Small businesses in Baltimore County and Western Maryland will be eligible for loans through a new round of federal coronavirus funding, members of the state’s congressional delegation announced Friday.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded $3.4 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act to help small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of that amount, $1.6 million will go to Baltimore County’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in the county. Another grant, of $1 million, is earmarked for the Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, to offer financing to small businesses in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties.
The grants will capitalize revolving loan funds to offer gap financing for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The aid, administered by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, can be used for payroll, buying equipment and inventory, re-configuring existing or new space to meet coronavirus guidelines, capital improvements or other needs.
In addition, the Maryland Department of Commerce will receive a $770,000 grant to administer revolving loan funds that will offer financing to small businesses across the state.
Congress passed the CARES act earlier this year. The latest round of funding for Maryland is designed to address the continuing economic crisis stemming from loss of business during the pandemic.
The grants were announced jointly by delegation members, including U.S. senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone, all Maryland Democrats.
In a statement, those members urged passage of the Heroes Act, which would build on the CARES act, and passed the House of Representatives in May.