Skip Navigation

Image of the Baltimore County Historic Courthouse

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates and Guidance

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.

Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: ccbc

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.


Expansion Creates Greater Opportunity for Students to Attend CCBC Tuition-free 

More Baltimore County residents now have access to a debt-free college education thanks to expanded eligibility for the Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship. Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, with support from the Baltimore County Council, increased the income level that qualify for the program from $85,000 to $150,000, allowing more middle-class residents the opportunity to attend Community College of Baltimore County free of tuition and fees.

Photo of Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski speaking

“Education is my number one priority, and that doesn’t stop when students graduate from our public school system. Higher education can open countless doors of opportunities for our students, and that’s why we’re taking steps to expand access to the opportunities available at our community colleges,” Olszewski said.

Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship Growth

Photo of a group holding Got Promise signs

The Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship has experienced tremendous growth since it was introduced in the spring of 2018. Last year, 111 scholarships were awarded. Today, there are nearly 400 Baltimore County College Promise scholarship recipients and that number continues to grow. With the expanded income eligibility requirements, CCBC expects a boost in inquiries as well as qualified students.

“The increased income requirements is a real game-changer for Baltimore County residents,” said CCBC President Sandra Kurtinitis. “Too often middle-class Americans are left out of opportunities like this. Their income is too high to qualify for Pell grants; yet, too low to enable them to send their children to community college full-time. The Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship is allowing academically-prepared students the opportunity to earn a college education debt-free. We are fortunate to have legislators who believe in the importance of public higher education and are willing to invest dollars behind this life-changing program.”

Eligibility Requirements

Photo of Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski standing next to three others

In addition to the income requirement, other eligibility requirements include: 

  • Be a Baltimore County resident
  • Have a GPA of 2.3 or higher
  • Be a 2015 to 2019 high school or external diploma degree graduate
  • Be enrolled full-time at CCBC (12 credits or more) 

Baltimore County College Promise scholarships cover all degree and certificate programs as well as select workforce training certification programs. The scholarship is calculated as a “last dollar in” award, meaning that it is applied after all other financial awards and state aid have been utilized.

CCBC student and scholarship recipient Christa Bryant says the Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship is making her pursuit of an associate degree stress-free.

“My mother, who is retired, no longer has to consider going back to work to help me cover my tuition,” says Bryant. “I can now take a full load of classes and not spend sleepless nights worrying about how to pay the bill.”


Students can apply for the Baltimore County College Promise Scholarship throughout the year. Watch the press event and, for complete application details, visit www.ccbcmd.edu/collegepromise.

About the Community College of Baltimore County 

Photo of Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski speaking in the foreground with someone looking on in the background

Since 1957, CCBC has opened the doors to accessible, affordable, high-quality education empowering generations of area residents to transform their lives and the lives of others. Each year, nearly 60,000 students enroll at the college’s main campuses, extension centers and online to make their starts, earn degrees, launch and build careers. CCBC offers the region’s most expansive selection of degree, certificate and workplace certification programs that prepare students for transfer, job entry and career advancement in such industries as business, education, health care, information technology, cybersecurity, construction and transportation. CCBC is nationally recognized as a leader in innovative learning strategies, among the nation’s top associate degree producers, and designated as a Military Times Best College 2018.

CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.


The new edition of smARTS, the Baltimore County arts and culture television show, explores Baltimore County filmmakers, looks at what motivates a jazz artist, and offers ideas for exploring arts with kids. CCBC Dance performs an original work. The program airs on Baltimore County cable channel 25. Featured segments include:

  • Host Carolyn Black-Sotir speaks with saxophonist Gregory Thompkins on what motivates his music.
  • Baltimore County has some great local filmmakers and “made in Baltimore County” films. Scott Braid from the Maryland Film Festival and filmmaker Joe Tropea go behind the screen credits.
  • Tommy Parlon from CCBC Dance talks about careers in dance, and the CCBC Dance company performs a new work.
  • Trisha Chason from the Baltimore County Arts Guild offers visual arts activities that nurture creativity in the children in your life.

smARTS airs Thursdays and Fridays, 7:00-7:30 p.m. and Tuesdays 11:30 a.m.- noon on Baltimore County cable channel 25. SmARTS segments can be viewed on the Baltimore County Government YouTube channel.

smARTS is a production of the Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Baltimore County Public Schools and BCPS-TV.

 

 

 


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017