March 19, 2020

Maryland Congressional Delegation Urges Swift Approval of Federal Disaster Assistance for Small Businesses Hurt by COVID-19

WASHINGTON – The Maryland congressional delegation sent a joint letter Thursday to Jovita Carranza, head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), urging approval of the state’s request for a disaster declaration from the SBA related to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Given the various protective measures being put in place by the state, numerous businesses are reporting substantive impacts on their business operations, which is creating an immediate adverse impact on small businesses and their employees,” the lawmakers wrote.

The full congressional delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, Andy Harris, M.D., Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone noted that “Maryland small businesses have to make difficult decisions in terms of having to reduce staff working hours, lay off workers, suspend regular business operations, or close down their businesses completely.  These decisions affect not only the small business but their workers, families, and communities, who are struggling to stay afloat during this crisis.”

The full letter is below and at this link.

March 19, 2020

Jovita Carranza

Administrator

Small Business Administration

409 Third Street, SW, Suite 7900

Washington, DC 20416-2230

Dear Administrator Carranza:

              We write as the Maryland Congressional Delegation in strong support of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s emergency request that you implement a Small Business Administration (SBA) declaration to provide assistance in the form of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for all Maryland jurisdictions following COVID-19 from January 31, 2020, and ongoing.

              Given the various protective measures being put in place by the state, numerous businesses are reporting substantive impacts on their business operations, which is creating an immediate adverse impact on small businesses and their employees.  In Maryland the governor has closed bars, restaurants, gyms, and spas, and has now prohibited the gathering of more than 10 people in one area (reduced from 50 people in one area, consistent with CDC guidelines).

              The state conducted a business survey to determine the economic impact of their losses, for the disaster period as compared to the same period in the preceding year.  Based on these surveys, Governor Hogan has certified that numerous small businesses in the disaster area have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster, and are in need of immediate and emergency financial assistance not otherwise available on reasonable terms.  As a delegation, we have had numerous small businesses reach out to us directly and verified the enormous impact of these new and necessary government restrictions. 

As a delegation we have heard countless first-hand stories about the precipitous decline in revenue for Maryland small businesses, and the agonizing choices that small businesses have to immediately make in this emergency in terms of meeting payroll and other financial obligations.  Maryland small businesses have to make difficult decisions in terms of having to reduce staff working hours, lay off workers, suspend regular business operations, or close down their businesses completely.  These decisions affect not only the small business but their workers, families, and communities, who are struggling to stay afloat during this crisis.

              Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request.  We look forward to your immediate response.

Sincerely,

Cc: Kem Fleming, Director, Office of Disaster Assistance, SBA

Russ Strickland, Executive Director, Maryland Emergency Management Agency

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