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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.

Baltimore County News

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Keyword: small business

County to Provide $3 Million in Reimbursement Funding for Improvements, Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment to Help Service Sector Businesses Protect Health of Employees and Patrons

In the latest effort to support Baltimore County’s small businesses, County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced the Small Business COVID-19 Reimbursement Grant Program, a $3 million grant fund to reimburse service industry businesses for investments in critical improvements to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of employees and patrons.

“Baltimore County’s service industry is a critical link of our local economy and we must do whatever we can to be a strong partner in their recovery,” said County Executive Olszewski. “These establishments have had to quickly adapt to new ways of doing business and we’re proud to offer these new funds to help support their efforts to keep visitors and employees safe.”

Through the program, the County will offer grants of up to $10,000 to reimburse Baltimore County-based service industry businesses that had to limit or cease indoor operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for investments in capital improvements or the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment to protect employees and patrons.

About the Program

Examples of items eligible for reimbursement under the COVID-19 Reimbursement Grant Program include:

  • Capital improvements, such as Plexiglas shields, carryout window installation, and handwashing stations;
  • Outdoor tents, and other outdoor equipment;
  • Additional or new furniture or fixtures necessary to safely serve customers;
  • Services necessary to open and operate safely, such as cleaning and disinfecting services, and
  • Equipment and signage to help ensure customers and employees can observe safety requirements.

Establishment operators will be required to provide paid invoices, receipts and contracts as well as describe how these improvements will promote safety and public health.

Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 9 a.m., grant applications will be posted online and funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To qualify for this grant program, establishments must:

  • Be a for-profit enterprise,
  • Be registered and in good standing with the State of Maryland, if required by law,
  • Have been in operation as of January 1, 2020,
  • Not be in default on any loans from Baltimore County or delinquent on County taxes, and
  • Have between two and 25 full-time employees per Baltimore County establishment. Establishments may have more than 25 part-time employees.

Support for Small Businesses and Individuals

This is the latest effort from Baltimore County to support small businesses and individuals impacted by the severe financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, Baltimore County made millions in grant funding available for small businesses through the Small Business Relief Grants Program, offered $200,000 to assist professional artists, musicians and performers, and provided millions in rental assistance to households at risk of losing their current housing.

For more information about the COVID-19 Reimbursement Grant Program, please visit the Small Business Reimbursement Grant Program page or email COVIDbizrelief@baltimorecountymd.gov.


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.


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 September 11, 2017