At Foulger-Pratt, we own and manage commercial and retail properties throughout the region which are home to many small and mid-sized businesses. We are acutely aware of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has on, you, our business owners and we want to help keep you informed about any resources that are available to help through these challenging circumstances. The United States, as well as, state and county governments throughout the U.S. have established programs to minimize the economic impact of the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Below is a list of websites that offer small and mid-sized businesses relief from the COVID-19 outbreak. This is not an exhaustive list and is only intended to provide you with some of the programs and resources that could help alleviate impacts being felt by COVID-19. We encourage you to research these programs and any others that may apply to your situation or business.
For more information on how individuals can prepare and protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus, the Federal Government offers general guidance.
Federal Relief Programs
1. Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020 (Cares Act).
The U.S. Senate recently introduced a package of measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic known as the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020 (Cares Act). The CARES Act is an attempt to address many of the economic and security issues facing our Nation at the federal level by offering economic support to the business sector, employees, individuals and families, and specific industries that have been impacted including air transportation, healthcare, and education. You can find the full text of the CARES Act here.
i. The CARES Act includes several measures aimed at providing COVID-19 relief, much of which will be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). For more information on these measures, please visit the SBA’s website.
ii. On the SBA website, you will find information about:
· Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
· Guidance for Businesses and Employers
· SBA Products and Resources
· Government Contracting
· Local Assistance
iii. The CARES Act includes nearly $350 billion for a small business loan program called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP is designed to get cash into the hands of suffering small businesses quickly, with less red tape and fewer guardrails than the SBA’s existing loan programs. It is designed to incentivize business owners to keep employees on the payroll by offering them loan forgiveness. While we wait for the SBA to provide details on the PPP, you can begin to gather information for your loan application. We believe that the following information may be required:
• 2019 IRS Quarterly 940, 941 or 944 payroll tax reports.
• Payroll reports for a twelve-month period (ending on your most recent payroll date), which will show the following information:
a. Gross wages for each employee, including officer(s) if paid W-2 wages.
b. Paid time off for each employee.
c. Vacation pay for each employee.
d. Family medical leave pay for each employee.
e. State and local taxes assessed on an employee’s compensation.
• 1099s for independent contractors for 2019.
• Documentation showing total of all health insurance premiums paid by the company owner(s) under a group health plan.
a. Include all employees and the company owners.
• Document the sum of all retirement plan funding that was paid by the company owner(s) (do not include funding that came from employees out of their paycheck deferrals).
a. Include all employees and the company owners.
b. Include 401K plans, Simple IRA, SEP IRA’s.
State Relief Programs
Maryland offers several resources, as well as guidance on COVID-19 and the State’s response to its impact, including:
1. COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund
Employers may apply for up to $50,000 in "flexible funding" from this $7 million fund. The state Department of Labor is accepting grant applications from now through 30 days after Maryland's state of emergency ends. More information can be found on their website.
2. Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund
This $75 million loan fund is available only to for-profit businesses with fewer than 50 employees. It offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. The loans can be used as working capital to pay employees and suppliers, cover rent and other operating costs. More information can be found here.
3. Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund:
This $50 million grant program for businesses and nonprofits offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed three months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. More information can be found here.
4. Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund:
Maryland's Department of Commerce is working on developing a fund to provide $5 million in incentives to small businesses to manufacture masks, personal protective equipment and other supplies to help meet the demand of health care workers and hospitals. More details are set to be announced on March 27. More information can be found here.
5. The Maryland Small Business Resource Center
A COVID-19 Small Business Survival Guide, updated regularly, can be found here.
Virginia is offering relief to small businesses throughout the Commonwealth affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
1. Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity
Low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million from the SBA are available to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other expenses. Visit the Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity’s website here.
In addition, you might be interested in visiting the following websites:
i. The Virginia Chamber of Commerce is available to assist with planning resources for COVID 19. For more information, visit their website.
However, most local Chamber of Commerce have specific details available for businesses in their area. To find your local Chamber of Commerce visit here.
ii. Virginia Small Business Development Center has created this website listing all types of financial assistance available to businesses.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The District of Columbia has set up a website to catalog a list of resources available to D.C. residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19. For the most up to date information, visit it here.
County Resources and Programs
For local county COVID-19 relief programs available, we suggest that you visit the locality’s websites to see whether there are other resources which might provide you with additional relief.
Montgomery County Council approved new COVID Aid funding. For the most up to date information, please visit their website here.