Keep your business in the know.
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 safe and healthy.
COVID-19 | Maryland Chamber of Commerce Resources for Employers
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce remains dedicated to supporting our State’s business community throughout the COVID-19 crisis. There continues to be an overwhelming amount of information being circulated about the virus and its public health and economic impact. We are working diligently to compile resources from various subject matter experts and convey them in real time to our membership.
Below you will find a comprehensive overview of resources developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Maryland and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Our goal is to ensure that you and your employees have the information necessary both to prevent the spread of the virus, but also to maintain continuity of operations during this unpredictable time.
UPDATE: Governor Hogan announced new COVID-19 business relief programs on March 23. These resources are available directly linked below and by going directly to the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor. Click to view the most recent (3/23/20) Interpretive-Guidance: COVID19-04 issued from the Governor.
UPDATE: Governor Hogan announced that the entire state of Maryland has received designation for SBA assistance. SMALL BUSINESSES CAN APPLY HERE.
We have learned that the MD Department of Commerce is accepting requests for “essential service” designations. You can email your request to email@example.com. There is no specific format required. Commerce is asking for a short, concise summary on why your business should receive an essential service designation. They will ask for more information if required.
“The State of Maryland has taken far-reaching and proactive steps to minimize the impact of COVID-19 across our state, including ordering state employees to telework, closing public schools, closing casinos and racetracks, and activating the National Guard so it is ready to carry out any emergency functions that may be needed. State agencies including the Department of Commerce remain prepared to serve our clients in the business community.”
The State has created an interagency resource guide for businesses to utilize during the COVID-19 crisis. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce encourages our members and business partners to regularly visit this website as it contains the most accurate and up-to-date information related to the economic impact of the virus. On this website you will find the following information and supporting resources:
For any specific questions that are not addressed through these resources, businesses should email Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov. We have been assured that a representative from the Maryland Department of Commerce will respond to specific inquiries within 48-72 hours.
Find a full list of Governor Hogan’s executive orders here, and find guidance on business closures here and here. If “essential” or “non-essential” status is still unclear, please use this as guidance.
View an ongoing list of frequently asked questions here for Maryland businesses planning and responding to the Coronavirus.
Additional resources for business owners impacted by COVID 19 can be found at the Maryland Business Express website.
MDCC Advocacy Communications on Behalf of our Membership
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce has drafted and sent multiple communications in support of our advocacy efforts for the benefit of our members and businesses in the state during this time of crisis. For copies of those letters to use as reference or samples in your own outreach see below:
The Maryland Department of Health has created a COVID-19 Information Portal. The portal includes the following information:
The portal also includes all press releases from Governor Hogan related to COVID-19.
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has activated its Virtual Business Operation Center (VBOC) in support of Maryland Department of Health response to COVID-19 and to address inquiries from the private sector. Businesses that are interested in emergency operations engagement can learn more through MEMA’s Private Sector Integration Program. For a copy of their most recent webinar materials you may access the recording here and the PowerPoint presentation here.
The SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise. As the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses, they are poised to help during this COVID-19 pandemic with:
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
Much of the U.S. Chamber’s content has been pulled from the CDC’s “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers.”
On Saturday afternoon (3/21/20), Governor Larry Hogan announced that the State of Maryland has relaunched the “Maryland Unites” website with resources for families in need of assistance during the Coronavirus pandemic. The #MarylandUnites website provides residents with the ability to find opportunities to help fellow Marylanders, as well as a comprehensive, A-to-Z COVID-19 resource guide.
The Small Business Development Center has created COVID-19 Small Business Survival Guide. This guide provides current information related to small business best practices during this disaster, emergency funding, state programs, and updates on regulations. This guide is being updated as new information becomes available. Please share with your small business clients and partners.
Federal & State Legislative Resources
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce is actively monitoring federal and state 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.
As of Thursday (3/19/20) Senate Republicans have introduced legislation for the third coronavirus funding package amid growing concerns about a widespread outbreak in the United States. The nearly 250-page bill includes direct financial help for Americans, relief for small businesses, help for impacted industries like airlines and efforts to bolster the health care system. The administration has agreed to start on Friday to take part in the negotiations recognizing the urgency, senators expect that they will work through the weekend to try to negotiate an agreement on the coronavirus package.
UPDATE: Read more here to review the summary of the Revised “CARES” Act released by Majority Leader McConnell on Sunday, March 22, 2020.
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 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.
In its remaining days before adjourning Sine Die, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to address several ongoing COVID-19 challenges. SB 1080/HB 1663, the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Protection Act of 2020, authorizes the Governor to take actions relating to health insurance, Medicaid, retailer profits, employer actions and personnel at State health care facilities.
A summary of the legislation can be found here.
We will continue to monitor ongoing efforts at the state and federal levels to provide COVID-19 for Maryland businesses, workers and families and provide our membership with regular updates as they materialize.
Comptroller Announces Extension of Tax Filing Deadlines & New Communication Channels
To assist businesses affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, Maryland’s Comptroller Peter Franchot announced that the deadline for filing taxes will be extended. Starting on March 23rd at 4:30 p.m., taxpayer assistance is only available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The comptroller has also set up a special email address to facilitate answering targeted tax questions during the COVID-19 pandemic, for those specific questions email COVID19@marylandtaxes.gov. If you are a business taxpayer with questions please email email@example.com.
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