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Keyword: funding

Additional $1 Million in Phase One Funding and $2 Million in Phase Two Funding will Assist More Families at Risk of Losing Housing as a Result of Pandemic

After significant response from residents applying for assistance from Phase One of Baltimore County’s Eviction Prevention Program, County Executive Johnny Olszewski has allocated an additional $1 million to support residents who are struggling to pay their rent and other housing-related expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new funding will supplement the County’s previous $1 million allocation to assist households at risk of losing their current housing when the state moratorium on evictions is lifted.

In addition, the County has allocated an additional $2 million in Community Development Block Grant–Corona Virus (CDBG-CV) funds for Phase Two of its eviction prevention efforts. The County in June issued an RFP to enter into grant agreements with eligible community-based organizations to address homelessness and expand eviction prevention efforts through subsistence payments and security deposits.

Phase Two will enable partnering organizations to tackle the issue of eviction prevention in a more comprehensive manner and will focus on the County residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Families across Baltimore County are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, and it’s critical that we help as many of those families as we can. These additional funds will help more families avoid homelessness and provide a bridge while they get back on their feet,” Olszewski said. “We will continue to identify ways to provide resources that help our families weather this storm.”

Applications for Phase One of the Eviction Prevention Program have closed. The additional funding will enable the County to provide support to more of the families who have already applied prior to the announced deadline. The County expects that at least 800 households will receive assistance.

The original $1 million for this phase of the Eviction Prevention Program came from the County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds and Emergency Assistance to Families with Children through the Department of Social Services. The additional funds will come from the County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds.

In addition to financial support for residents, the County has partnered with the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition's Fair Housing Action Center (FHAC) to provide the following services:

  • Financial coaching and counseling, including assistance negotiating with landlords
  • Referral to supportive services, including legal assistance
  • Renters’ tax credit applications and assistance

The eviction prevention initiative is the latest effort by Baltimore County to strengthen the safety net for families suffering economic losses as a result of the pandemic. Baltimore County government and Baltimore County Public Schools have provided more than three million meals for County residents. Information about food resources is available at www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/FoodHelp.

For more information about these initiatives and other efforts to respond to the pandemic, visit www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/Coronavirus.


Commits More Than $10 Million in Grants to Protect Jobs, Small Businesses and Artists; CCBC to Launch Online Contact Trace Investigator Training Program

County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced a series of economic relief efforts to support small businesses and individuals impacted by the severe financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • Baltimore County announces $10 million in new grant funding for small businesses
  • County offers $100,000 in grants to assist professional artists, musicians and performers  
  • Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) to launch online contact trace investigator training program  

Baltimore County Announces $10 Million in New Grant Funding For Small Businesses 

To support Baltimore County’s small businesses, Olszewski announced the County has allocated $10 million in new grant funding for the Baltimore County COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grants Program. 

“Small businesses are a critical link of our county’s economy, and we must do all that we can to support them in meeting their basic needs during this crisis,” said County Executive Olszewski. “As we move toward economic recovery, these grants will provide a critical bridge to Baltimore County small businesses who have not received other forms of assistance.” 

The Department of Economic and Workforce Development (DEWD) will administer the Baltimore County COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grants Program, which will award grants of up to $15,000 each to more than 650 Baltimore County-based small businesses on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The County has set a goal to award at least 25 percent of grant funding to women and minority-owned businesses. 

The County will fund these small business relief grants through the Economic Development Revolving Financing Fund, and intends to pursue emergency disaster reimbursement from the federal government.  

Grant Criteria, Application and Terms   

Grant applications will be posted on the DEWD website and will be accepted beginning May 11, 2020. To qualify for this grant program, small businesses must retain at least half of the workforce they had prior to January 31, 2020, which must have included at least two non-owner employees prior to Maryland’s Stay-at-Home Order. They must also: 

  • have at least two employees who are not owners or part-owners,
  • have no more than 25 employees per Baltimore County establishment,
  • demonstrate that they have lost at least 40 percent of their revenues since the Stay-at-Home Order began,
  • have been in operation for at least one year as of January 1, 2020, and commenced operations by December 31, 2018 or earlier, and
  • certify that they have not received other forms of federal or state COVID-19 assistance or relief at the time of application, and
  • be in good standing and not in default with the State of Maryland and Baltimore County.

Grant funds may only be used for payroll, operating expenses, business lease or rent, and inventory acquisition vital to the business, with at least 30 percent of the funds used to support payroll for non-owners. Funds may not be used for capital improvements or personal expenses, and if a business fails to reopen, all grant funds must be returned to the County within 14 days.

For more information, please visit baltimorecountybusiness.com or email COVIDbizrelief@baltimorecountymd.gov.

County Offers Grants to Assist Professional Artists, Musicians and Performers  

As part of his commitment to the local arts community, County Executive Olszewski is making available $100,000 to provide $1,000 stipends for up to 100 artists to help them recoup some of their financial losses due to the pandemic.

Grants will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted, and priority will be given to lower income artists, making $37,500 or less per year. Applicants will submit a streamlined application, document their artistic portfolio, and must be adult Baltimore County residents over the age of 18. The application process will open on May 11, 2020 and details will be available on the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences web page

Once approved, artists may use these grants for a number of purposes, including recouping losses from canceled performances and events, art-related travel expenses, lost teaching opportunities and loss of supplemental income for artists working in the service industry. 

Informational Resources for Businesses 

The Department of Economic and Workforce Development (DEWD) has complied an overview of resources and assistance available to affected employers and employees. This information is available on the Department’s website, baltimorecountybusiness.com

CCBC to Launch Online Contact Trace Investigator Training Program  

 In addition, Olszewski announced a partnership with the Community College of Baltimore County to launch a training program for contact trace investigators. 

Federal and state guidelines have indicated that significant contact tracing capacity will be a critical component of any efforts to reopen businesses and other institutions, and the training course will allow individuals to become proficient in this field as those jobs begin to become available. 

“At CCBC, we take pride in our ability to develop short-term training that can quickly prepare people for in-demand jobs,” said CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “We are happy to participate in this partnership which will help secure the health and safety of our community as well as generate a pool of specially-trained candidates for new employment opportunities.” 

The primary training component will be an online course that is free to participants and consists of three training modules. Participants will be required to register and will work at their own pace, but the course could be completed in as little as three hours. Individuals who complete the course will still be required to complete any other training requirements set forth by an entity that hires them. 

Baltimore County’s Department of Health and Human Services anticipates a need to hire 60 additional contact trace investigators by July 2020 to fill temporary positions.

In Baltimore County, those positions will require at least an associate degree as well as proven experience in customer service, strong communication skills, and knowledge of community resources. The County will also seek to fill a number of the positions with individuals who speak both English and Spanish. 

Currently, the County has 52 staff members performing contact tracing—most of whom were shifted to their roles from other positions within the Health Department or from Baltimore County Public School Health Services. 

For additional information on the training course, visit CCBC's website.


Increased State Investment Needed to Move Forward

County Executive Johnny Olszewski today testified before State leaders in Annapolis in support of HB 1—Built to Learn Act, legislation to provide critically-needed, State school construction funding.

Baltimore County has funded $242 million in shovel-ready school construction projects. These projects cannot move forward without increased State investment and additional needs remain, including several Baltimore County high schools. Last year, Olszewski led the charge in support of school construction funding. This year, he has again made school construction funding a top priority for the 2020 General Assembly session.

The full text of the submitted testimony is available below:

Bill Number: HB 1
Title: Built to Learn Act of 2020
Sponsor: The Speaker
Committee: Appropriations
Position: SUPPORT
Date: January 23, 2020

Baltimore County SUPPORTS House Bill 1—Built to Learn Act of 2020.

Baltimore County’s Schools for Our Future program was launched in 2011 with the intention of spending $1.6 billion on critically needed school renovation and construction projects. The goal of the program was to eliminate overcrowding in elementary schools and modernize our facilities. We have made great strides because of this program. In Baltimore County, we have built nine new schools, made additions at seven schools and air-conditioned 59 schools. 

But the work is far from done. The County has budgeted $242 million in shovel-ready construction projects, which cannot move forward without essential investments from the State. With some of the oldest school stock in the state, the Built to Learn Act would provide $462 million needed for completing these critical projects.

As a former educator, County Executive Olszewski has dedicated his time in office to modernizing Baltimore County’s schools and building a better future for our residents. By supporting the funding for these crucial projects, this bill would bring significant benefits for students, educators, families, and communities in Baltimore County and across the State.

Accordingly, Baltimore County requests a favorable report on HB 1. 


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017