To the U.S. Commercial Service Community: The health and safety of our employees, clients, partners and communities is our top priority. Given the developing COVID-19 outbreak, we have made some recent changes to the way we serve U.S. exporters. Our global network of experienced trade specialists will be working virtually and is looking forward to connecting with you via email, conference call, Skype, or video conference to discuss your international business plans. To contact a trade specialist in your area, visit our list of local U.S. Export Assistance Centers. Know that we are here for you whether you have questions about the status of an event, need to cancel a service, or are checking on the status of an export market. To learn more about our virtual services, visit trade.gov/virtual-services. Additional Federal Government resources are available from the Small Business Administration and EXIM Bank. Our thoughts are with you and the global business community, and we remain firmly committed to serving the needs of U.S. exporters like you. We will continue to evaluate options to ensure we can deliver on the objectives of our mission, and that we consider the safety of all parties involved. Connect with us on social media @USCommercialSvc for our latest updates and resources. We look forward to working with you soon. For more information on coronavirus, please visit: coronavirus.gov.
Below are additional resources provided by a number of federal and state government agencies that businesses may find helpful. https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business
Financial Assistance & Taxes
- 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. More information coming by Friday, March 27, 2020.
- If you have specific questions about these funds, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide low-interest loans to companies affected by the outbreak, with President Trump asking Congress to increase funding for the SBA lending program to $50 billion.
- Governor Hogan announced on March 19 that the entire state of Maryland has received official designation for SBA assistance. Individual businesses can now apply directly to the SBA for low-interest loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Visit SBA’s website to apply now. If you are having trouble submitting the application online, it can also be mailed or faxed to SBA. General SBA guidance for businesses can be found here. If you need additional help navigating the SBA process, Maryland SBDC can help.