Ahead of the Curve: The Maryland Strong Economic Recovery Initiative

Are you eligible for these eight great grants and funds?

By Trevor M. Allen, Esq.
Attorney at Law at Selzer Gurvitch Rabin Wertheimer & Polott, P.C.

Maryland’s economy has been severely impacted by COVID-19. In response, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has announced a $250 million “Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative,” which provides funding to directly assist restaurants, small businesses, local entertainment venues, arts organizations, and Main Streets across the state. The $250 million will be spread between eight total grants/funds.

Below you’ll find a helpful summary of all eight different grand/fund options. Some may apply to you. If so, we encourage you to contact Selzer Gurvitch to get started.


$50M: Expansion of Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund

Maryland will provide additional funding to the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to businesses of 50 or fewer employees impacted by COVID-19. As of October 2020, the program has distributed more than 9,600 grants to small businesses across the state. The additional relief will help the approximately 20,000 businesses that applied and were approved but were unable to receive funding, due to exhaustion of the grant funds by applications received by March 31, 2020. Those businesses that filed by the April 7 cutoff will not have to reapply and all applications will be reviewed in the order received.

$50M: Direct Relief for Restaurants

Maryland will distribute $50 million across each county and Baltimore City for Direct Relief for Restaurants. Each restaurant must apply through their local jurisdiction.

Eligible uses of funds include:

  • Working capital, such as rent, payroll, and job training
  • Purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining through physical improvements including tents, heaters, warmers, and carts
  • Sanitization services
  • Purchase of PPE and disposable food containers and utensils
  • Technology to support carryout and delivery
  • Infrastructure improvements, including HVAC system upgrades

For more details about the program and the application, please see our Ahead of the Curve Alert: The Maryland Restaurant Relief Program.

$20M: Direct Relief for Main Street

Maryland will provide $20 million through the Department of Housing and Community Development to assist hard-hit businesses and local entertainment venues within Main Street Maryland organizations as well as the Baltimore Main Streets programs.

$20M: Expansion of COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund

Maryland expanded the total funding to $30 million for the state’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which has helped small businesses with an average of 20 employees stay open and saved nearly 9,000 Maryland jobs. However, due to the high volume of applications, the $20 million allocated will soon be exhausted, and the Maryland Department of Labor has removed the application from their website and is only accepting applications that have been previously downloaded.

$5M: Expansion of Small and Minority Business Low-Interest Loans

Maryland will double funding to $10 million for low-interest loans to small and minority businesses. Administered through the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), the program provides financing (5-year term loans ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 with an interest rate of 0% for the first 12 months and 2% for the remaining term of the loan) to businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs.

$3M: Expansion of Arts Organization Funding

Maryland will increase funding to $7 million for the Maryland State Arts Council’s (MSAC) Emergency Grant Program. MSAC has created special grant opportunities that provide emergency funding to arts organizations and artists for losses sustained because of programming, operations, and events that have been modified or canceled.

$2M: Hometown Tourism Program

Maryland will provide $2 million for local Destination Marketing Organizations to support hometown tourism efforts that promote local restaurants, attractions, and shops.

$100M: Emergency Rapid Response Fund for Small Businesses

Maryland will set aside $100 million that can be immediately deployed to areas where there is the greatest need as the pandemic continues to affect various sectors and as state and local governments wait for the federal government to take action on additional stimulus relief.


Let Selzer Gurvitch help.

If you have questions regarding this alert, please contact author Trevor Allen. Of course, you may also contact the Selzer Gurvitch attorney with whom you usually work.

Trevor M. Allen, Esq.
(301) 634-3174

Disclaimer: The information contained in this material is not intended to be considered legal advice and should not be acted upon as such. Because of the generality of this material, the information provided may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without legal advice based on the specific factual circumstances.