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Baltimore launches $5.5 million COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Initiative fund

Small business
Posted at 12:04 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 18:26:54-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore City on Thursday announced a public-private partnership to launch the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Initiative, which will be made up of the Small Business Task Force and a $5.5 million fund for small businesses, when they re-open.

The COVID-19 Small Business Task Force will be co-chaired by City Councilman Eric Costello and Shelonda Stokes, Interim President of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Funds will be handled and distributed by the Baltimore Development Corporation in three ways.

  • $500,000 will be allocated to provide grants to Baltimore manufacturers of personal protective equipment and for the city to buy from them
  • $1.5 million will be set aside to maintain safe social distancing when the time comes to shop as well as forms of advertising urging people to patronize local businesses in a safe manner
  • $3.5 million will be used for small business enterprises in certain commercial areas. Businesses can apply for up to $15,000 in grants for expenses such as rent, payroll and purchase of personal protective equipment. A portion of the funds will be set aside for businesses, who didn't qualify for federal aid. Businesses will be required to complete an application by May 4.