Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced he is directing $190 million in federal funds to help colleges, small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19.
The disbursement of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money will include $90 million for higher education, $50 million to assist small businesses and $50 million to establish the Maryland Nonprofit Recovery Initiative.
In the past week, Hogan has announced the investment of a total of $475 million in federal CARES Act money, which also includes $255 million for K-12 education and $30 million for eviction prevention.
“As Maryland continues to grapple with an unprecedented fiscal crisis, we are directing more than $475 million in federal resources to critical sectors of our economy,” Hogan said in a statement. “These resources will help make a difference in areas where they are needed most.”
The $50 million in additional assistance for small businesses includes $45 million to expand the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to businesses with no more than 50 employees. So far, the program has provided more than $40 million to 4,073 applicants, according to state officials.
The small business assistance funding also includes $5 million for the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority, which helps business owners who are economically or socially disadvantaged to obtain supplies, equipment, land and other resources.
The Maryland Nonprofit Recovery Initiative, which will be operated by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, will help nonprofit organizations deal with the economic impact of the virus.
Of the $50 million earmarked for the initiative, $8 million will be used to award relief money through grants. The state will also award $3 million to arts organizations and artists who have been affected by coronavirus through the Maryland State Arts Council’s Emergency Grant Program.
Maryland will use up to $90 million to reimburse state-supported universities for public safety and other expenses related to COVID-19.
Hogan’s disbursement of this latest round of CARES Act funds comes a day after he announced that he would use $210 million in federal funds to enhance remote learning and targeted tutoring.
Despite these new funds, the governor last week proposed reducing the budget by $1.45 billion to counteract the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Board of Public Works is scheduled to review $672 million of those cuts at its July 1 meeting.
The reductions would include eliminating employee raises, slashing openg positions and trimming a number of programs.
State Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot, who sit on the board with Hogan, have raised question’s about Hogan’s proposals, according to The Sun.
Franchot has already stated he will vote against the elimination of a cost-of-living increase for state employees and a cut to the state’s contributions to workers’ health insurance and retirement plans.
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