COVID-19: Resources for Businesses

Montgomery County Food Assistance Provider Capacity Building Grant

Montgomery County is now accepting applications for its Food Assistance Provider Capacity Building Grant program. The Capacity Building Grant funding will be used to assist Food Assistance Providers to improve their infrastructure and increase their ability to provide food access to hard-to-reach communities in Montgomery County during the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.

Non-profit organizations can apply for up to $85,000. Applications for the grants are due by noon on Monday, August 3, 2020, and funds will be distributed beginning Thursday, August 13,2020.

To submit an application, visit the Healthcare Initiative Foundation website. After successfully logging into the site, select the COVID-19 Food Assistance Capacity Building Grant application on the dashboard.

If an organization cannot complete the application online or requires the application be provided in a language other than English, email Jess.Fuchs@hifmc.org

For specific questions, email mark.hodge@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Reopen Montgomery Grant Program

Reopen Montgomery is a grant program that will reimburse Montgomery County businesses for expenses incurred to comply with State and County reopening requirements. These requirements are established to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and maintain public health.

The County Council passed a special appropriation under Resolution 19-523 creating the Reopen Montgomery Program to provide grants of up to $5,000 per applicant. A total of $14M has been appropriated for this program to help County businesses reopen.

A business or non-profit organization is eligible to receive assistance from the Reopen Montgomery Program if it:

  • has its physical location(s) only in the County; or its County-based locations account for more than 50% of the business’s total number of employees or 50% of the business’s gross sales;
  • employs 100 or less full-time-equivalent employees;
  • has not received financial assistance from the County (including from the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation) for reopening expenses related to the COVID-19 health crisis; and
  • has incurred “Reopening Reimbursable Expenditures,” as defined in Paragraph 9, between March 16, 2020, and 30 days following the date when the County starts Phase 3 reopening.

Applications will be reviewed using a rolling random lottery system until funds are expended.

Visit the Reopen Montgomery Program web page to learn more about what you need to do to prepare to apply for this grant.

Questions about the program may be directed to Reopen@montgomerycountymd.gov

Early Care and Education Initiative Recovery Fund  (ECEIRF)

Montgomery County is launching the Early Care and Education Initiative Recovery Fund grant program.

The Montgomery County Council appropriated $10 million to provide reopening expenses for licensed childcare center programs, registered family childcare homes and letter of compliance programs.

Of the amount appropriated:

  • $6.5 million is targeted to licensed child care centers and letter of compliance programs
  • $3.5 million is targeted to registered family child care homes

Eligible child care providers may receive a grant equal to one month of expenses to support early care and education operations until tuition payments are collected as well as compensation for significant financial losses caused directly or indirectly by Covid-19 restrictions.

Priority will be given to Child Care Programs that

  • serve children receiving federal, state, or local subsidy;
  • serving children with special needs;
  • are located in targeted zip codes (20877, 20886, 20902, 20866, and 20906);
  • participate in the Maryland EXCELS

Learn more about the Early Care and Education Initiative Recovery Fund


Montgomery County encourages all local businesses to explore other forms of Federal and State assistance that may be available.

Resources to assist in this search include:

State and Federal Business Assistance Programs

Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance: On June 15, the Small Business Administration began accepting new EIDL and EIDL Advance applications from qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses.

Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program: Provides support to small and medium-sized businesses and their employees across the United States during the current period of financial strain by supporting the provision of credit to such businesses. The availability of additional credit is intended to help companies that were in sound financial condition prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic maintain their operations and payroll until conditions normalize.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program: An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance: SBA is accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis only to provide relief to U.S. agricultural businesses. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that submitted an EIDL SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.

SBA Small Business Debt Relief Program: Provides a reprieve to small businesses overcoming the challenges created by COVID-19.

  • The SBA will automatically pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
  • The SBA also will automatically pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.

IRS Employee Retention Tax Credit: Encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

IRS Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes: Allows businesses to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments (one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022).

Important Updates on Unemployment Benefits

Includes self-employed, independent contractors, “gig” workers.
On April 17, eligible Marylanders began seeing an additional $600 per week payment as a result of the federal CARES Act.

On Friday, April 24, the Maryland Department of Labor launched a new BEACON One-Stop Application to allow all newly eligible Marylanders to file all types of claims entirely online. Eligibility is expanded to those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, have insufficient work history, or who have exhausted their benefits since July 1, 2019 and are eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program will now be able to submit their applications online and receive their benefits retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility.

These individuals should visit Labor’s website at MDunemployment.com and enter their email address to receive important information and instructions about filing their new claim. The new application will also allow individuals who were previously required to file by phone, like those who are federal employees, members of the military, have worked in multiple states, and have worked for more than 3 employers in the last 18 months to now file online. 

Apply for Maryland Unemployment benefits at mdunemployment.com

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
  • $600 per week on top of current regular UI benefits.
  • Effective March 29, 2020 through July 31, 2020.
  • Will be automatically updated if you qualify, are currently receiving benefits, and once our technical systems are modified.
 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • 13 additional weeks of UI benefits, plus $600 FPUC.
  • Effective March 29, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Will be automatically updated if you qualify, are currently receiving benefits, and once our technical systems are modified.

Please check back often as information is changing quickly and updates will be posted regularly.

Here are some additional general resources for businesses: