• Covid-19/Coronavirus Information

  • The goal of this page is to provide you with links to several resources to help you navigate Covid-19.   We will add new information and links as we are made aware of them.  If you have any questions with any of the content or suggestions for additional content please contact us at Bill@dorchesterchamber.org.  We are operational and working on your behalf even though our office is closed per the Governor's Executive Order.  The staff is working remotely and have full access to email, voice mail, and the member database.

    There was a joint webinar done on March 30th hosted by Dorchester County Economic Development, City of Cambridge Economic Development, Cambridge Main Street, Dorchester Chamber of Commerce, and Maryland SBDC.  Click here to replay the webinar.  

    Many programs are available as a result of the Cares Act signed on March 27th.  The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is one of the larger funded program.  Details for qualification and applying can be found here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp​.  

    The most comprehensive site to visit for information for Maryland Businesses is https://businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus.  On this site you will find links to all the various funding options that have been established, information on all of the Governor's executive orders, videos for education and more.   We will repeat some of the links below but highly recommend you visit this site for a wealth of information to help you navigate this difficult time.

    The Maryland Department of Commerce is offering three new business assistance programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

    • Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund - This $75 million loan fund offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Learn More
    • Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund - This $50 million grant program offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Learn more
    • Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund - This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. Learn More

     

    The Governor has taken many steps over the past 2 weeks that include closure of non-essential businesses, statewide school closures, no public gatherings over 10 people, closed senior centers, closed bars, gyms, eat in restaurants, etc.  This link will take you to his site where you can get more details:  https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/   On March 23 the Governor issued an executive order to close all non-essential businesses in the State.  This does not mean the state is closed and many business will continue to operate.  Click here and here for the list of business types Maryland has declared as essential.  


    Unemployment rules and processing have changed and more benefits are available. Here is a link to the Maryland Department of Labor explaining the rules and process: http://labor.maryland.gov/employment/unemployment.shtml
     

    Dorchester County has been added to the list of locations that qualify for Disaster Loan Assistance from the SBA.  We recommend you download the information and start the process as soon as you can as most States will become qualified for the funding in the coming weeks.  Here is link to get information and to start the application process:  https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources#section-header-0

    If you applied for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) loan before Monday March 30th you need to reapply in order to get the (up to) $10,000 forgivable loan.  The $10k is an add-on to the EIDL loan through the CARES Act package.  COVID-19 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN APPLICATION – New, simplified form:  https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#  Daily SBA EIDL Application Help - 10:30am and 8:00pm.  On ZOOM, the SBA agent will walk you through how to fill out the EIDL form.  Have all your necessary documents ready.  Download the ZOOM app.  Free. Meeting # 6794772946

    For more information about the disease and to stay current on issues around the US and other Countries the Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers a lot of good information.

    This link will take you to the Covid-19 home page:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

    They have great recommendations for prevention in many settings that include home, workplace, school, etc  and that can be found at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html

    The Maryland Department of Health also provides helpful information and has a good FAQ document.  They can be found at this link:  https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx

    Facebook is offering up to $100M in Grants and ad credits.  Here is a link to learn more about their program: Facebook Grant This is a worldwide program for up to 30,000 businesses so get your request in early.

    APG Chesapeake (publisher Star Democrat and Dorchester Star) has established a $500,000 grant fund to assist locally owned businesses during this challenging situation.  https://www.apgchesapeake.com/grant
     

    Here is a link to a list being maintained by Dorchester County Tourism for Closings/Cancellations/Changes to Operation:  https://visitdorchester.org/dorchester-visitor-center-closed-some-events-cancelled/?fbclid=IwAR0aqAuvJtTJPd4ePRwGDRBI-l0AIwiWUQuDbs4DfWPwWUINlAy1AJPgG14  If you have any additions or changes to the list please reach out to the Chamber or Tourism and we will work to get it updated.

    There are posters and forms that are being provided by various organizations.  We will post them to this link for you view and download.

    If you have any questions or suggestions for additional information for us to share with our members, please let us know.  Working together as a community we will get pass this and become stronger for it.