Resources compiled by the Maryland Chamber
In response to the growing public health concern over the COVID-19 virus, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce has compiled resources to help keep our members and the Maryland business community informed.
Industry letter on USMCA merchandise processing fee
Join industry groups and stakeholders in urging Congress to consider a legislative fix to merchandise processing fee language in the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement Implementing Act that, if unchecked, could result in the payment of millions of dollars of fees on imports into the United States. The deadline to sign onto this letter is Monday, June 29 at 3:00 p.m. EDT.
Letter to congressional leadership on the need for an infrastructure investment package
Time is running out for Congress to pass a surface transportation reauthorization bill ahead of the September 30, 2020 deadline. The NAM is gathering signatures from manufacturing association partners for a letter urging congressional leaders to advance an infrastructure investment package before that deadline that will improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of our nation’s infrastructure. We invite you to add your organization’s name to this letter by Monday, June 29 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT.
The SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise.
The SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small businesses and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise.
Over $100 billion currently remains in the PPP fund. The deadline for businesses to apply is June 30th. Learn more here.
Recently the SBA put out a guide to help small businesses navigate the different relief programs, you can download the most recent version here.
Regarding SBA size standards, please go here to find out if you meet SBA’s size standards.
As the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses, they are poised to help during this COVID-19 pandemic with:
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQ’s from the U.S. Department of Treasury
The U.S. Department of Treasury released an FAQ document to address common inquiries and requests for information pertaining to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
In addition to the FAQ document, please review the following resources provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury below and visit their webpage for additional information.
The application for borrowers can be found below:
The NFIB has compiled multiple small business resources in response to coronavirus and they can her found below:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a guide for employers to plan for and respond to COVID-19.
The CDC encourages employers to:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is working closely with the Trump Administration, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials to ensure that businesses have the most up-to-date information and resources.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their Foundation has put together multiple documents featuring workplace health and safety information from the CDC.
In addition to the information in the toolkit: the U.S. Chamber’s own interactive digital platform designed specifically for business owners, called CO, has created a COVID-19 business guide to help small business owners navigate the pandemic—including information about managing financial difficulties, keeping your team engaged, supporting and retaining your customers, and more. They have created an accompanying digital resource toolkit that includes “key messages, example posts, and social media graphics for you to utilize while sharing the tools and resources with your local business communities and networks.”
Much of the U.S. Chamber’s content has been pulled from the CDC’s “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.”
Federal Legislative Resources
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce is actively monitoring federal legislation seeking to address challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to ensure that it appropriately balances public health and safety with the economic realities employees and employers are facing at this time.
U.S. Senate Passes $2 Trillion COVID-19 Emergency Relief Deal
Late Wednesday night (3/25), the Senate voted to pass the largest economic rescue effort in American history. As of Friday morning (3/27), the bill, known as the CARES Act, is being considered by the House. Once passed by the House, it will head to the desk of President Trump, who has said he will sign it immediately.
The $2 trillion relief package will, in the words of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “rush new resources onto the front lines of our nation’s historic fight and it will inject trillions of dollars of cash into the economy as fast as possible to help American workers, families, small businesses and industries make it through this disruption and emerge on the other side ready to soar.”
The following is a statement from Christine Ross, president, and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce:
“We are pleased the U.S. Senate has passed this urgent legislation in a unanimous vote, and we ask the House to do the same so that the president can sign it into law as soon as possible. As we all do our part to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, this law will begin the process of getting Maryland families and businesses back on their feet in the midst of an unprecedented economic shutdown, and give our businesses the confidence to reopen their doors.”
What’s in the bill:
• $367 billion in loans for small businesses. Small businesses could obtain federally-backed loans through community banks through June 30. If they keep all their employees, the loans would be forgiven.
• $500 billion in loans from the Treasury Department for larger industries, including $25 billion for passenger airlines; $4 billion for carriers; $3 billion for aviation contractors; and $17 billion for businesses critical to national security. For mid-sized businesses with between 500 and 10,000 employees, there would be no payments due for the first six months after the loan is issued.
• Direct payments of $1,200 to most single Americans making up to $75,000, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000. Parents would receive $500 for each child under 17. The amount decreases for individuals with incomes above $75,000, with no payments for those making more than $99,000.
• Expanded unemployment benefits that increase the maximum benefit by $600 per week and provide laid-off workers their full pay for four months. Eligibility is extended to independent contractors and the self-employed.
• $150 billion for state and local governments, with $8 billion set aside for local governments, which are losing a great deal of tax revenue, as only essential businesses remain open and unemployment claims skyrocket.
• More than $100 billion for hospitals: The bill provides more than $100 billion to help hospitals prepare for an influx of patients.
• Creation of an oversight board and inspector general to oversee loans to large companies.
• Suspension of student loan payments: The Department of Education would suspend payments on student loans until September 30.
HR 6201 | Families First Coronavirus Response Act
On Wednesday evening, President Trump signed HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, as a broad response to many of the labor, employment, and economic challenges presented by COVID-19.
“Today, I have signed into law H.R. 6201, the ‘Families First Coronavirus Response Act.’ The Act makes emergency supplemental appropriations and other changes to the law to help the Nation respond to the coronavirus outbreak,” President Trump said in a statement on Wednesday.
The legislation provides paid sick and family leave for some for U.S. workers impacted by the illness expands unemployment assistance and includes nutrition assistance and free COVID-19 testing, among other provisions.
A full summary of the legislation provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce can be found here.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also calling on President Trump and congressional leadership to swiftly enact the following three policy proposals:
Lastly, the U.S. Chamber is calling for a series of measures to help businesses weather supply chain disruptions, support business operations, assist employees, and protect small and mid-sized businesses.
Also, for your awareness, the U.S. Department of Treasury has proposed three key terms for COVID-19 legislation specific to the Exchange Stabilization Fund, economic impact payments, and small business interruption loans. Click here to view the full stage three proposal.
FEMA | Resource Roadmaps
FEMA recently published interagency resource guides on their website to help state, local, territorial and tribal governments during this time:
The two most recent publications focused on Education (for school reopening, virtual learning, and related challenges); and Food and Nutrition (for food distribution, supporting restaurants/food outlets, and related challenges). FEMA plans to release Resource Roadmaps for Healthcare, Housing, and Economic Development by the end of September. In early October FEMA plans to post a search tool on its website to make it even easier to identify available resources to address COVID-related challenges.
Given that these resources span over 30 federal departments and agencies, the summaries and Roadmaps are a starting point to find helpful resources. Users should always check with the agency’s own website and published program information to verify application requirements and timing.
Resources for rural businesses
Additional resource links
Resources include the ReNEW Maryland Initiative, the Safe Workplace: Best Practices and Baselines for Reopening Maryland PDF, Essential Employee Designation Letter, MDCC advocacy communications on behalf of our membership, recordings and resources from the Maryland Chamber Foundation webinar series, and more.
Resources include Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery, information for businesses from the Maryland Interagency, Maryland Business Relief Wizard, resources from the Maryland Department of Health, Maryland Unites, resources from the Maryland Small Business Resource Center (SBDC), state legislative resources, resources for rural businesses, and more.
Resources include a preview of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s webinar playlist on YouTube, links to past recorded webinars in the COVID-19 webinar series, and more.
Resources include Resources from Maryland Chamber of Commerce Members such as BGE, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Johns Hopkins, The Maryland Bankers Association, and Shawe Rosenthal; resources from the World Health Organization; the McKinsey and Company Talent Exchange; resources from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); and more.
For more information contact email@example.com or (410) 269-0642.