- $25 billion through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to provide state and local governments within 30 days of enactment. Funds may be used for past and future rent and utility payments. Assistance can be provided for 12 months. States and localities can add three months of assistance.
- Under the legislation, cities and states can make payments directly to landlords or utility companies on behalf of renters. If a landlord refuses to accept the rental assistance, cities and states can give assistance directly to the renter, who can then make payments to the landlord or utility provider.
- Extends the CDC eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021.
- Extends the deadline to December 31, 2021 for funds provided by Congress in the CARES Act through the CRF.
- Establishes a permanent floor for the 4 percent LIHTC.
- Establishes a $9 billion Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP), administered by the Treasury Department, to provide low-cost, long-term capital investments to minority depository institutions (MDIs) and CDFIs that are depository institutions.
- Provides $3 billion to the CDFI Fund to provide grants and other financial assistance to CDFIs, including CDFI loan funds, as they serve consumers, small businesses, and nonprofits in their communities.
Message from Special Secretary Rhee
Appreciative Audiences Prevail
“Pivot” is the trendy word being used to identify how entrepreneurs are adapting to the business environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in March, I did not think I would adapt to a world ruled by social distancing, but I was wrong. I have settled into the new “norm” and discovered some pleasant surprises along the way.
I enjoy the more casual dress code and am happy to be spending far less time in my car driving from meeting to meeting. I have also successfully made the pivot to the virtual platform of meetings and webinars. In my role as Special Secretary, I am an active public speaker, invited to attend eight to 10 events in a typical month. Talking to a computer screen from my home office has been a big adjustment, and I’ve had to sharpen my own tech skills. Sadly, there are those who are hacking these platforms with nefarious agendas. I was recently the victim of such an action. Thankfully, calm heads prevailed and we were able to continue with the agenda. I share this experience to highlight one simple truth — we cannot control the behavior of others, but we can always control our own behavior. Be outraged by those who seek to discriminate, but do not shy away from events hosted on these virtual platforms. The great programs available to us all deserve appreciative audiences who cultivate respect and dignity.
Governor Hogan Increases Economic Relief by $250 Million
Governor Larry Hogan recently announced the $250 million “Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative,” which provides funding from the Rainy Day Fund to directly assist small businesses, restaurants, local entertainment venues, arts organizations, and Main Streets across the state. The initiative doubles the state’s total commitment to COVID-19 emergency economic relief for Marylanders to $500 million. The governor has directed each agency to ensure that this much-needed funding gets out the door as quickly as possible and will work closely with local partners to assist in expeditiously getting this money into the hands of struggling citizens and small businesses. The new funding will be provided to new and existing programs:
- $50M – expansion of the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund
- $50M – direct relief for restaurants
- $20M – direct relief for Main Street
- $20M – expansion of COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund
- $5M – expansion of small and minority business low-interest loans
- $3M – expansion of arts funding
- $2M – hometown tourism programs
- $100M – Emergency Rapid Response Fund for small businesses
Read the official press release for complete details.
A Decade of Difference
Congratulations to the Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) on the celebration of their 10th anniversary. This exceptional organization is helping start, sustain, and grow women-owned enterprises that strengthen Maryland’s statewide economy. They value diversity, teamwork, creativity, innovation, professional development, and empowerment. Clients consistently choose to work with MWBC for the supportive environment that helps build self-efficacy and confidence. Their skilled and dedicated staff work with 1,500 women entrepreneurs annually, providing individual counseling, hosting workshops, facilitating peer group support, and connecting entrepreneurs to capital resources. MWBC will celebrate a decade of accomplishments on November 19th with an “empowHERment” program that includes awards and raffle prizes from local artists. The program is free to attend, so join in the celebration of a decade!
Masks on Maryland
You’ve been challenged by Governor Larry Hogan. Support Maryland’s ongoing health and economic recovery by participating in the “Masks On Maryland” Challenge. As predicted, cases of COVID-19 are increasing around the country and in Maryland during the fall season, and the governor issued an order renewing the current state of emergency in Maryland. While positivity and case rates remain lower than in most states, we must remain vigilant. The “Masks on Maryland” campaign encourages Marylanders to wear masks properly when in public or unable to social distance. Members of the Governor’s Coordinating Offices, including our very own Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee, helped to launch the campaign. You can help keep Maryland open for business. To join the challenge, simply post a picture or video of yourself, your colleagues, your family, or friends wearing a mask while social distancing. Be sure to include the hashtag #MasksOnMaryland.
Mark Your Calendar
In this new environment of social distancing, everyone is adapting. Today’s seminars are webinars, Zoom meetings, Facebook Live events, Google Meets, and more. If you have a smart phone or a computer, you have what you need to tap into these valuable training and information sessions. Capacity can fill quickly, so sign up early when required to do so.
11/04/2020 – Poor Bookkeeping Equals Poor Decisions
11/04/2020 – A Roadmap to Your Professional Web Presence
11/05 2020 – Veteran Certification: Are You Interested in Doing Business with the Federal
11/10/2020 – Technical Training Classroom: Maryland’s Veteran-Owned Small Business Enterprise (VSBE) Program
11/10/2020 – MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop
11/10/2020 – The Dark Web: Protecting Your Most Important Assets
11/19/2020 – Understanding the Gig Economy
11/19/2020 – A Decade of Difference: Celebrating 10 Years of EmpoweHERment
11/23/2020 – Holiday e-Commerce for Small Retailers
11/24/2020 – BWI Contracting: Win More
Check out our full listing of small business events
online at goMDsmallbiz.maryland.gov.
COVID-19 Business Resources
Utility Shut-Off Notices Begin Again: What To Do if You Receive One
As of October 1, 2020, utility companies in Maryland may once again started sending utility shut-off notices to consumers. However, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has prohibited residential utility shut-offs, including gas, water, and electric services, from occurring until at least November 15, 2020. The 45-day window between a utility shut-off notice and the date that the shut-off can occur provides consumers the time to apply for financial assistance or work out a payment plan with the utility.
If you are behind in utility payments and received a utility shut-off notice, there are actions you can take to help avoid having your service disconnected. Immediately upon receipt of a shut-off notice, contact the utility to ask about extended payments plans, budget billing, or other measures to avoid service termination.
You may also apply for emergency assistance to pay the utility bills that are overdue. Information on energy assistance programs is available from these resources:
- Maryland PSC website (https://www.psc.state.md.us/wp-content/uploads/Need-Helpwith-Paying-your-Bill-or-Have-a-Termination-Notice-1-2-19-revisions.pdf)
- Office of Home Energy Programs in the Maryland Department of Human Services (https://dhs.maryland.gov/office-of-home-energy-programs/) or call 1 (800) 332-6347
- Fuel Fund of Maryland (https://fuelfundmaryland.org) or call (410) 235-9080
- Maryland 211 (https://211md.org/211provider-utility-assistance), call 2-1-1 or text My211MD to 898-211
- Maryland Office of People’s Counsel (http://www.opc.maryland.gov/Consumer-Corner)
If you work out a payment plan with the utility or find financial assistance to pay off your past-due bills, the PSC has ordered that your service will not be disconnected. Any payment plan you work out with a company regulated by the PSC is required to be, at minimum, a 12-month repayment plan. Furthermore, these utilities may not collect a down payment or deposit as a requirement of that repayment plan.
Please note that not all utilities are subject to the PSC’s order, including some telecom providers (such as wireless telephone companies) as well as some water and sewer agencies. If you received a shut-off notice from a utility that is not regulated by the PSC, contact that utility immediately to see if they will work out a payment plan to avoid disconnecting your service.
Do NOT wait to reach out for help if you receive a shut-off notice. If you don’t take any action to help avoid a termination, the utility may disconnect your service 45 days after they have given you notice.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded nearly $234 million to improve COVID-19 testing for under-served and vulnerable populations. A part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, the RADx Under-served Populations (RADx-UP) program will support 32 institutions across the United States and will focus on populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These groups include African Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Latinos/Latinas, Native Hawaiians, older adults, pregnant women and those who are homeless or incarcerated.
RADx-UP will support projects with established community partnerships that can use their existing research infrastructures to swiftly implement strategies and interventions to increase access and uptake of COVID-19 testing among under-served and vulnerable populations.
Click here to view entire Press Release
Please click here to view the College of Southern Maryland’s Schedule of Classes.
Mapping Neighborhoods where Low-income Renters Face Greatest Risk of Eviction
A new tool developed by a team of Urban Institute researchers can help you prioritize the most vulnerable renters in the state as part of an equitable COVID-19 response. As the pandemic exacerbates the nation’s affordable housing and homelessness crises and widens racial disparities in housing instability, localities must decide where to allocate emergency rental assistance funds to help renters avoid losing their homes. Search for your county or Continuum of Care geography to see which neighborhoods could be prioritized for emergency rental assistance.
FHA’s Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium Extended Through December 31, 2020
On August 27, 2020, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-27, Extension of Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium in Connection with the Presidentially-Declared COVID-19 National Emergency. This letter announces a third extension of the foreclosure and eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020. This extension is effective immediately upon the expiration of the existing moratorium announced in ML 2020-19. This guidance is applicable to all FHA Title II single family forward mortgage and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse mortgage programs, except for those secured by vacant and/or abandoned properties. Read the entire Press Release
New Executive Director for CDN
Claudia Wilson Randall will become the executive director of the Community Development Network of Maryland on Sept 1. Randall has more than two decades of experience in community development, housing and nonprofit leadership in Maryland, at both the local and state level.
See Press Release.
HELP US HELP YOU – Renew your CDN membership today!
Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, CDN has provided timely information to you and your staff. It’s more critical than ever that we band together for meaningful opportunity for all Marylanders.
Please click here to pay your membership today.
CENSUS CLOCK RUNNING DOWN
Please add census completion to your food, health and rental assistance messaging! Here is the dashboard for Maryland Census. You can remind your clients and partners that when a vaccine is found for Covid-19, it will be distributed on the basis of census data! Outreach materials can be found here.
3 Tips for Networking Remotely as Business Development Moves Online – By Jim Ries, Offit Kurman. Networking online is new for many of us and it takes time to get it right. We are all learning to use new technology and proper etiquette while video chatting. https://i95business.com/articles/content/3-tips-for-networking-remotely-during-the-stay-at-home-order-1478 If you like the article attend Jim’s webinar Tuesday to learn more.
67% of employees find employee handbooks helpful. Does your company have one? About half of the companies that do have one say they have updated it since COVID-19. Create your own employee handbook (for free!) using the Workest Employee Handbook Builder tool.
New – Maryland Task Force Best Practices for Business Reopening Webinars are focused on Professional Services, Personal Services, Manufacturing and Construction, and Hospitality and Tourism. The webinars feature updates from officials at the Maryland Department of Health, Maryland Department of Commerce and Maryland State Police. All Task Force webinars can be found here: https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business
Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care Outlines Path Forward – Maryland Together: A plan to continue and expand child care during the COVID-19 Pandemic. View the full Recovery Plan and the Plan FAQs for Parents.
Want to help your business? Prioritize taking care of your mental health. –Inc.