May 19, 2020

Dear MNLGA Members:

If you are a new member, you may wish to check our COVID-19 Resources Page for past e-blasts. For quite a long period, updates were issued daily, including information on recovery and relief programs, CDC guidelines, employee and employee relations information, retail promos, etc.

New Information Today :

There are a couple of new economic relief programs available; please see below. And don't forget to check your own county's COVID-19 resources page. I saw on the news this morning that Harford County just created a program for agriculture. If I recollect properly, its a $2,000 grant. Many counties are offering small grants, but every bit helps.

Governor Larry Hogan announced that the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) will receive $2.2 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to help Maryland agricultural, forestry, and seafood businesses make operational adjustments caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

MARBIDCO will be using half of the funding to establish a new Pandemic Adjustment Equipment Grant Fund to help Maryland's food and fiber producers, harvesters, and primary processors make necessary adjustments in their business operations which are necessitated by the impact of the pandemic. The program will enable applicants to receive grants for qualifying capital equipment purchases and facility upgrades for on-farm production, processing and storage, as well as wood processing and seafood processing, on the condition that these businesses are making pandemic-related business improvements. Grants ranging from $1,000 up to a maximum of $50,000 (or $75,000 for wood and seafood processors or agricultural cooperatives) are available up to 80% of the eligible project cost. Applications requesting $20,000 or less will likely have a higher priority for funding.

The other half of this relief funding will be used to continue a recently-launched 
Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund program designed to help Maryland's farmers and other rural businesses make necessary adjustments in their business enterprises and to help diversify operations to make them more economically sustainable in light of the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Low-interest loans of up to $10,000 are available for working capital and equipment purchases under very favorable terms.

Applications for the Pandemic Adjustment Equipment Grant Fund must be submitted by June 10. Applications for the Pandemic Adjustment Loan Fund must be submitted by June 15. Application forms for both programs and additional information is available on the MARBIDCO website at . For questions, please call the office at (410) 267-6807.

New PPP Webinar :
There is a lot of confusion around the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and its shifting rules and guidelines. AmericanHort is hosting a webinar tomorrow, May 20th from 11:30 - 12:30 to discuss recent developments in this program. This webinar would be relevant for those who have already taken the PPP loan and for those still considering it. Register here . A recording of the webinar will be made available.

I've heard that the HEROES act, recently passed by the House, includes the following changes to PPP. The bill has not passed the Senate. Stay tuned. Proposed changes:

  • The covered period for PPP loans would be extended to December 31, 2020.
  • The covered period for PPP loan forgiveness would expand from the current eight weeks to 24 weeks.
  • Clarifies that organizations receiving PPP loans can also take advantage of the Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit.
  • Eliminates the 75/25 rule on the use of loan proceeds.

Roadmap to Recovery - contains Governor Hogan's comprehensive recovery plan and an updated-daily county-by county "re-opening" status.

Maryland's "Back to Business" webpage - resources for Getting back to Business (and best practices, even if you've been open for business during the pandemic)

CDC Reopening Guidance – see this link for guidelines on sanitation and COVID-19 precautions to consider and implement in your workplace.

Member Survey - I am still working on the formatting for the survey report. One of the suggestions I'd like to implement is creation of list of retail businesses that are open, and the hours that they are open. We will make this list available to members and put on social media. If you are open for any retail business, please reply to me at and give me your company name, address, and hours of operation to consumers, and if you are open to foot traffic, doing curbside, and/or delivery.

Relief and Recovery – Congress is working on a Phase 4 draft of a stimulus bill. I’ll send summary, when available.

Remember to utilize the COVID-19 resources page on the MNLGA website . It includes resources to help connect with consumers, explanations and access to state and federal recovery, employment, and relief efforts, and more.

Please keep me in the loop and let me know how the MNLGA can help you.

Vanessa A. Finney
Executive Director, MNLGA