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The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information for County operations and services.

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Loans will Help Offset Cash Shortfalls Resulting from COVID-19 Business Closures and Contractions

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced today that the County has secured a $1.6 million CARES Act grant to provide low-interest loans to qualifying Baltimore County small businesses to help them recover from the sudden and severe economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
 
“We are not only in the midst of a public health crisis, but an economic one, and government has a responsibility to help support our small businesses — the lifeblood of our communities,” said Olszewski. “These funds come at a critical time as our small businesses need immediate aid to adjust to the ongoing economic realities of this pandemic and to continue supporting their employees.”
 
The County will use these new grant funds, awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), to capitalize a new small business revolving loan fund that will be open to Baltimore County firms from all business sectors. The Department of Economic and Workforce Development (DEWD) will administer loans in amounts ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 that will provide working capital to help offset cash shortfalls resulting from COVID-19 business closures and contractions. Approved borrowers may use the funds for a range of needs including supporting payroll, acquiring equipment and inventory, reconfiguring existing or new space to meet Coronavirus guidelines, capital improvements and more.
 
“Baltimore County businesses are suffering and we need to leave no stone unturned to find funds from any source possible to support our businesses and their employees,” said Baltimore County Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins. “I commend County Executive Olszewski, Acting Director of Economic and Workforce Development Chris McCollum, and the Economic Development team for identifying new funding sources to support the Baltimore County economy.”
 
“Maryland’s small businesses are facing the greatest threat in generations. Congress has a responsibility to ensure that our small businesses most in need, and their workers, have every resource available to help them face this pandemic safely, adapting to whatever changes may be necessary due to COVID-19,” said Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. “I’m proud we were able to inject more federal funds into Baltimore County’s small businesses. There is more we can be doing though. Senator Mitch McConnell must bring forward  the Heroes Act, which passed the House of Representatives in May, so that we can deliver more of the much-needed support for Maryland and across the country.”
 
DEWD expects to begin processing loan applications within the next several weeks. Businesses that are interested in learning more about the loan program are encouraged to contact the business development team at covidbizloan@baltimorecountymd.gov.


With Hybrid Program, Young People will Participate in Virtual or Onsite Opportunities

Amid the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that Baltimore County will provide an innovative Summer Youth Employment Program that will offer a hybrid of virtual training and onsite opportunities.

“While we’re still in uncharted territory, we remain committed to providing our young people with opportunities to gain job experience that will be valuable throughout their lives,” Olszewski said. “Students with summer employment are more likely to achieve in the classroom and will be better prepared to succeed in the workforce. I want to thank our team for their ingenuity in providing this innovative option to ensure we can support as many young people as possible.”

Beginning July 6, Baltimore County’s Summer Youth Employment Program provides a six-week summer employment program for youth, ages 14 to 21, offering real-world work experiences. This year, students will be placed in either virtual or onsite opportunities.

Virtual participants will utilize an online platform called Baltimore County Youth Career EDGE to engage in customized work experiences focused on Baltimore County’s nine key industries (PDF). The virtual training will expose young people to high-growth occupations in the County and will better prepare students for entry into the workforce. Youth participating in the virtual work-experience will receive stipends for successful completion of modules.

Youth who participate in onsite opportunities will be placed in one of 12 Baltimore County departments, including efforts to assist with the County’s COVID-19 response to prepare and distribute food, as well as over 20 community employers. Students who participate onsite, either with the County or with a private employer, will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety training as appropriate. Youth with on-site placements will work up to 25 hours per week, earning $11 per hour.

Supporting Baltimore County’s Summer Youth Employment Program was a key recommendation of Olszewski’s transition team. In 2019, 194 youth participated in the program. Earlier this year, County Executive Olszewski announced an effort to grow the program with a goal of 300 participants.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, the County remains on track to meet that goal this year.

More Information

More information about Baltimore County’s Summer Youth Employment Program is available at: www.baltimorecountymd.gov/SYEP.


Free Webinars to Feature Q&A With Finance and Legal Professionals

As Baltimore County businesses face unprecedented threats to their continued viability, County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that the County’s economic and workforce development professionals will host a series of free webinars to help small businesses and affected workers navigate available assistance resources and plan for eventual economic recovery.

The series will offer participants live direct access to panels of local subject matter experts. Topics will focus on support resources for small businesses and affected workers, progressing from immediate stopgap financial programs to longer-term recovery strategies.

“We know that businesses and families are struggling during this global health crisis and we will continue to do all we can to help people figure out which programs best support their immediate and longer-term needs,” said County Executive Olszewski, who plans to participate in Tuesday’s online session.

Series Kicks Off Tuesday, April 21 With a Session on Small Business Relief Resources

The first “Baltimore County Business Forum—COVID and Beyond,” will be presented live via Cisco WebEx on Tuesday, April 21 at 1 p.m., and webinar access information will be posted on the County website at baltimorecountybusiness.com. Recorded video of the completed webinars will be posted on the webpage.

The 60-minute session will be moderated by Baltimore County Director of Economic and Workforce Development Will Anderson and will feature an expert panel with a live question and answer session with local subject matter specialists. The panelists include experienced legal and financial professionals who are advising clients every day on COVID-19 issues, and are themselves members of the Baltimore County small businesses community.

  • John Fiedler, CPA, Wolfe & Fiedler, PA
  • Charles R. Kassouf, Attorney, Managing Member of The Law Office of Charles R. Kassouf, LLC
  • David Miller, CPA, Partner at Kenneally & Company
  • Carla Nelson Chambers, Managing Principal of The Nelson Ideation Group, LLC

“It can be overwhelming to figure out what local, state and federal stimulus programs you qualify for and which programs may be most helpful given individual circumstances,” said Baltimore County Director of Economic and Workforce Development Will Anderson. “This first webinar will provide an overview, plus offer business people the chance to ask specific legal and financial questions of our expert panel.”

The Department of Economic and Workforce Development (DEWD) has compiled an overview of resources and assistance available to affected employers and employees. This information is available on the department’s website and updates are posted on Facebook.


 
 
Revised October 16, 2020               
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