Employers

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.

Business Assistance

Federal and state business assistance programs can provide low-interest loans, grants and tax relief if certain conditions are met. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020, extended deadline and applicability dates of several federal assistance programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program. 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.

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Program Information

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: While loans are still available, the loan advance of up to $10,000 is no longer available.

Funding Details

The EIDL provides low interest loans of up to $2 million with principal and interest deferment at the Administrator’s discretion.

Can be combined with a Paycheck Protection Loan as long as they don’t cover the same expenses.

Eligibility

Any 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.

Business must have 500 or fewer employees to apply.

Timeline

Subject to funding availability

Application Process

Apply here.

Additional Information

EIDL advance website

Program Information

Provides quick turnaround loans to overcome an immediate loss of revenue for businesses that have an established business relationship with a Small Business Administration (SBA) lender.

Funding Details

Loans with quick application times of up to $25,000. Provides cash flow for businesses waiting on a decision and disbursement of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

Loan will be repaid with proceeds from the EIDL.

Eligibility

Must be a small business operating for profit.

Must have been an operating business as of March 13, 2020 and be adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Must also have an established banking relationship with an SBA Express Lender.

Timeline

Must apply through March 13, 2021.

Application Process

Contact your local Small Business Development Center or SBA Express Loan Lender for more information on how to apply.

Required documentation will include an IRS tax transcript, documentation providing an existing financial relationship between the business and the lender and a borrower information form.

Additional Information

SBA Express Bridge Loan website

SBA Express Bridge Loan Program Guide

Program Information

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 Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020, extends the tax credits through July 1, 2021, and increases the amount of the credit

Funding Details

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.

Eligibility

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

Timeline

Applies to wages paid between March 12, 2020 and July 1, 2021.

Application Process

  1. Report total qualified leave wages for each quarter on the federal employment tax return, typically form 941.
  2. 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.
  3. If requesting an advance, fax a completed Form 7200 to the IRS at 855-248-0552.

Additional Information

IRS Employment Retention Credit announcement

IRS Employment Retention Credit FAQs

Program Information

The CARES Act allows employers to delay and defer estimated quarterly tax payments and employer payroll taxes.

NOTE: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020, extends the tax credits through March 2021.

Eligibility

Not applicable if the employer has had indebtedness forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program.

However, if the employer has received a Paycheck Protection Program loan, but it has not yet been forgiven, the employer may defer taxes until the lender issues a decision to forgive the loan.

Timeline

Applies to wages between March 27, 2020 through March 2021.

Deferred payroll taxes are due in two installments: 50% by December 31, 2021, and 50% by December 31, 2022.

Additional Information

Deferred employment taxes FAQs

Program Information

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.

Eligibility

Applies to individuals with taxable wages that are less than $4000 during a bi-weekly pay period.

Timeline

Applies to wages between September 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

Deferred payroll taxes are due December 31, 2021.

Additional Information

Treasury Guidance

Program Information

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.

Restaurants interested in this new grant program must apply through their local jurisdiction, which are launching their own relief programs.

Funding Details

The amount of funding available for each county is listed here

Specific fund requirements vary by county.

Eligibility

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.

Timeline

Varies by county.

Application Process

See here for a list of counties and their associated restaurant relief programs.

Additional Information

Governor Hogan’s announcement

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