Friday Five | August 6, 2021

A recap of this week’s top-five news items and resources from the intersection of business and government.


1. U.S. Senate to try to finish $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Saturday

Following hours of closed-door negotiations, the U.S. Senate was unable to finalize a $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Thursday. Senators failed to reach an agreement on remaining amendments to the bill, beyond the nearly two dozen already debated this week. They will try again on Saturday when the Senate is scheduled to hold a vote on limiting debate and moving toward passage of the hard-fought legislation.

The bipartisan bill that would trigger new construction projects throughout the United States to expand or refurbish roads, highways, bridges, airports and other public works.

Read the full story here.


2. SBA launches Paycheck Protection Program Direct Forgiveness Portal

On August 4, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans $150,000 or less through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA.

“The SBA’s new streamlined application portal will simplify forgiveness for millions of our smallest businesses — including many sole proprietors — who used funds from our Paycheck Protection Program loans to survive the pandemic,” said Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman. “The vast majority of businesses waiting for forgiveness have loans under $150,000. These entrepreneurs are busy running their businesses and are challenged by an overly complicated forgiveness process. We need to deliver forgiveness more efficiently so they can get back to enlivening our Main Streets, sustaining our neighborhoods and fueling our nation’s economy.”

This new change will help rush relief to the over 6.5 million qualified small businesses. Lenders are required to opt-in to this program through https://directforgiveness.sba.gov.

Read SBA’s full statement here.


3. The Biden administration issues a new eviction moratorium after a federal ban lapsed
Days after a national eviction moratorium expired, the Biden administration on Tuesday issued a new, more limited freeze that remains in effect through October 3. Like the previous order, the two-month moratorium issued Tuesday comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new ban on evictions covers parts of the United States that are experiencing what the CDC calls “substantial” and “high” spread of the coronavirus, which now includes the majority of U.S. counties.

Read the full story here.


4. Maryland Comptroller’s office to resume collections on August 16

Comptroller Peter Franchot announced on Tuesday via press release that his office will resume collection activities beginning August 16. Collection and licensing activities have been on hold as a result of extended executive orders issued by Gov. Larry Hogan in response to COVID-19, which expire on August 15.

“My office will continue to work with individual and business taxpayers who continue to feel the lingering effects of the pandemic,” Comptroller Franchot said. “I’m encouraged that Maryland’s high vaccination rates could help us emerge from the pandemic, but for many, COVID-19 took a heavy toll on their bottom lines that will take a long time from which to recover.”

Read the full press release here.


5. Developer of Ocean City wind farm plans expansion and Baltimore County steel fabrication hub

US Wind, the Baltimore-based subsidiary of Italian renewable energy firm Renexia SpA, announced its vision Tuesday for 90 waterfront acres at Tradepoint Atlantic, a 3,300-acre logistics center in Baltimore County, where it plans to assemble turbine components and start a company called Sparrows Point Steel.

US Wind holds the lease rights to an area that spans about 80,000 acres 13 miles off of Ocean City, and is the first of two phases of a plan to supply Maryland with 1,500 megawatts of renewable energy, or enough to power more than half a million homes.

Read the full story here.


MARYLAND MASK MANDATES: When and where you need a mask

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Request a vaccine mobile unit at your business – The Maryland Dept. of Health will deploy mobile vaccination clinics for businesses interested in providing vaccinations to their employees and the community.

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EVENT: 2021 Congressional Roundup on Sept. 22 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Join us for a premier virtual event with policy experts and Maryland’s congressional delegation, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. They’ll discuss the current legislative and electoral landscape and how it directly impacts the business community. View all confirmed speakers here.

REGISTER HERE


 

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