10.23.20 – Maryland Reporter – State Roundup:
NEW HELP FOR MD BUSINESSES, JOBS: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday he’s drawing down the state’s Rainy Day Fund to offer $250 million more in financial relief for businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing recession, Pamela Wood and Hallie Miller report for the Sun. The biggest chunk of the money — $100 million — will be used to create an “emergency rapid response fund” for small businesses, so the state can pivot to help hard-hit areas or industries.
- The new funds mean the state will have invested a total of $500 million in relief for businesses, Bryan Renbaum writes for Maryland Reporter.
- Calling it a “desperate situation,” Hogan announced he wasn’t waiting for federal stimulus talks and would use about half of the state’s budget savings from last year to expand existing programs and fund new ones to help small businesses struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic, Erin Cox reports for the Post.
- The announcement came as federal talks stalled and the state comptroller is calling for even more aid, Bryan Sears reports for The Daily Record. The Office of the Comptroller estimates that as many as 30,000 businesses may have closed and Comptroller Peter Franchot, speaking Wednesday, said a failure to provide additional aid could cause another 20,000 to close by the end of the year.
- Most of the money, $100 million, will be dedicated to an emergency rapid response fund that will “be available to immediately deploy to the other areas of economic need as we move forward,” Madeleine O’Neill reports for the USA Today network.
- The economic relief package unveiled by Hogan includes money to eliminate a backlog of grant applications and includes targeted funding to help restaurants, Holden Wilen reports for the Baltimore Business Journal.
- The plan includes $50 million in new relief for Maryland restaurants, Teresa McMinn report for the Cumberland Times-News. The money can be used for expenses including new equipment, technology to improve moving to carryout, expansion of outdoor dining for fall and winter, and funding for infrastructure and health improvements.
- The relief plan is detailed by Baltimore Fishbowl, with bullet points for each major program and how it will help restaurants, small businesses, local entertainment venues, arts organizations, and Main Streets across the state.
- The grants will be distributed by local governments, and they will have to do it quickly, with the state requiring them to spend it by Dec. 31, Joel McCord reports for WYPR.