COVID-19 Business Resources

COVID-19 Business Resource & Recovery Center  

Bel Air is the Heart of Harford and we want each one of our businesses to feel supported during this unprecedented time. We know that no matter what industry you are in, COVID-19 has likely affected your business in some way. The health, safety and recovery of our businesses is our highest priority.   

In response to the changing needs of our business community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have compiled a list of resources to assist you in making the best decisions to help your business navigate through the impact encountered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Think of the Town of Bel Air Office of Economic Development as your partner.  You may reach our Director of Economic Development, Trish Heidenreich, at 410-838-0586 should you require additional assistance.

Please check back often as this list will be updated and resources will be added as they become available.

Stay Informed: 

 Maryland Strong Roadmap to Recovery - Governor Hogan’s phased plan to reopen the Maryland economy.

Back to Business - Maryland’s industry specific safety best practices.

Back to Business Pledge - Sign and print to assure customers you are adhering to guidelines and following best practices.

The Maryland Business Relief Wizard is a tool to help businesses navigate the various assistance programs available to them during the COVID-19 crisis. Answer a series of questions about your business and the tool will direct you to the programs you are eligible for based on your answers. 

Harford County Business Relief Grants Small businesses with 2 to 50 employees can apply for $7,500 grants toward social distancing expenses, PPE purchases, payroll and other operating costs. Farmers with 10+ acres can apply for grants of $2,500.

Resources through the Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration website has a comprehensive listing of all the programs including guidance for businesses and employers, SBA Express Bridge Loans and a listing of their products and resources. For any applications through SBA, be sure to include an email address in your application and to submit the application as soon as possible.  We have been advised that the best time to access their website currently is between 7pm – 7am.  

Small Business Resources are available through the Small Business Development Center including webinars, resiliency guides and resources to help you prepare to reopen. 

COVID-19 Small Business Survival Guide  developed by The Maryland Small Business Development Center provides helpful information.  As a Harford County business owner, your business consultant through the Small Business Administration Northern Region is Ryan DelGallo.  Ryan can be reached at 443-373-3377.

The Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan  (EIDL) program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.  This program is designed for most businesses, and most private non-profit organizations as well as agricultural cooperatives.   APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED 4/16/20. RE-OPENED 4/27/20.

Small Business Administration Express Bridge Loans allow small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. Check with your local banker to see if they are an approved SBA lender. This may be your fastest access to capital.  Express Loans may often be received the same day from major lenders who are SBA approved. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for this type of loan.

The Paycheck Protection Program  through the Small Business Administration is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses.   If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable.  For more information to see if you’re eligible, see the program overview.  APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED 4/16/20. RE-OPENED 4/27/20.

Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness

Resources through the Federal Reserve Board

The U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Board announced new and expanded lending programs to provide up to $2.3 trillion in financing. They approved the establishment of a Main Street Business Lending Program and a Municipal Liquidity Facility to support the flow of credit to American workers, businesses, States, counties, and cities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.


 Resources through the State of Maryland:

Maryland Business Express has a full listing of Governor Hogan’s executive orders, guidance on business closures (essential / non-essential) and a list of frequently asked questions for Maryland business owners, as well as many other resources. 

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

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.  

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.  

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.

The Maryland Department of Labor COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund  is designed to help reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs in the small business community as a result of the pandemic. Applications for this support program have a quick turnaround time and are available now. Applications will remain available for 30 following the end of the State of Emergency declaration.  

Maryland OneStop account can be used to check the status of existing applications for the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan/Grant. Be sure to create the account using the same email address that was used in your original application. This does not offer updates on federal loan applications.

 To Report an Employee’s Recall to Work or Job Refusal - If an employee refuses a recall to work or refuses an offer of work, you must notify the Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) within 15 days after the refusal in order for DUI to consider whether the refusal will affect the individual’s benefits.

Additional Resources:

Additional information may be found on the Harford County  and the Harford County Office of Community & Economic Development Business Resource websites.

The Susquehanna Workforce Network provides workforce development programs and services for businesses and individuals.  A listing of current job openings in Harford and Cecil Counties along with resources for businesses and job seekers can be found in the What’s New section of their website.

The Better Business Bureau Greater Maryland is offering free video workshops and resources for small businesses. 

Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Funds are being made available to Non-Profit Organizations in the Greater Baltimore Area to help them support changes in operations and sustainability due to COVID-19. 

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund Guy Fieri and the National Restaurant Association have launched a relief fund to give $500 checks to restaurant workers affected by Coronavirus. Restaurant workers can apply for a grant paid for by the NRAEF fund and will receive a one-time $500 check within four weeks to use toward housing, medical bills, student loans, groceries, and other expenses. The NRAEF stipulated that these grants would be administered on a “first-come, first-serve basis.” APPLICATIONS SUSPENDED

WebIXI Matching Grant is being made available to Harford County businesses who contract new services for their website and digital marketing services between April and June. Applications  are available on their website. 

APG Chesapeake Community Grant Program is a matched advertising grant program for local businesses. They are a media company providing print, digital, and social solutions across the Chesapeake region and applications are available now.

Maryland Restaurant Relief Fund is offering restaurant and bar owners grants of $2,500 on a rolling basis with an easy to complete application.

The Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund is offering micro-grants of $100 for restaurant employees; application process is not yet finalized but coming out soon. Check their website for updates as well as news and resources for restaurant owners and employees.