) (APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED)

Provides working capital loans to businesses who have suffered “substantial economic injury” as a result of COVID-19. New provisions from the CARES Act allows this capital to be available faster, and by a broader scope of business.

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 that apply for the SBA’s EIDL loan are eligible for a $10k forgivable advance. IMPORTANT: If you have already applied for the EIDL prior to March 30th, you will need to reapply through the new application to be eligible for the forgivable advance. Businesses may still be eligible even if their original application was denied. Apply here.

EIDL Loan and Application Information from SBA

Although companies may be eligible for loans under both programs, they are unable to seek recovery under the EIDL loan for the same costs that are requesting to be covered by a PPP loan.

Return to Top of Page

Employee Retention Tax Credit

The employee retention tax credit is a broad based refundable tax credit designed to encourage employers to keep employees on their payroll. The credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an employer whose business is fully or partially suspended because of COVID-19 or whose gross receipts decline by more than 50%. Businesses cannot participate in both the employee retention tax credit program and Paycheck Protection Program.

FAQs: Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act

Return to Top of Page

Small Business Debt Relief Program

Information on this program is still forthcoming from the SBA
This program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. The SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020. Learn more about the SBA Debt Relief program.

Return to Top of Page

Maryland Assistance Programs

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund (APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED)

The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund is being administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce. It offers $75 Million of working capital to assist for-profit small businesses with less than 50 full- and part-time employees that are experiencing disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Eligible uses include working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses related to the ordinary course of business operations. General terms and conditions include the following:

  • Loans up to $50,000 (not to exceed three months of cash operating expenses).
  • 0% for the first 12 months; 2% for the remaining 36 months.
  • Deferral of any payments for the first 12 months, and straight amortization beginning in the 13th month through the 36th month.
  • Business must be established prior to March 9, 2020 and in good standing.
  • Applicants must have employees on their payroll for whom they have had payroll taxes withheld (i.e. W-2 employees).
  • Two years of historical financial statements and most recent interim statement to benchmark revenue against (if available).
  • Six month pro forma of estimated lost revenue or other documented loss evidence.
  • Minimum personal credit score of 575.
  • No collateral requirements.

These funds are intended to provide interim relief, complementing actions with your bank, business interruption insurance provider, and other financial partners. Use the links below to view more information and to access the online application.

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund Application

Return to Top of Page

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund (APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED)

The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund is being administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce. It offers $50 Million of working capital to assist small businesses and nonprofit organizations with less than 50 full- and part-time employees that are experiencing disrupted operations due to COVID-19. Eligible uses include working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses related to the ordinary course of business operations. General terms and conditions include the following:

  • Grants up to $10,000 not to exceed three months of cash operating expenses for Maryland businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 with 50 or fewer employees.
  • Must be established prior to March 9, 2020.
  • Business must be in good standing.
  • Applicants must have employees on their payroll for whom they have had payroll taxes withheld (i.e. W-2 employees).
  • Annual Revenues of the business or nonprofit not to exceed $5 million as evidenced by Financial Statement or other financial documentation.

These funds are intended to provide interim relief, complementing actions with your bank, business interruption insurance provider, and other financial partners and the participant is expected to seek longer term funding through another source. Applications are being accepted online. Use the link below to apply.

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund Application

Return to Top of Page

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund

This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment and other items identified as Critical Needs Items by MEMA and DGS, that are urgently needed by the State of Maryland, Maryland-based hospitals and healthcare facilities, and emergency and first responders.

  • Grants of up to $100,000 will be made available to manufacturers to 1) increase existing capacity to produce these critical need items or 2) quickly pivot operations to produce these critical need items. 
  • Grant awards will vary based on the applicant’s total investment.
  • Applicants must be an established Maryland business and demonstrate experience, technical expertise and financial stability to implement the proposed project. 
  • Eligible costs include but are not limited to capital expenses such as machinery and equipment, raw materials needed for production, and operating expenses associated with increased production. 
  • Funding decisions will be made based on a variety of evaluation criteria, including but not limited to technical capability, operational experience, and the priority purchasing needs of the State of Maryland, with priority given to the product areas of greatest need within the Maryland healthcare system. 
  • Funds will be disbursed as follows: 50% at notice of award, with remaining 50% paid upon completion with proof of expenses. 

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund Application

Return to Top of Page

Maryland COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund (APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED)

The COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund is being administered by the Maryland Department of Labor. Awards of up to $50,000 per applicant is intended to minimize the need for layoffs. This benefit can be deployed quickly and may be customized to the specific needs of each business. Participating organizations must use the funds to mitigate layoffs and adhere to social distancing provisions established by state and federal public health entities. Examples of permissible activities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Purchasing remote access equipment to allow employees to work from home versus being laid off (computers, printers, telephones, headsets, etc.).
  • Purchasing software programs or applications required for working remotely.
  • Purchasing cleaning/sanitation supplies and/or services that will allow a small business to maintain an onsite workforce as a result of exposure reduction through frequent deep cleaning.
  • Paying for additional liability insurance for restaurants that convert to delivery under the State of Emergency.
  • Supporting businesses that take advantage of the Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program by supplementing the employee’s income and benefits, and/or;
  • Other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs, subject to review and approval by the MD Labor.

For information of how a business may demonstrate the need for layoff aversion funds complete details and to apply online, use the link below. 

COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund (Applications Suspended)

Return to Top of Page

MARBIDCO Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund Program

To help Maryland’s food and fiber producers, harvesters and primary processors adjust to the business disruptions caused by COVID-19, MARBIDCO is offering loans (with a very quick turnaround time) through its new Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund.

Program Information
The program is targeted to assist existing agriculture or resource based enterprises in making timely adjustments to their business operations to help take advantage of new or continuing market opportunities.

Loan Amounts
Eligible farms and rural businesses can apply for loans up to $3,000 in working capital and up to $10,000 for equipment purchases at low interest rates with flexible terms. Loan repayments will be interest only for five months followed by payments for 12 to 36 months with a rate of 3.75%. Borrowers who make all their payments will receive a 10% grant back (of the original amount borrowed) at the end of the loan term.
Applications must be submitted by May 31.
Apply Here

Return to Top of Page

Unemployment Insurance

Maryland Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance Information

For information on how the CARES Act has effected unemployment insurance, visit the Department of Labor’s COVID-19 FAQ.

If you are having difficulty placing a call or accessing our website, claimants can e-mail questions to ui.inquiry@maryland.gov. Employers can e-mail questions to dluiemployerassistance-labor@maryland.gov or contact 410-767-2412.

Employers should also read the Bulk Claims For Frequently Asked Questions to determine if they are eligible for this service. We strongly encourage employers to contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance by e-mailing UI.BulkClaim@maryland.gov or calling 410-853-1700 to initiate the bulk claims process.

Return to Top of Page

Farmer Relief Fund by American Farmland Trust

The initial round of grants will target small and mid-sized producers who market direct to consumers. Click for Application Details

During the initial application round (now through April 23), eligible producers may apply for $1,000 grants.

Return to Top of Page