Business, Health, Politics

Baltimore County awarded $1.6 million CARES Act grant to fund business relief loans

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced on Monday that the county had secured a $1.6 million CARES Act grant to provide low-interest loans to qualifying Baltimore County small businesses to help them recover from the sudden and severe economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are not only in the midst of a public health crisis, but an economic one, and government has a responsibility to help support our small businesses — the lifeblood of our communities,” said Olszewski. “These funds come at a critical time as our small businesses need immediate aid to adjust to the ongoing economic realities of this pandemic and to continue supporting their employees.”

The county will use these new grant funds, awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), to capitalize a new small business revolving loan fund that will be open to Baltimore County firms from all business sectors. The Department of Economic and Workforce Development (DEWD) will administer loans in amounts ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 that will provide working capital to help offset cash shortfalls resulting from COVID-19 business closures and contractions. Approved borrowers may use the funds for a range of needs including supporting payroll, acquiring equipment and inventory, reconfiguring existing or new space to meet coronavirus guidelines, capital improvements and more.

“Baltimore County businesses are suffering and we need to leave no stone unturned to find funds from any source possible to support our businesses and their employees,” said Baltimore County Council Chairwoman Cathy Bevins. “I commend County Executive Olszewski, Acting Director of Economic and Workforce Development Chris McCollum, and the Economic Development team for identifying new funding sources to support the Baltimore County economy.”

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“Maryland’s small businesses are facing the greatest threat in generations. Congress has a responsibility to ensure that our small businesses most in need, and their workers, have every resource available to help them face this pandemic safely, adapting to whatever changes may be necessary due to COVID-19,” said Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. “I’m proud we were able to inject more federal funds into Baltimore County’s small businesses. There is more we can be doing though. Senator Mitch McConnell must bring forward the Heroes Act, which passed the House of Representatives in May, so that we can deliver more of the much-needed support for Maryland and across the country.”

DEWD expects to begin processing loan applications within the next several weeks. Businesses that are interested in learning more about the loan program are encouraged to contact the business development team at businesshelp@baltimorecountymd.gov.

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