Small Business Federal Disaster Relief Assistance

A message from MCEC’s Executive Director, Kathy Magruder –

In light of the actions we are all taking to limit interaction and spread of the COVID-19 virus, we recognize the challenges your energy efficiency and renewable energy businesses are facing and the difficult decisions that you are making during this national crisis.

With the passage by Congress of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) signed by the President last Friday, there are now a variety of federal programs offering substantial resources that could benefit you and your business.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a $349 billion loan program (with options for loan forgiveness) for small businesses to pay their employees and take care of other expenses during the COVID-19 crisis. Competition will likely be intense among small businesses across this country seeking assistance from the PPP and federal resources in support of the PPP could be exhausted fairly quickly, so if interested you should apply immediately with your local bank!

Applications open officially on Friday, April 3, 2020 for small businesses and sole proprietorships and on Friday, April 10, 2020 for independent contractors and self-employed individuals.

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans – provide cash-flow assistance through federally-guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Injury Grants – an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private nonprofits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Grants and loans may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
  • Small Business Debt Relief Program – provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under this program, the SBA will cover all loan payments on previously secured SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months.

So that you can get a “head start” on assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), we encourage you to:

  1. Read the Following Information: As a potential PPP borrower, review the following one-page program fact sheet and the four-page borrower information sheet;
  2. Complete the Application: If the information on the PPP is of interest to your small business as you confront COVID-19, the easy two-page application form is on the website; and
  3. Apply to Your Bank: It is likely that your Maryland bank is participating in the PPP. If you decide PPP is for you and your business, you should apply to your bank for PPP assistance. We
    understand from the banking community that due to the overwhelming interest in PPP, as well as their own staff resource issues (remember – many are now working remotely), taking care of
    existing customers will be their first priority. So, if you apply, complete the application and reach out immediately to your bank. If your bank is not participating in the PPP, contact MCEC at for further assistance.

Additional Resources:

The following is from the MD Department of Commerce website:

The State of Maryland has authorized $130 million in loan and grant funding for small businesses and manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs.

If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the programs below to see if you qualify for assistance. Frequently asked questions about these programs can be found here.

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund – This $75 million loan fund (for for-profit businesses only) 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 for businesses and non-profits 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.

Please stay safe and healthy so we can get the Maryland Clean Energy Economy up and running successfully, again, as soon as possible!