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Business financial assistance available

The state of Maryland was approved on March 19 for the Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans program, meaning that small businesses may apply immediately to receive low interest loans up to $2 million to cover operating expenses incurred during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Eligibility includes restaurants, retailers, hotels, recreational facilities, charter boats, manufacturers, owners of rental property, wholesalers, nonprofits and others, according to a release from the St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development.

Funds can be used for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the COVID-19 emergency not occurred.

The interest rate will be 3.75% for up to 30 years (2.75% for nonprofits), and the first payment can be deferred for five months in most cases.

SBA small business definitions are: food services and accommodations — restaurants, generally less than $8 million in average annual receipts; hotels, generally less than $35 million in average annual receipts; retailers — varies by type from less than $8 million in annual receipts up to about $40 million; manufacturers — varies by type but generally less than 500 employees; and wholesalers — varies by type but generally less than 100 employees.

Grant amounts will be based on the projected loss in revenue during the emergency period. For more information and to apply on line go to disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans.

The Small Business Administration also has a customer service center that can be reached at 800-659-2955 or email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Allow at least 30 days for the application review process.

Contact St. Mary’s County Economic Development staff for more information, including Chris Kaselemis at 240-538-8948 or chris.kaselemis@stmarysmd.com, Katherine Stormont at 240-587-8156 or Katherine.stormont@stmarysmd.com, Kellie Hinkle at 240-925-7178 or kellie.hinkle@stmarysmd.com, Destiny Allen at 240-538-2744 or destiny.allen@stmarysmd.com, Sue Veith at 240-925-7947 or sue.veith@stmarysmd.com, or Casey Guidry at 240-925-5932 or casey.guidry@stmarysmd.com.

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