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.