Montgomery County Council Approves $20m in COVID-19 Aid Funding

Updated April 9, 2020

Requirements for the County’s Public Health Emergency Grant Fund (PHEG) are online now. The application should go live early next week. Here is some of the information that you should gather in anticipation of the opening of the online application.

Business Eligibility:

  1. Must be a “Business in Good Standing” (see below).
  2. Employ 100 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees.
  3. Physically located in the County (see specific requirement).
  4. Incurred financial losses caused directly or indirectly by the Covid-19 public health emergency.
  5. Must apply for any applicable State and Federal programs to qualify for County assistance.

Documentation Needed:

6. Supply at least two of these documents:

  • Tax Return 2019 (or 990) if available.
  • Tax Return 2018 (or 990).
  • Tax Return 2017 (or 990).
  • Interim Financial Statements and any Tax Return the business filed with the IRS (if your business is less than 2 years old).
  • 2019 Profit and Loss Statement (if your business is less than 2 years old).
  • Schedule C from your Personal Tax Returns (for Sole Proprietors) 2018.
  • Schedule C from your Personal Tax Returns (for Sole Proprietors) 2017.

7. Supply these documents which are required to demonstrate financial loss due to the health emergency:

  • Interim Monthly or Quarterly Financials for Calendar Year 2020, OR
  • Monthly or Quarterly Sales Tax Filings for Calendar Year 2020, OR
  • 2020 Bank Statements for businesses with fewer than 5 employees.
  • Evidence of application to Federal and/or State COVID-19 assistance programs, including award or denial letters. You must apply for any applicable State and Federal programs to qualify for County assistance.
  • Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization.
  • Invoice or Quote for Telework equipment or software for your employees, if requesting funds for this purpose.

“Good Standing”:
8. Is your business registered and in “Good Standing” with the State of Maryland?

  • Search for your business entity at Maryland Business Express/Business Entity Search.
  • Enter your business name and select “Search”.
  • Your business will be listed if you are registered.
  • Select your business and check under the General Information tab to verify that your business is in “Good Standing.”

Special thanks to the Gaithersburg/Germantown Chamber of Commerce for the information synopsis. 

ORIGINAL POST: April 2, 2020

Public Health Emergency Grant Program will provide emergency grant funding to small businesses and nonprofits

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the Montgomery County Council approved $20 million in emergency funding to provide grants to small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by COVID-19. At least 25% of the funds are required to go to restaurants and retail storefronts; that figure can be higher.

The Council also approved an additional $6 million in funding with $5 million going for direct financial assistance to Montgomery County residents and $1 million allocated to support safety net services through the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Council approved the COVID-19 Economic Relief Act (Expedited Bill 16-20, Economic Development Fund – Public Health Emergency Grant Program – Established) and the accompanying special appropriations on an emergency basis and authorized the County Executive to begin providing this assistance as quickly as possible.

The measures include the following:

  • Public Health Emergency Grant Program: This new program provides grant funding up to $75,000 per business or nonprofit for county businesses or nonprofits with 100 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees that can demonstrate financial losses caused by the public health emergency. Grant funding must be used for employee wages and benefits, taxes, debt, rent or other operating losses during the public health emergency.
  • Microgrants: The grant program includes microgrant funding for local businesses and nonprofits up to $2,500 to cover the costs associated with purchasing teleworking equipment and technology and supporting teleworking capabilities during the Covid-19 emergency.
  • Special appropriation for the Public Health Emergency Grant Program: The Council funded a $20 million special appropriation for the Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget to finance the Public Health Emergency Grant Program through the County’s Economic Development Fund. The source of the funds is the County’s General Fund Reserves. The impact of the special appropriation will be offset by the County Executive’s recommended reduction of FY20 expenditures from the Retiree Health Benefits Trust Non-Department Account based on the new actuarial evaluation lowering the required contribution.
  • Special appropriation to the COVID-19 Human Services and Community assistance Non-Departmental Account: The Council also funded a $6 million special appropriation with $5 million for financial assistance to residents and $1 million to support safety net programs provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and its non-profit partners to assist vulnerable populations.

Application Information Coming Soon

The County is now developing the application process for accessing those funds, which will be shared when it becomes available. Here are some key items to know:

  • Businesses and nonprofits with up to 100 employees can apply for a maximum grant of $75,000.
  • Funds may be used to cover employee wages and benefits, taxes, debt, rent, and other operating expenses.
  • The principal place of business must be in the county.
  • Sole proprietorships are eligible.
  • Includes mini-grants of up to $2,500 to cover technology equipment and software purchases for remote work.
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