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COVID-19 Relief Programs Now Available for Maryland Restaurants, Artists, and Entertainment Venues

Governor Urges Local Jurisdictions to Match State’s Investments to Help Families and Small Businesses

ANNAPOLIS, MD—As part of Governor Larry Hogan’s $250 million economic recovery package for Marylanders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, new financial assistance programs are now available to restaurants, independent artists, arts organizations, entertainment venues, and Main Street businesses across the state.

“This economic recovery initiative will be critical to the struggling restaurants, small businesses, and Main Streets across the state that are attempting to weather this crisis,” said Governor Hogan. “I have directed our team to ensure that this much-needed funding gets out the door as quickly as possible. We are urging counties and local jurisdictions to match these new state investments by utilizing their remaining CARES Act funding so that we can direct even more resources to where they’re needed most.”

Support for Local Restaurants. For restaurants across Maryland, a new grant program is available. The state will distribute a total of $50 million across each county and Baltimore City based on the number of restaurant establishments located in each of the 24 jurisdictions. Restaurants interested in this new grant program must apply through their local jurisdiction, which are launching their own relief programs. Anne Arundel County has previously announced that it will match the state’s investment in the restaurant relief program.

The chart below is the funding for restaurant relief expected to be allocated throughout the state:


Support for Arts Organizations. The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency of the Maryland Department of Commerce, has received an additional $3 million to reinvest in its Emergency Grant Program, aimed at helping those in the arts community that have experienced losses because of programming, operations, and events that have been modified or canceled. New applications are being accepted until November 13 for impacted county arts agencies, Arts & Entertainment District management entities, arts organizations, and independent artists through the MSAC website.

Support for Hometown Tourism Efforts. Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) will receive $2 million through the governor’s initiative to to support hometown tourism efforts that promote local restaurants, attractions, and shops. Each local jurisdiction’s DMO will receive funds specifically earmarked for marketing purposes, to help drive visitors to local venues and stores. This new funding greatly enhances the annual marketing assistance that Maryland Commerce’s Office of Tourism provides directly to the local tourism offices. Additional information is anticipated to be sent out to DMOs early this month.

Support for Main Street and Small Businesses. $50 million will be used to fund the remaining applications submitted for the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund. While new applications are not being accepted for this program, this additional funding will help clear the backlog of approximately 5,000 remaining small business applications submitted in March and April earlier this year. Similarly, an additional $5 million will go toward the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), for COVID-19 relief loans for businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs that applied earlier this summer.

New applications are also being accepted for state programs at our partner state agencies. Both the Maryland Department of Labor and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will receive $20 million to reinvest in their coronavirus relief programs. Labor began accepting applications on October 28 for its COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to prevent or minimize the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. DHCD  has launched its web page with resources for Main Street businesses, entertainment venues, and tourism nonprofit organizations.

For more information about financial assistance available to businesses across Maryland, please visit the Maryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Business web page.


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