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Baltimore Mayor Young asks Hogan to help get aid to small businesses affected by the coronavirus

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young is encouraging the governor to ask the federal government to enact a small business aid program in Maryland.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program could help small businesses in Baltimore that may struggle due to the coronavirus, Young, a Democrat, wrote Friday to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

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For the program to be available to Baltimore businesses, the governor must make a request to the federal government, according to the mayor’s office.

“Many small businesses, in particular the hospitality industry, are already experiencing reductions in their sales and as a consequence are laying off employees,” Young wrote.

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State Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz reached out to the Small Business Administration to get more information about the program, her office said.

“We are working swiftly with Governor Hogan’s office to apply for this SBA designation as soon as possible and are reaching out to our business community, as well as to our Small Business Development Centers and local economic development partners, to identify businesses that may benefit from this assistance,” agency spokeswoman Karen Glenn Hood said in a statement.

The National Federation of Independent Business, meanwhile, reported Friday that a survey of 300 of its member small businesses showed nearly a quarter of them already are affected by the outbreak of the new coronavirus. The negative effects include a mix of difficulty getting goods, slower sales and employees who are staying home sick, whether due to the virus or other illnesses.

The NFIB survey was taken Tuesday and Wednesday, before Republican President Donald Trump addressed the nation about the virus and before several states, including Maryland, closed schools temporarily.

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