The additional money comes from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
Annapolis, Md (KM) Some additional funding is being provided to the Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative. At a news conference on Thursday in Annapolis, Governor Larry Hogan announced that he’s taking $250-million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund, and adding that to the Maryland Strong Initiative, bringing the amount if that fund to $500-million.
“This new $250-million investment will fund a combination of new relief program, as well as the expansion of our existing, successful relief programs in order to provide additional relief to the small businesses and their employees,” Governor Hogan said.
He says the new money will be used to assist small businesses which have been hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the programs receiving this additional money: The Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Grant Relief Fund, which provides small businesses with 50 or fewer employees with grants of up to $10,000. That’s bring the total funding for that program to $145-million.
There’s also $50-million in direct relief to restaurants to purchase heaters, warmers, carts, sanitation services, personal protective equipment, technology to support carryout and delivery. and infrastructure such as HVAC improvements.
$20-million has been earmarked for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to assist hard-hit bounciness and local entertainment venues within Maryland Main Street organizations and Baltimore’s Main Street programs.
There also $20-million to expand the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund to help small businesses keep their employees and stay open.
Five-million dollars has been set aside to expand Small and Minority Business Low Interest Loans.
There’s also $3-million to expand the Arts Organization Funding; $2-million for a Hometown Tourism Program.
“We are establishing a dedicated, Emergency Rapid Response Fund of $100-million, which will be available to immediately deploy to the other areas of economic need as we move forward, as we assess our state economic situation on an ongoing basis,” the Governor said.
Despite all of this money being put aside to assist small businesses, Hogan said Maryland, like other states, is awaiting action by Congress on another stimulus package to help get the economy moving. “We can’t do it alone. We still need that next stimulus package at the federal level,” he said. “Obviously, it appears we’re not going to get that before the election.” The Governor hopes that by the inauguration on January 20th that Congress will iron out its differences, and produce another stimulus package.
By Kevin McMfanus