Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, contributing to financial pressures across our community. To help you protect your employees’ health and the health of your business, CareFirst will post information on assistance programs that could help you through these exceptional times. Updates to the resources below are made weekly, including the addition of new ones—so be sure to check back often.
Federal and state business assistance programs can provide low-interest loans, grants and tax relief if certain conditions are met. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law on March 11, 2021, expands and extends deadlines of certain programs. These programs will be updated in the coming weeks as additional federal guidance is released. For Maryland county-specific grant programs, please see Maryland’s COVID-19 business support website.
Issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) provides working capital loans and loan advances for payroll and operating expenses for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
NOTE: As of June 15, this program is available to both agricultural businesses and all other small businesses.
NOTE: The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, will reopen advance payments. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.
For loans approved starting the week of April 6, 2021, EIDL provides 24 months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.
The first payment date for EIDLs made in 2020 has been delayed from 12 to 24 months from the date of the note. The first payment date for EIDLs made in 2021 has been delayed from 12 months to 18 months from the date of the note.
Can be combined with a Paycheck Protection Loan as long as they don’t cover the same expenses.
EligibilityAny business with 500 or fewer employees is eligible to apply.
Agricultural businesses under 500 employees are also eligible. Includes those engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries.
Subject to funding availability
Encourages employers who are not able to provide services due to COVID-19 to keep employees on their payroll by providing payroll tax credits per employee.
NOTE: The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, extended the program from July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. The law will also expand eligibility to certain startups and increase the amount of the credit. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.
The tax credit covers 70% of the qualified wages each employee is paid. The maximum amount of wages taken into account is $10,000, so employers will receive a maximum of $14,000 per employee.
Any business that either:
- Fully or partially suspends operations in 2020 due to COVID-19, or
- Experiences a significant decline in gross receipts during the calendar quarter (i.e., 50% less compared to same quarter in 2019).
Government employees are not eligible for this credit.
Self-employed individuals are not eligible for this credit for their self-employment earnings.
Businesses may take both the Employee Tax Credit and participate in the Paycheck Protection Program
Applies to wages paid between March 12, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
- Report total qualified leave wages for each quarter on the federal employment tax return, typically form 941.
- Employers may retain federal employment taxes to provide qualified leave wages to their employees. If the taxes set aside are not sufficient, request a credit advance by completing Form 7200.
- If requesting an advance, fax a completed Form 7200 to the IRS at 855-248-0552.
Per President Trump’s Executive Order in early August, the Department of Treasury is allowing employers to defer an employee’s portion of the Social Security payroll tax.
NOTE: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020, extends the repayment deadline to December 31, 2021.
Applies to individuals with taxable wages that are less than $4000 during a bi-weekly pay period.
Applies to wages between September 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
Deferred payroll taxes are due December 31, 2021.
Governor Hogan announced $50 million in grants to be distributed across each county and Baltimore City based on the number of restaurant establishments located in each of the 24 jurisdictions. On 1/28, Governor Hogan announced that an additional $30 million has been allocated to the program.
Restaurants interested in this new grant program must apply through their local jurisdiction, which are launching their own relief programs.
On 1/28, Governor Hogan announced a new $50 million grant opportunity is available for hotels and hospitality businesses. Similar to restaurant relief, hotels will need to apply through their local jurisdictions.
Restaurants: While specific funding requirements vary by county, funding generally can be used for rent, payroll, job training and equipment purchases to expand outdoor dining
Hospitality: While specific funding requirements vary by county, relief can generally be used for payroll expenses, rent and utilities.
Any food retail or non-food retail establishment with an active Sidewalk Café Permit, Temporary Sidewalk Café Permit or Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Summer Garden or Sidewalk Café Endorsement.
Varies by county.
See here for a list of counties and their associated restaurant and hospitality relief programs.
Governor Hogan’s restaurant announcement
Governor Hogan’s hospitality announcement
Issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA), provides forgivable loans for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOTE: The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, will allow additional not-for-profits to be eligible for the program. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.
NOTE: The deadline to apply to the PPP has been extended an additional two months to May 31, 2021.
100% of the loan can be forgiven if during the 8 to 24-week period following loan disbursement:
- Employee and compensation levels are maintained
- The loan proceeds are spent on payroll costs and other eligible expenses
- At least 60% are spent on payroll costs
Loan payments are deferred until the loan is forgiven. If a borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, payments are deferred for 10 months after the end of the period of loan forgiveness (8 or 24 weeks)
Loans have an interest rate of 1% and maturity of five years
Loans can be used to fund payroll costs, including benefits, and may also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.
For First Time PPP Loans, the loans can be up to 2.5 times the average monthly payroll, subject to a $10 million cap
For Second Time PPP Loans, the loans can be up to 2.5 times average monthly payroll, subject to a $2 million cap. For borrowers in the Accommodation or Food Services Sector (see here) the max loan amount is 3.5 times up to $2 million.
First Time PPP Loans: Those that have not previously received a PPP loan, that are:
- Sole proprietor, independent contractor or self-employed
- Any small business concern that meets SBA’s size standards (either the industry size standard or the alternative size standard, see SBA’s size-based tool for more information)
- Any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization or tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act) with the greater of:
- 500 employees, or
- That meets the SBA industry size standard if > 500
- Any business with a NAICS code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location.
Second Time PPP Loan:
- Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses
- Has no more than 300 employees; and
- Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
Apply by May 31, 2021
- Complete the Paycheck Protection Program loan application (separate applications for first time and second time borrowers) and assemble payroll documentation
- Submit the application and required documentation to an approved SBA lender. See SBA’s Lender Match tool for a list of lenders in your area.
- To apply for forgiveness, contact your lender and complete the appropriate form.
Issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues.
For eligible entities in operation on January 1, 2019, grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 million, whichever is less.
For eligible entities that began operation after January 1, 2019, grants will be for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six OR $10 million, whichever is less.
Funds may be used for payroll, rent, utility payments, certain mortgage payments, certain debt payments, worker protection, payments to independent contractors, businesses expenses, state and local taxes, operating leases in effect as of February 15, 2020, insurance payments, and other expenses related to a theatrical or live performing arts production.
EligibilityEligible entities include:
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
- Motion picture theater operators
- Talent representatives
- Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements
The entity must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020.
Entities that have received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020 will have their grant reduced by that amount.
The program opened on April 8, 2021. Timing and priority will be given to entities based on need:
- First Priority: Occurs during first 14 days of grant awards and includes entities that suffered a 90% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Second Priority: Occurs during the next 14 days and includes entities that suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Third Priority: Occurs during the 28 days after first and second priority awards are made and includes entities that suffered a 25% or greater earned revenue loss between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020.
- Supplemental Funding: Available after all priority periods have passed. Includes recipients of first, second and third priority round awards who suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss for the most recent calendar quarter (as of April 1, 2021, or later).
See here for portal.