The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Financial Services Corporation (FSC First) successfully launched the Business Relief Fund (BRF) on April 13, 2020. As of May 15, 2020, the BRF has issued commitments to 122 companies for more than $4,045,000 in Loans and $837,500 in Grants. Already, $2,110,000 has been wired to the respective borrowers. However, because of the severity of the pandemic on the regional and national economies, Prince George’s County businesses have applied for almost three times the BRF’s available $10 million.
As a result of the $158 Million federal CARES Act Grant to Prince George’s County, the County Executive intends to allocate $20 Million from the CARES Act Grant to fund the previously announced COVID19 Business Relief Fund (BRF). The County intends for the CARES Grant to reimburse the initial $10 Million EDI Fund allocation to the BRF. There are two critical changes: (1) The additional allocation gives us an opportunity to include sole proprietors, 1099 contractors and co-ops as eligible to apply; and (2) According to OMB, to be eligible for reimbursement the business relief assistance must be grants and cannot be in direct loans. That factor necessitates the following changes to both the initial awards from the BRF and to all future awards.
Previously Approved Applications:
- In order to be reimbursable by the federal CARES Act Grant, all current BRF funded Loans must be converted to Forgivable Loans or Grants. The maximum assistance was originally $100,000 in loan funds and $10,000 in grant funds. Therefore, for previously approved applications, the maximum grant amount would now be $110,000 (although the typical BRF loan has been under $50,000, several Borrowers have received the maximum.). The Office of Law will process the necessary documentation for these changes.
- Applicants who applied (and were approved) only for a $5,000 or $10,000 grant will be contacted and given the opportunity to revise their request considering the new provisions of the program going forward.
Newly Processed and Newly Submitted Applications:
Under the provisions of the $20 Million Allocation from the CARES Act Grant and the renamed Business Recovery Initiative (BRI) Guidelines, effective May 15, 2020, all commitments will be funded as Grants. In addition, the deadline for applications to the BRF is extended to 11:59 PM EST on May 29, 2020.