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Assistance for Businesses Impacted by the Francis Scott Key Bridge Incident

Assistance for Businesses Impacted by the Francis Scott Key Bridge Incident

Multiple resources are available for businesses impacted by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.


The Washington County Department of Business and Economic Development understands the significant challenges the recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge may have imposed on businesses in our community. To better understand, coordinate, and tailor support and resources, DBED requests your input regarding the impact this event has had on your operations.   

 

Businesses can submit their name, contact information, details of any disruption, damages, or losses your business is experiencing as a result of the bridge collapse, or if there are specific resources or assistance required, to:

Linda Spence, Business Specialist for the Department of Business and Economic Development at LSpence@WashCo-MD.net.    

 

At this time, DBED would like to take this opportunity to share additional resources that have become available:

 

1) The Maryland Emergency Management Agency runs the Private Sector Integration Program (PSIP).  Its mission is "incorporating the private sector into the emergency management framework to provide a voice to the business community during emergencies and increase information sharing between the private and public sectors."  Businesses can sign up to participate in PSIP here:  https://mdem.maryland.gov/Pages/psip.aspx.  Presently, PSIP holds daily briefings on the Bridge and Port situationWe encourage you or a representative of your company to register for this daily conference call as it will be the primary information source. 

  

2)The Maryland Transportation Authority has set up a page on its website with

information about the transportation complications and detours suggested to

mitigate delays.  This website can be found here: https://mdta.maryland.gov/keybridgenews.

 

3) The Maryland Department of Labor has created an unemployment insurance hotline for workers affected by the Key Bridge collapse.  Impacted workers can call 667-930-5989 from 8:00am to 5:00pm, EST, Monday-Friday,

or file online in BEACON at: beacon.labor.maryland.gov/beacon/claimant-page.html.  

 

4) The U.S. Small Business Administration aids Mid-Atlantic small businesses affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.  Businesses may apply for low-interest, long-term Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) from the U.S. Small Business Administration at: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance/economic-injury-disaster-loans.  Or use the general SBA Portal at  lending.sba.gov

 

5) For the most up-to-date information on the Francis Scott Key Bridge response and resources, visit keybridgeresponse2024.com.  

 

6) The Maryland Chamber of Commerce has started “Building Bridges to Recovery” where they will share the most up-to-date information for business resources: https://www.mdchamber.org/business-resources-hub/

 

For more information on available resources and assistance for businesses affected by the bridge collapse, or to submit your company’s information, please contact Linda Spence, Business Specialist for the Washington County Department of Business and Economic Development by email at LSpence@WashCo-MD.net. We are committed to supporting our business community as we work together to recover and rebuild! 


SBA Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for private nonprofits and small businesses. The EIDL is a working capital loan to help pay for ordinary and necessary operating expenses to recover from revenue loss. See the fact sheets below.

 

Important points about SBA low-interest Disaster Loans:

1.           No application fee.

2.           No obligation to accept the loan after it is approved. Applicants/Survivors have 60-days to decide to accept and can ask for more time if they need to reevaluate their recovery situation.

3.           No prepayment penalty.

4.           No accrued interest for first 12 months of the loan.

5.           No required payments for first 12 months of the loan.

 

Apply in person at a Business Recovery Center or apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://lending.sba.gov


GOVERNOR MOORE LAUNCHES CENTRAL

FRANCIS SCOTT KET BRIDGE COLLAPSE RESPONSE WEBSITE


Since the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024, organizations across the state have developed various websites, resources, information portals, etc. to assist those impacted by the bridge incident. The Washington County Department of Business and Economic Development is pleased to announce that Governor Wes Moore launched a central hub for all Marylanders seeking federal, state, and local resources and programs related to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. This comprehensive website includes information on relief programs for impacted workers and businesses, major traffic updates for commuters, and guidance on accessing in-person resources available through Maryland Business Recovery Centers. 

 

From Governor Moore’s Press Release (April 11, 2024) - “My administration wants to make it as simple as possible for Marylanders to navigate the resources available to them to mitigate impacts of the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge,” said Governor Moore. “During the time of unimaginable tragedy, we have also seen our community rally around one another and lift each other up. I am committed to making sure those who are impacted know how to get the supports they need while we reopen the channel and get the Port fully operational.” 

 

“Furthermore, the website provides Marylanders with updates based on my four directives for recovery, which include, giving closure to the victim’s families, clearing the channel and open vessel traffic to the Port of Baltimore, taking care of all those affected by the crisis, and rebuilding the Key Bridge. Additional resources on the website include direct links to information on the salvage and response operations from the Unified Command, up-to-date traffic and road closure alerts from the Maryland Department of Transportation, and Maryland’s official 511 Traveler Information Service.” 

 

“The website will be updated regularly as additional programs become available through federal, state, and local resources. To view the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse Website, visit https://response.maryland.gov/bridge.” 


For more information, please reach out to Brittany Marshall of the Governor’s Office, at: Brittany.Marshall2@Maryland.gov. You may also contact Linda Spence, Business Specialist for the Washington County Department of Business and Economic Development at LSpence@Washco-MD.net.


 


The Washington County Department of Business and Economic Development is pleased to share important updates from the State of Maryland. "Governor Moore has introduced two new economic relief programs aimed at aiding workers and businesses impacted by the recent Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse," stated Jonathan Horowitz of the Department of Business and Economic Development.  "These programs, established through Governor Moore’s executive order signed on April 5, 2024, are now active, offering temporary assistance to affected businesses in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Labor, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and Maryland Department of Commerce."


In a recent press release, Governor Moore stated "We are dedicated to aiding everyone affected by the economic aftermath of the bridge collapse, from workers to entrepreneurs. These relief efforts serve as a crucial support system for those touched by this tragedy.  By working together, we aim to provide stability, assurance, and assistance to Marylanders navigating through these challenges."

 

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is rolling out the $5M Neighborhood Business Works Small Business Grant Program, providing grants of up to $50,000, along with a $10M no-interest loan program offering loans of up to $500,000.  Eligibility details and program information are accessible on the department’s website, with applications processed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

 

The Port of Baltimore Emergency Business Assistance Program, spearheaded by the Maryland Department of Commerce, is poised to allocate $15M in grants to businesses affected by operational disruptions or shipment delays at the Port of Baltimore.  Eligibility for these grants hinges on businesses demonstrating economic and financial setback, evidenced by a decline in revenue and activity, or escalated operational expenses.  Grants, capped at $100,000 will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

 

The Maryland Department of Labor previously initiated applications for its $12.5M Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program, providing grants to affected businesses at risk of employee layoffs, and its $15M Port of Baltimore Worker Supporter Program, offering temporary financial aid to port workers who do not qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. 

 

For more information on eligibility and to apply for the Neighborhood Business Works Grant or loan programs, visit dhcd.maryland.gov/KeyBridgeResources


For details on eligibility and application for the Port of Baltimore Emergency Business Assistance Program, visit https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/port-of-baltimore-emergency-business-assistance-program


For a comprehensive overview of all Port Act temporary relief programs and resources, please visit the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse Response Website.


For a comprehensive list of available resources and assistance programs for Washington County businesses and workers affected by the bridge collapse, please contact Linda Spence, Business Specialist for the Washington County Department of Business and Economic Development at LSpence@WashCo-MD.net. We remain dedicated to supporting our business community as we collectively strive towards recovery and rebuilding efforts!



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