More than 280 Calvert County businesses and nonprofits have received much needed financial assistance through the Calvert County COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Fund Grant, to cover expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through two rounds of funding, a total of $865,500 in grants awarded to 224 businesses were processed through the Department of Economic Development: 91 sole proprietors were awarded grants of $1,500 each; 101 micro businesses received grants of $5,000 each; and 32 small businesses received $7,000 each.
In addition to the funding earmarked specifically for businesses, approximately $475,000 in grant funding was administered through the Department of Community Resources to 60 nonprofit organizations serving Calvert County.
“We are pleased to be able to provide assistance to small businesses and nonprofits, who have been hit especially hard during the pandemic,” said Board of County Commissioners President Kelly McConkey. “We appreciate the hard work by Economic Development and Community Resources staff to get this funding to our business and nonprofit community, whose success is crucial to Calvert County’s strength and vitality.”
The program, which ran from June to September, was funded through the Maryland Coronavirus Relief Fund, established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Calvert County received $1.25 million to provide small business grants and $500,000 for nonprofits.
Grants are being used for expenditures related to business interruption or unusual expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as the installation of safety barriers, personal protective equipment, additional cleaning materials or training to ensure the safety of employees and customers. The grant does not require repayment.
“It is rare for economic developers to have an opportunity to provide grants like this,” said Economic Development Director Kelly Robertson-Slagle. “This was a unique opportunity to be able to help business owners offset unforeseen and highly unusual expenses. It was an exciting challenge to implement this program and we’re grateful for the chance to provide financial assistance to our community.”
"A range of nonprofits received funding, including animal rescue, arts, civic, disability, education, faith-based, housing and senior service organizations,” said Community Resources Director Jennifer Moreland. “Nonprofit organizations are the lifeblood of our community so our department takes great pride in helping them through these challenging times.”
Small businesses and nonprofits applied for a grant through an online application portal and were required to show that they had experienced a revenue loss or incurred additional expenses, were in good standing with the state of Maryland and without any tax liabilities due to Calvert County.
Remaining funds will be used to provide additional financial assistance to the community through the end of 2020. The Department of Community Resources will oversee the use of these funds through a Rent and Mortgage Relief Fund as well as support for local housing agencies to provide financial assistance for eligible applicants living in Calvert County.