RELIEF Act Signed into Law

Date: February 17, 2021

Legislature fast tracks bill offering $1.2 billion in economic relief

Governor Hogan, along with Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones, signed the RELIEF Act into law this past week. The legislation, Senate Bill 496, provides more than $1.2 billion in economic relief to Maryland small businesses, nonprofits, and families.

NFIB was among the first supporters of the RELIEF Act championing its passage before the legislature. The bill contains a number of different provisions targeted towards small businesses. In the new law is an employer’s unemployment insurance tax rate for 2021 will be calculated based on their non-pandemic experience rating by excluding FY20 and FY21. Instead, it will be calculated using the last three fiscal years of 2017, 2018, and 2019. This was a priority for NFIB as thousands of small businesses were forced to lay off or furlough workers during mandated shutdowns and restricted capacities.

The RELIEF Act also provides nearly $200 million in tax credits for Maryland retailers and restaurants. Under the bill, vendors who collect and remit the sales and use tax can retain an increased tax credit for three consecutive months totaling up to $9,000. 

Finally, the RELIEF Act safeguards Maryland small business owners who received a state or local loan or grant from any tax increase on their state income tax returns. A list of relief programs eligible under the bill can be found here. The legislation also provides another $500 million in new funding for programs and grants for small business and nonprofits. Agencies and the programs they will offer can be found here.  

The state’s Comptroller has also set up a webpage to assist Marylanders navigate these and other tax provisions included in the RELIEF Act. That webpage can be accessed here.

In response to the RELIEF Act being singed into law, NFIB issued the following statement:

“Today’s bill signing is the result of the tireless efforts by the Hogan Administration and legislative leaders to provide Maryland small businesses with the financial assistance they so desperately need to continue on the path towards economic recovery.

Our members continue to struggle with the outsized impact this pandemic has had on the small business community but for many of them, today offers a little hope towards getting back to business as usual. We look forward to continuing this work wit the Governor and the General Assembly in bringing Maryland’s economy back safer and stronger than ever.”


Related Content: Small Business News | Maryland

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