Navigating COVID-19 Services and Resources

Dear MCE/WBC Network:
The Women’s Business Center (WBC) is reaching out to assure our WBC network is taking all possible proactive measures to support and assist our clients during this economic upheaval on their businesses from necessary COVID-19 containment measures.

The WBC is actively advocating for grant and loan solutions to ensure financial sustainability for our clients. This is an evolving situation, we do not have all the answers at this time, but we will continue to provide supportive and informative measures that benefit clients and women owned businesses. Please remain vigilant and follow all prescriptive measures to ensure health and wealth of your family, clients, customers, and business.

COVID-19 Resources for Maryland Businesses

To assist Maryland’s businesses, MCE/WBC has compiled this resource page that includes information and links to financial assistance during COVID-19. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available, so check this page often and follow us on social media–Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

If you have questions or need help, schedule a call with one of our business counselors. Call us at 410-546-1900 to get connected.

CLICK HERE for comprehensive COVID-19 updates as they relate to Maryland businesses.

Economic Relief

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Reopens April 27 – The SBA resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020. Infused with an additional $130 billion–including $60 billion specifically earmarked for small businesses–this emergency lending program offers forgivable loans to small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. For complete details and to apply, click here.

Federal Disaster Loans and Grants

The CARES Act established new loan and grant programs to address COVID-19’s impact on small businesses.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program is the cornerstone of the CARES Act and provides forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. It provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. The PPP program’s initial $349 billion funding under the CARES Act was exhausted after just 14 days. The current second round of funding approved by Congress adds an additional $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program.

  • Who can apply
  • Where can you apply
  • How to calculate maximum PPP loan amounts by business type
  • PPP FAQs for Lenders and Borrowers

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

These low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital are being made available to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The second round of funding approved by Congress adds an additional $50 billion to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (only $7 billion was authorized initially under the Cares Act).

  • EIDL Loan terms are very favorable for small business owners
  • Loan amount – up to $ 2 million
  • Interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses
  • Loan maturity terms up to a maximum of 30 years
  • First payment is deferred for one year
  • Borrowers must be in business as of January 31, 2020
  • No personal guarantees for loans under $200,000
  • No collateral requirements for loans under $500,000

When the when Disaster Loan Assistance Portal opens up again, you can apply for the EDIL loans.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance

These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 after they have applied for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you must first apply for an EIDL and then request for the advance during the application process. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

  • The EIDL advance is not a straight $10,000 and is based on employees on staff.
  • Current guidance is $1000 advance per employee.
  • The second round of funding approved by Congress allocated an additional $10 billion for the EIDL Advances / Grants ($10 billion was authorized initially to this grant program under the CARES Act).

Small Business Debt Relief Program

To ease your fears about keeping up with payments on your current or new SBA loan the SBA is providing financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020.

  • This relief is not available for Paycheck Protection Program loans or Economic Injury Disaster loans
  • This is not a deferral! The SBA will make the loan payments for you
  • The debt relief is supposed to be automatic, but businesses should check in with their lenders if they have any questions regarding this payment relief.

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program

Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. This pilot program allows SBA Express Lenders authority to deliver expedited SBA-guaranteed financing on an emergency basis for disaster-related purposes to eligible small businesses, while the small businesses apply for and await long-term financing.

  • These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing, and they can be a term loans or they can used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
  • If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
  • Access the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program Guide

If you are planning to apply for a PPP loan, please contact your lender ASAP. Even though SBA continues to accept new loans, the additional monies will be spent. If your lender is no longer accepting applications, contact another lender as soon as possible. If you’ve received a PPP loan, make sure you are aware of the criteria for forgiveness.

NEW! Employee Retention Tax Credit

Part of the CARES Act is a tax credit for the portion of employment taxes paid by the employer. The credit is based on a decline in gross revenue per quarter. Most businesses would not apply for the 1st quarter, but your business may be eligible for the tax credit in the 2nd quarter. Click here to learn more about this program. Consider contacting your accountant or your payroll company for assistance.

Maryland Business Relief Wizard

Use this tool to navigate the COVID-19 funding programs that your business may be eligible for by answering a few questions. Get started.


Congress has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which approves more than $2 trillion in economic relief. Click here for complete details. You may also find the guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce helpful for your small business.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Employers, download the poster that must be posted by Thursday, April 1, 2020. Learn more about FFCRA Employer Paid Leave Requirements.

Maryland Department of Labor

Due to unprecedented volumes of claims, the Department of Labor has updated the process for applying for benefits. Please visit MDOL’s Unemployment homepage for additional details. Click here for COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.

2020 Renters' Tax Credit Application Form RTC

Filing Deadline September 1, 2020 – The State of Maryland provides a direct check payment of up to $1,000 a year for renters who paid rent in the State of Maryland and who meet certain eligibility requirements. For more information, click here.


Funders from across the country are extending opportunities for small and microbusinesses to seek grant aid. Many small and micro do not have the capacity to absorb additional debt. The various grant programs aim to address the gap. Learn more about the grants trying to help small businesses.

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, LISC is offering grants of up to $10,000 to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available. Applications for the second round of grants are due on April 28th. Apply today.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $1.25 million in cash grants and ad credits to businesses located in Cook County. Businesses who have been operating for over a year, employ 2 to 50 people, and have experienced challenges from COVID-19 are eligible to apply. Applications are due on May 6th. Apply today.

The Red Backpack Fund

The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish the Red Backpack Fund. Majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits with annual revenues less than $5 million are eligible to apply for a $5,000 grant. Apply today.

Restaurant Strong Fund

Samuel Adams and the Greg Hill Foundation have teamed up to offer $1,000 grants to as many restaurant workers as they can across 20 states, including Illinois. The crowdfunding effort, seeded with a $2 million donation from Samuel Adams, seeks to help restaurant, bar, cafe and nightclub workers during this time of hardship. Apply today.

GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative

The Small Business Relief Initiative was started by GoFundMe to help small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower their communities to rally behind them. GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks to provide small business owners with the financial support and resources needed to continue running their businesses during and after the coronavirus crisis. Supporters can donate to the Small Business Relief Fund, which will issue $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. Learn more.

Google Ads COVID-19 Small Business Ad Credit Program

To help alleviate some of the cost for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to stay in touch with their customers during this challenging time, Google is giving small businesses $340 million in ad credits to businesses around the globe. Learn more.

Hello Alice Grants

Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by coronavirus, as part of our broader mission to ensure Business for All. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community. Learn more.

Currently Closed Economic Programs

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

At this time, the SBA is not planning to accept new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program even though it received additional appropriations. Given the overwhelming number of applications received during the first round of funding, the SBA will continue to process the applications it received on a first-come, first-served basis. If you applied and haven’t received a response yet, be aware that loans are still being processed.

General Disaster Assistance Information

SBA COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources

Maryland Department of Commerce Small Business Relief Grants and Loans

As of 5:00p on April 6, 2020, the Maryland Department of Commerce is no longer accepting applications for COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant and Loan Programs. All applications that have been submitted are currently being reviewed in the order received. Learn more.

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund

As of 5:00p on April 21, 2020, the Maryland Department of Commerce is no longer accepting applications for this fund. All applications are currently being reviewed. Click here for more information and updates.

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

Due to an overwhelming response of 60,000 applicants to date, the Fund is not currently accepting new applications. The National Restaurant Association Education Fund (NRAEF) continues to raise money to assist more individuals in the future. Check back at for updates and follow our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds.

Job Opportunities

U.S. Census Now Hiring in Wicomico County – The U.S. Census is offering full- and part-time employment opportunities for the 2020 Census. Click here to download an informational flyer and apply online at 2020CENSUS.GOV/JOBS. NOTE: Applications are still being accepted; however, to protect the health and safety of the American public, Census Bureau employees, and temporary census takers, 2020 Census field operations are suspended until June 1, pending statutory relief from Congress.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is hiring temporary employees to assist with disaster relief efforts. Bilingual language skills a plus. Note: These are not jobs associated with Rockville Economic Development, Inc. or Maryland Women’s Business Center. Applications should be submitted using the links provided here.

Tax Benefits

Payroll Tax Credits

The IRS and the Department of Labor announced that under the CARES Act, small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits. These credits are designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. Find out how these credits will benefit small businesses at this link.

Federal Tax Filing and Payment Due Date Extension

Tax Day has been moved from April 15 to July 15. Tax filings and payments for all federal income taxes (including self-employment tax), regardless of amount will be due on the July date without interest or penalties.

  • Filing season extension: The federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. IRS news releases in English and Spanish are on the special coronavirus page.
  • Payment extension: The IRS also has updated the payment extension statement to July 15, 2020.
  • New business refundable credits: Small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to promptly and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees.

Additional Resources for Businesses

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