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Information for Small Businesses

Small businesses are cornerstones of our communities. Congress has taken urgent action to support businesses during this public health crisis. Below is a guide to connect you with information on how to access emergency loans, tax and debt relief as well other assistance available through the federal, state and county government. 

Paycheck Protection Program

The American Rescue Plan includes $7.25 billion in additional funding for PPP and expands eligibility of 501(c) nonprofits of all sizes and types, except for 501(c)4 lobbying organizations. Small Businesses who are eligible can now apply for up to two loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. Through the first draw PPP loan and second draw PPP loan, small businesses can cover their payroll costs and receive fully forgivable loans of up to 2.5 times their monthly payroll costs. 

All PPP loans are run through lenders, the best first step to apply for these loans is to utilize the SBA’s resource on how to match you with potential PPP and other lenders

More information about the Paycheck Protection Loan Program and other resources for small businesses can be found here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The two types of programs that are part of the Economic Injury Disaster program are targeted grants and more standard SBA loans. EIDL grants are aimed at businesses in low-income communities. EIDL loans are open to all small businesses that meet the SBA size standards and have suffered any economic injury during the pandemic To find more information or to apply to a EIDL grant or loan you may use this link  

Businesses in need of an EIDL grant and have previously submitted applications are eligible for up to $10,000 in grants. All other businesses who did not apply previously should reach out to SBA.  All businesses that are pursuing an EIDL loan can receive up to $150,000 to use on everything from payroll to operational costs. 

EIDLs are loans up to $2 million with interest rates of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits, and principal and interest payments deferred up to 4 years. These loans can be used to cover paid sick leave, increased costs, rent or mortgage payments, and maintain payroll.  

A small business may apply for an EIDL grant and a Paycheck Protection loan.

You can apply for an EIDL online with the SBA here.

Debt Relief for New and Existing Borrowers
Small businesses with SBA 7(a), 504, and microloans, or who take a loan out in the next 6 months, will automatically receive debt relief. SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. SBA borrowers may also seek an extension of the duration of their loan and delay certain reporting requirements. 

Paycheck Protection loans and SBA disaster loans are not eligible—payments are already deferred under those loans.

Check in with your lender to discuss how this will apply to your business.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program
This program is set to serve businesses that operate venues including theatres, museums, and concert halls and have suffered a 25 percent decline in revenue compared to 2019 and 2020 due to the pandemic. Businesses can receive grants up to 45 percent of their annual 2019 gross earned revenue, capped at $10 million. 

Businesses can apply directly through the SBA website

The Restaurant Revitalization Grant Program
The American Rescue Plan established the Restaurant Revitalization Grant program, answering the call to help restaurants who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic compared to some other businesses. This bill invested $28.6 billion to set up this vital program to distribute grants to various establishments who need it the most. A grant through this program can aid in payroll costs, mortgage and rent payments, utilities, supplies (including PPE and cleaning materials), paid sick leave and much more.

To apply for a loan, continue to monitor SBA’s relief options page, they are expected to release information soon. 

Help for Contractors
Government contractors have access to a number of relief options and protections. Agencies will be able to modify terms and conditions of a contract and to reimburse contractors at a billing rate of up to 40 hours per week of any paid leave, including sick leave.

Eligible contractors are those whose employees or subcontractors cannot perform work on site and cannot telework due to federal facilities closing because of COVID-19.

Contact your agency’s contracting officer, as well as the agency’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) for more information.

Employee Retention Tax Credit
Congress created a refundable payroll tax credit for businesses, large and small, that retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The tax credit is equal to 50% of wages and compensation.  There is an overall limit on wages per employee of $10,000. The credit is provided through December 31, 2020.

The Department of the Treasury is authorized to advance payment of the employee retention tax credit. This tax credit is not available if the employer takes an SBA paycheck protection loan.

Payroll Tax Delay
Employers (both businesses and nonprofits) may delay paying the employer-portion of payroll taxes through the end of 2020. The deferred amount is due in two installments - 50% is due before December 31, 2021, and the other 50% is due before December 31, 2022.

Deferral is not available if the employer takes an SBA paycheck protection loan.

Advance Payments of Tax Credits for Paid Leave
Congress has allowed the Treasury to send advance payments of tax credits available to employers that are required to provide up to 12 weeks of coronavirus-related paid leave to their employees.

Additional Federal Resources

For more information about SBA loan programs, please visit the Small Business Administration website

If you need additional assistance, please reach out to your local Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, SCORE chapter, or SBA District Office. Find local assistance here

For more information about tax issues, please check the IRS’s website.

Maryland Resources

The Maryland Department of Commerce is offering three new business assistance programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on each can be found below.

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund - A$75 million loan fund 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 year.

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund - A $50 million grant program offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020.

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund - A $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. 

Visit Maryland’s Emergency Relief Fund FAQ for any questions you might have about these programs. If you have other questions or concerns about these funds, please email

County Resources

Prince George’s County has launched the COVID-19 Business Relief Fund to assist local small businesses facing economic hardship. The public-private partnership provided loans and grant funding of up to $15 million for area businesses. Small businesses will have access to loans up to $100,000 and grant funding of up to $10,000.

Eligible businesses can apply for the funds through the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation beginning April 13, 2020

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