COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

SMECO has compiled the following resources to assist local businesses and organizations who are looking for financial assistance. Programs open and close depending on the number of applications and the amount of money disbursed. SMECO cannot certify the availability of funding for any of these programs.

Maryland Humanities:

The goal of the CARES Act Emergency Relief Grants Fund is to help sustain Maryland’s infrastructure to ensure that organizations can continue to provide opportunities for public humanities programming and civic learning. Grants will support nonprofit general operating expenses. Eligible nonprofit organizations include museums, historic sites, preservation and historical societies, and community and cultural organizations with a significant humanities focus. A minimum of 50 and a maximum of 100 grants will be awarded. The minimum grant award will be $5,000 and the maximum grant award will be $10,000. (deadline May 11 or upon receipt of 125 applications)

MARBIDCO Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund:

The Maryland Agricultural- and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) offers low cost loans with flexible terms for working capital or equipment purchases. The maximum individual loan amount is $10,000, and no collateral security must be pledged to receive a loan. Applications for the Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund Program must be submitted by May 31.

Maryland Restaurant Relief FundMaryland Restaurant Relief Fund:

Kickstarted by OLD BAY, McCormick for Chefs, and CORECares with a contribution of $100,000, the goal of the Maryland Restaurant Relief Fund is to provide up to $2,500 in grants to as many qualifying recipients as possible to help support the Maryland restaurant industry.

Charles County Government COVID-19 Business Relief Fund:

Eligible businesses can apply for loans up to $5,000 with deferred repayment. For even more assistance, the Economic Development Department’s existing revolving loan programs have also been adapted to address the immediate needs of county businesses. Funds can be used for operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, and other business operating costs.

U.S. Small Business Administration Coronavirus Relief Options:

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applicants may receive emergency grants of $10,000. Even if your business is denied a loan, you can still access a grant, which can be used to provide employee sick leave, maintain payroll, or meet other needs like paying rent. Check the website for additional programs.

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund :

This COVID-19 Emergency Grant provides up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of cash operating expenses, for Maryland businesses and nonprofits with up to 50 employees and up to $5 million in annual revenue. Grants can be used for working capital to assist with disrupted operations. Grant assistance is intended to provide interim relief complementing actions with your bank, business interruption insurance, and financial partners. Applicants must have employees on their payroll for whom they have had payroll taxes withheld (i.e., W-2 employees).

The status of programs changes daily. For up-to-date information, visit

EnrichHER COVID-19 Relief Funding:

This lending platform for woman-owned businesses provides up to $250,000 in business financing, as well as training on effective cash flow management strategies. Applicant must be a U.S based business that has been in operation at least 1 year and must have annual cash flow of at least $100,000; in some cases, the cash flow requirement may be reduced if the owner has a credit score of 680 or higher.

Hello Alice Small Business Grant:

Hello Alice is awarding emergency grants of $10,000 to a limited number of small businesses struggling because of COVID-19. The program is supported by Verizon, Silicon Valley Bank, The eBay Foundation, and others. Business owners must have less than 50 employees and be registered in the U.S.

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