Small Biz Bulletin - Special Edition

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Small Biz Bulletin - Special Edition

April 8, 2020

Special Secretary Jimmy Rhee

Message from Special Secretary Rhee

COVID-19 Surge Expected

Within hours of our last bulletin to you, Governor Larry Hogan took further actions to protect our small business community. Last Friday, he expanded a previous executive order to prohibit commercial and industrial property evictions. The order also temporarily prohibits mortgage foreclosures, and the repossession of cars and trucks. This action was taken in collaboration with nearly 70 of Maryland's largest banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, and other financial entities that understand the importance of providing flexibility to borrowers amidst the current economic conditions. You may be eligible for 90 days of payment forbearance or deferral of some loan payments. Contact your creditors directly to discuss your options. 

Just yesterday, Governor Hogan toured the field hospital site at the Baltimore Convention Center. He announced the designation of the Baltimore-Washington Corridor as an emerging hot spot, and that further demographic breakdowns on race and ethnicity will be provided for COVID-19 case data. This information will help our leadership ensure that the most affected areas are getting the public health resources they need as we prepare for the surge expected over the next two weeks.

Your actions make a big difference. Please continue following the governor's executive orders and guidance. Tough times do not last, but tough people do. Stay healthy and stay informed as we weather this storm together.

COVID-19 Pandemic: Orders and Guidance

Jimmy Rhee
Special Secretary

For Your Business

Annual Report and Personal Property Tax Return Deadline
Extended to July 15

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) recently announced the 2020 deadline to submit Annual Reports and Personal Property Tax Returns will be automatically extended to July 15 as part of the Hogan administration’s response to COVID-19. Expiration dates for trade names and name reservations, as well as entity forfeiture dates, will also be extended to 30 days after the state of emergency is rescinded. SDAT's filings and applications may be downloaded, printed, and mailed, but customers are strongly encouraged to complete transactions online when possible. Any paper-based submissions will take significantly longer to process throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis. At this time, phone lines have limited staffing or are only accepting voicemails. Visit the website for more information, and sign up to receive reminders and news updates.

Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation


SBR Recertification

The small business community has access to over $400 million in prime contracting opportunities on state-funded contracts through the Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program. SBR certification takes place in the eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA) platform. Once certified, firms must recertify annually. Firms that do not complete the online recertification process in eMMA by the renewal date are automatically removed from the program and are not eligible to receive a designated SBR contract. They must complete the application process again to rejoin the program. If you are certified as an SBR vendor, please visit your eMMA vendor profile to determine your recertification date. If you are not in the program or missed your recertification date, please complete the SBR certification process today. Utilize this quick reference guide.

SBR Certification/Recertification Quick Reference Guide


MBE Program Update

The Office of Minority Business Enterprise (OMBE), while operating under the governor's social distancing directives, will continue to process requests for certification. Applicants will be contacted by telephone to perform the required interview with the owner(s). The mandatory on-site visit at your place of business will be performed when business operations return to normal. Firms that are currently certified should continue to submit Annual Renewal documentation as requested. Use of the on-line portal is recommended as the most efficient way to submit the required documentation. New applications for certification and expansion of services requests are being accepted, but they will not be processed for the next 30 days. An OMBE officer will be in contact with applicants when we return to normal business operations. Check the website for more information. 

Office of Minority Business Enterprise


Expansion of Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The federal CARES Act has expanded unemployment insurance benefits nationwide, giving access to sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed workers. The Maryland Department of Labor is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Labor to create new IT systems, modify the current platforms, and train staff in order to implement these new programs. Maryland will provide all three expanded unemployment programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Upon availability, benefits will be paid back to the earliest date of eligibility. Please use the link below to monitor progress as these programs come online, and sign up to receive an email update when filing opens for PUA benefits. 

Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance


SBA Daily Calls & Webinars

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is conducting daily webinars and conference calls to help small business owners understand and apply for the coronavirus relief options. The SBA offers these programs: Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL Loan Advance, SBA Express Bridge Loan, SBA Debt Relief.

  • 3:00 pm – Daily Conference Call
    202-765-1264; ID # 827-299-626
  • 5:30 pm – Daily Conference Call
    202-765-1264; ID # 310-688-488
  • 10:30 am and 8:00 pm – Zoom Webinar (download the ZOOM app for free)
    Meeting # 6794772946
    Have all your necessary documents ready

Federal Coronavirus Relief Options