Federal, State and Local Business Relief
The government is recognizing that they need to provide more relief given the current economic conditions. Industry groups are also pushing Congress and the White House to pass a Phase 4 relief program before they go on their August recess. This will potentially provide more relief for distressed industries and individuals.
To help you navigate the ever-changing relief landscape, here are some examples of new relief programs and relief programs that have been expanded.
The federal government has extended the deadline for applying for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPPL) to August 8, 2020. There is still $130 billion of the loan funding that has not been used yet. If you would like to apply or learn more information about the program, please use this link.
Many state and local governments are also considering additional measures to assist small businesses and non-profit organizations. For example, the State of Maryland is providing additional funding for small businesses through the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund and the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority. The latter is aimed at economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs.
The State of Maryland has also established a Nonprofit Recovery Initiative. $50 million of funding is now available to take care of non-profit operations such as those in the affordable housing and disability sectors. Please click here for the more information about this initiative.
Further, the Maryland Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program, which was established in 1984, is still available for business owners who are forced to reduce their workforce under the current economic conditions. It allows employees to work part time while getting paid partial unemployment benefits. Here is a short example to help business owners understand how this program works:
Due to the pandemic, your payroll amount has decreased by 25%. Instead of laying off 25% of your employees or reducing their salary by 25%, you can apply for the work-sharing program. Once approved, the employee receives 25% of their allowable unemployment benefit. This allows you to continue to keep your employees on payroll so they can support their families while you wait for business to improve.
For more information, please visit the State of Maryland website: https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/worksharing/uiwsempfaqs.shtml.
Montgomery County has launched a program to aid childcare experts. The County has made available $10 million to assist with childcare providers that have experienced losses during the government mandated shutdowns and to help them prepare their businesses for reopening. For more information about the initiative, visit the County website.
The state and local government examples are specific to the state and county where Stratus is located. However, many states and municipalities are offering relief options so we encourage all business owners, cooperatives and non-profits to check with your state and local governments to see what initiatives they have to help your organization.