The Latest Info For Maryland Small Businesses on COVID-19: Stay at Home

Date: March 30, 2020

State-specific information available here

3/30

Governor Larry Hogan issued an Executive Order requiring all persons living in Maryland to stay in their homes as of 8:00pm, March 30, 2020.

There are exceptions:

  • Residents may leave their homes to conduct or participate in Essential Activities (defined below);
  • Staff and owners of “Essential” Businesses and Organizations that are not required to close may travel:
    • between their homes and those businesses and organizations; and
    • to and from customers for the purpose of delivering goods or performing services.
  • Staff and owners of “Non-Essential Businesses” may travel:
    • between their homes and those Non-Essential Businesses for the purpose of engaging in Minimal Operations; and
    • to and from customers for the purpose of delivering goods.
    • “Minimal Operations” means:
      • Facilitating remote working (a/k/a/ telework) by other staff;
      • Maintaining essential property;
      • Preventing loss of, or damage to property, including without limitation, preventing spoilage of perishable inventory;
      • Performing essential administrative functions, including without limitation, picking up mail and processing payroll;
      • Caring for live animals; and
      • In the case of Non-Essential Businesses that are retail establishments, continuing to sell retail products on a delivery basis.
  • As used herein, “Essential Activities” means:
    • Obtaining necessary supplies or services for one’s self, family, household members, pets, or livestock, including, without limitation: groceries, supplies for household consumption or use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, laundry, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence;
    • Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of one’s self, family, household members, pets, or livestock, including such things as seeking medical or behavior health or emergency services, and obtaining medication or medical supplies;
    • Caring for a family member, friend, pet, or livestock in another household or location, including, without limitation, transporting a family member, friend, pet, or livestock animal for essential health and safety activities, and to obtain necessary supplies and services;
    • Traveling to and from an educational institution for purposes of receiving meals or instructional materials for distance learning;
    • Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running, or biking, but only in compliance with paragraph III below and applicable social distancing guidance published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and the Maryland Department of Health (“MDH”);
    • Travel required by a law enforcement officer or court order; or
    • Traveling to and from a federal, State, or local government building for a necessary purpose.

You may find a copy of the entire Executive Order here along with Interpretive Guidance from the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Today’s order does NOT effect the previous order enumerating “essential” vs “non-essential” businesses – i.e. if your business was considered “essential,” today’s Executive Order does NOT change that.

Also, the Governor’s chief legal counsel has advised employers that they “must make the determination if they’re allowed to remain open. If they do, it would be advisable for them to give their employees some kind of letter, in case the employees are stopped by law enforcement. The burden here is on the employer.”

Finally, the Governor has issued an Executive Order authorizing Notary Publics to perform the notarial act remotely.

 

3/23/2020

Maryland Announces Further Action for Closures for Non-Essential Businesses & Loan Programs through the Departments of Commerce and Labor

Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

Effective YESTERDAY (Monday, March 23 at 5 PM), all non-essential businesses are directed to close to the general public.

Guidance for Essential Businesses

For guidance on this order, including a list of businesses, organizations and facilities which may remain open, please read this Interpretive Guidance Document. This list draws on the federal guidance regarding the essential critical workforce, which can be found here.

Departments of Commerce and Labor offering programs to help employers cope with COVID-19 pandemic

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund (Commerce) – This $75 million loan fund offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Learn more.

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund (Commerce) – This $50 million grant program offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Learn more.

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund (Commerce) – This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More information coming by Friday, March 27, 2020.

Maryland COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund (Labor) – Designed to provide funds to help businesses with 500 or fewer employees purchasing remote access equipment and software to allow employees to work from home, provide on-site cleaning and sanitation services or other creative strategies to mitigate potential layoffs or closures. To see details or apply please visit this website. 

Comptroller announces tax extension

The Maryland Comptroller announced income tax deadline extended to July 15, 2020

Governor announces Executive Order on Price Gouging

Gov. Hogan announced an executive order prohibiting a retailer from raising prices that would increase profit by more than 10%. See a copy of the order.    

 

NFIB will continue to make every effort to share relevant information with members. Please continue to check the NFIB Maryland website.

To assist Maryland Small businesses we will update this web page as new information comes in.

3/23/2020 Governor Hogan Announced the following information our members may find helpful.

Resources for Businesses in Maryland

Financial Assistance & Taxes

  • The Maryland Department of Commerce is offering three new business assistance programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund – This $75 million loan fund offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Learn more.
    • Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund – This $50 million grant program offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Learn more.
    • Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund – This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More information coming by Friday, March 27, 2020.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide low-interest loans to companies affected by the outbreak, with President Trump asking Congress to increase funding for the SBA lending program to $50 billion.
  • Governor Hogan announced on March 19 that the entire state of Maryland has received official designation for SBA assistance. Individual businesses can now apply directly to the SBA for low-interest loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Visit SBA’s website to apply now.
  • General SBA guidance for businesses can be found here. If you need additional help navigating the SBA process, Maryland SBDC can help.
  • Maryland business and individual income taxpayers will be given a 90-day extension for tax payments. No interest or penalty for late payments will be imposed if 2019 tax payments are made by July 15, 2020. See 90-day extension for tax payments for more information, or reach out to [email protected] with questions.
  • Comptroller Franchot also extended business-related tax filing deadlines to June 1. Get additional information regarding business tax returns – including sales and use tax, alcohol tax, etc. – and income tax extensions.
  • Businesses who paid their Maryland Sales & Use Taxes for March early may request a refund of their payment by emailing [email protected] or by calling 410-260-4020.  
  • Taxpayers who have set up a payment through their own online banking services will need to stop that transaction through their banks. Taxpayers who have scheduled a payment through the Comptroller’s iFIle or bFile can request to have a debit from their account stopped as long as it is at least 3 days prior to the scheduled payment date. If taxpayers have individual requests for assistance, they should contact Taxpayer Services at 410-260-7980 or via email at [email protected].
  • The federal tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15. Learn more.
  • Maryland banks, credit unions, and financial service providers are operating under precautionary measures, with increased focus on mobile, phone, and online services. If you anticipate having trouble making a loan payment, please notify your lender or loan servicing company as soon as possible to discuss your options. Early and regular communication is important. More information from the Maryland Bankers Association. And, view a list of credit unions operating in Maryland and their contact information.

Employer & Worker Assistance 

Licensing & Permitting

Educational Information

  • The Department of Health hosted a webinar featuring information and guidance for businesses about coronavirus and preventing its spread in the workplace here  or watch the recording here.

 

3/19/2020 Gov. Hogan announced the following that may/will impact small businesses:

  • BWI access is restricted to ticketed passengers and employees with badges only (exceptions made for those assisting elderly and disabled)
  • Transit may only be used if you are an essential employee (healthcare, law enforcement, etc)
  • Prohibited ALL events of 10+ people
  • Enclosed shopping malls and venues will close at 5pm EDT 3/19/20
  • Restaurants and bars are authorized to perform carryout and delivery subject to local liquor laws
  • Trucks will be allowed to exceed their normal weight limits

Related Content: Small Business News | Maryland

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