COVID-19 economic relief now available for Maryland restaurants, artists, and entertainment venues

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The $250 million economic recovery package announced last month for restaurants, artists, arts organizations, entertainment venues, and Main Street businesses affected by the pandemic is now available. The governor tapped into the state’s rainy day fund to finance the additional economic relief.

The fund will be distributed through assorted state agencies and grants. For Maryland restaurants, the state will distribute a total of $50 million in each county and Baltimore City based on the number of restaurants located in the 24 jurisdictions. Restaurants must apply through their local jurisdictions, which are launching their own relief programs. Anne Arundel County previously announced that it will match the state’s investment in the restaurant relief program.  The governor is urging the other jurisdictions to do the same.

“This economic recovery initiative will be critical to the struggling restaurants, small businesses, and Main Streets across the state that are attempting to weather this crisis,” said Governor Hogan. “I have directed our team to ensure that this much-needed funding gets out the door as quickly as possible. We are urging counties and local jurisdictions to match these new state investments by utilizing their remaining CARES Act funding so that we can direct even more resources to where they’re needed most.”

The chart below reflects the expected allocation for restaurant relief allocated throughout the state:

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The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency of the Maryland Department of Commerce, has received $3 million to reinvest in its Emergency Grant Program. The grants help those in the arts community that have experienced losses because of programming, operations, and canceled or changed events. The agency will receive applications until November 13 through the MSAC website.

Local tourism offices, known as Destination Marketing Organizations, will receive $2 million to support programs that promote local restaurants, attractions, and shops. Each organization will receive funds for the marketing of local venues and stores. The new funding enhances the annual marketing assistance that Maryland Commerce’s Office of Tourism provides directly to the local tourism offices. Additional information is anticipated to be sent out to DMOs this month.

An additional $50 million of funding will help clear the backlog of approximately 5,000 remaining small business applications submitted in March and April. An additional $5 million will go to the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), for COVID-19 relief loans for businesses owned by economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs who applied in the summer.

Both the Maryland Department of Labor and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will receive $20 million to reinvest in their coronavirus relief programs. Labor began accepting applications on October 28 for its COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, designed to prevent or minimize the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. DHCD  has launched its web page with resources for Main Street businesses, entertainment venues, and tourism nonprofit organizations.

For more information about financial assistance available to Maryland businesses, visit the Maryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Business website.



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