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Direct link to MD's Governor Hogan's COVID Response Site
Direct link to DE's Governor Carney's COVID Response Site
Track cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the entire state on the official Maryland COVID Data Dashboard

 

UPDATE AS OF NOVEMBER 17, 2020

Governor Hogan places the state back down to Stage 2 restrictions.  Read the order here.

 

UPDATE AS OF NOVEMBER 11, 2020

Governor Hogan re-institutes COVID restrictions due to an increase in Maryland's infection rates.  Read more here.

 

As part of the Governor's Maryland Strong Economic Recovery Initiative, there are three new grant offerings that have been extended through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development that provide support for:

  • Tourism Non-profits
  • Entertainment Venues
  • Main Street Districts

​One of those grant programs is open and accepting applications presently. Two more will follow in the coming days. Follow this link to read the eligibility requirements and complete applications. Funding provided on a first come first served basis will indeed go quickly.

 

UPDATE AS OF OCTOBER 26, 2020

Governor Hogan Announces $250 Million ‘Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative’. Click here to read more. 

 

UPDATE AS OF SEPTEMBER 21, 2020

Governor Hogan Announces Expanded Capacity for Indoor Dining, Marks Beginning of Maryland Restaurant Week.  Click here to read more. 

 

UPDATE AS OF SEPTEMBER 1, 2020

Governor Hogan’s Press Conference covered a variety of topics with the best item being that we begin to move into Stage 3 on Friday, September 4th at 5pm.  Here is some general information:

  • All businesses are allowed to reopen.
  • Theaters and Live Entertainment Venues are allowed 50% capacity or up to 100 people indoors and up to 250 people outdoors.
  • Retail and Churches/Houses of Worship can now be at 75% capacity.
  • For details, please see the attached Updated Executive Order.
  • For Best Practices information, click here.

Read full Governor Order here

 

UPDATE AS OF JULY 29, 2020

Governor Hogan just addressed Marylander's and once again shared interesting info. Contact tracing has shown that 44% of cases are traced back to family gatherings, 23% attended house parties and 21% attended outdoor events. Higher risk locations have been identified as 54% working outside their homes, 39% shopped at retail stores, 23% dined outdoors at a restaurant and 23% dined inside a restaurant. According to Hogan, Phase 2 is still in place and we are not ready to move into Phase 3 at this time. He continued to urge Marylander's to socially distance, telework if possible and wear a mask.

Governor Hogan also issued a health advisory cautioning MD residents not to travel to states where percent of positive cases of tests are greater than 10%. Currently, that includes: FL, TX, GA, LA, AZ, AL, SC,
NE and ID. If you must travel, upon return, he urges getting tested and quarantine until receiving results.

Effective July 31st, there is an expansion of the mask order which will require masks in public areas of ALL businesses and buildings and in outdoor public areas when it is not possible to maintain physical distancing with enforcement handled by local jurisdictions.

 

The Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Worcester County Economic Development & Tourism and Ocean City Hotel Motel Restaurant Association to find a solution to assist with the workforce shortage in Ocean City and Worcester County.

We are presenting businesses with two options: partnering on a campaign with the National Puerto Rican Chamber and/or engaging in a relationship with a recruiting firm focused on Puerto Rican Workers. This letter outlines the details of the two options.

To support our members, the OC Chamber has purchased a two-week recruitment plan with the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce to tap into their vast network of employees and for their assistance in promoting and marketing our Virtual Job Fair.  We are trying to connect possible Puerto Rican employees to our local businesses that are listed on the Virtual Job Fair page. View the Ocean City Chamber job page on the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce website.  Should you pursue employment from Puerto Rico, be sure to email Nancy Schwendeman so that we can track the results of this campaign.

Also, please take a moment at your earliest opportunity to review your current virtual job fair listing for accuracy.

Click here to make changes or to submit a new virtual job fair listing

Email Jill Brady, E-Marketing Manager, to remove an existing virtual job fair listing.

As always, do not hesitate to contact the Chamber with any questions or to allow us to assist you.  You can reach us by phone at (410) 213-0144 or by email to mychamber@oceancity.org.

 

UPDATE AS OF JULY 14, 2020

Governor Hogan Announces $190 Million in COVID-19 Relief for Small Businesses, Higher Education, and Nonprofit Organizations. Click here for details. 

 

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 22, 2020

NEW! Update or Remove Employee’s Return to Work Date

NEW! Report a Job Refusal

 

Farmers and small business owners impacted by the current health pandemic will be eligible to apply for grant funds through the Workforce Back to Business COVID-19 Assistance Grant Program. Applications will be accepted online at http://chooseworcester.org/ for two weeks, from 8:00 a.m. on July 8 to 4:30 p.m. on July 22.

Worcester County Economic Development (WCED), in cooperation with an independent review board, will award grant funds in increments of $5,000 to businesses with 1-25 full-time employees, $10,000 to businesses with 26-50 full-time employees, and $7,500 to agricultural producers. Grant funds are limited, and applicants must meet certain criteria to be eligible to apply.

Information about this grant opportunity will be posted online at http://chooseworcester.org/ prior to July 8. Applicants should thoroughly review eligibility requirements and the Frequently Asked Questions prior to applying. Submitting an incomplete or inaccurate application may render an applicant ineligible for program funding.

Federal funds for the Workforce Back to Business COVID-19 Assistance Grant Program in Worcester County were awarded through the State of Maryland under the CARES Act.

For additional information, contact WCED at (410) 632-3112.

 

UPDATE AS OF JUNE 10, 2020

Starting Friday, June 12th at 5pm:
  • Indoor dining can resume at 50% capacity.
  • Several outdoor activities can resume including amusement parks; miniature golf establishments; go-kart tracks; the outdoor areas of any other establishments that are subject to the admission and amusement tax under Title 4 of the Tax-General Article of the Maryland Code.
  • Pools can go up to 50% capacity
Starting on Friday, June 19th at 5pm:
  • Casinos, arcades and malls are able to resume.
  • Fitness centers, dance studios, aquatic centers and more at 50% capacity.
This is just a very brief summary, for the entire list and details of allowances and restrictions, please read the Executive Order here.
  • For a guideline of best practices for restaurants and bars for reopening safely, click here.
  • PLEASE remember that we all need to remain vigilant in adhering to the CDC Guidelines and Health and Safety Protocols. Businesses need to continue to follow the Best Practices listed on the Back to Business website.
  • Information for Maryland’s fishing and seafood industries that have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.  To learn more, click here.
UPDATE AS OF JUNE 3, 2020

To Report an Employee's Recall to Work or Job Refusal - From Department of Labor

If an employee refuses a recall to work or an individual refuses an offer of work, you must notify the Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) within 15 days after the refusal in order for DUI to consider whether the refusal will affect the individual's benefits.  This notification may be sent via email to DLUI-DLLR@maryland.gov.  Please include all of the following: date of offer, date of refusal, name and SSN of the individual, your company name and Maryland Unemployment Insurance employer account number.

STAGE TWO

Today, Maryland's Governor announced that as of Friday, June 5th at 5pm, we will move into Stage Two of the Roadmap to Recovery.  However, unfortunately, the Executive Order does not allow for indoor dining or attractions to open at this time.  For details, please read the Executive Order.

 

UPDATE AS OF MAY 27, 2020

Today, Governor Hogan announced that we are able to now safely move forward with the completion of Phase 1 of the Recovery Plan.

Effective on Friday, May 29th at 5pm, restaurants, as well as social organizations, will be able to safely reopen for outdoor dining following strict guidelines.

Also, many outdoor activities and youth day camps will be able to safely resume and outdoor pools will be able to safely open; again, following strict guidelines.

For all details on the guidelines and best practices, visit the Back to Business Site.

Governor Hogan also strongly stressed the need for everyone to follow CDC Guidelines and practice social distancing so that the progress we have made can continue.

In addition, for clearer information on face coverings, visit these FAQs.

 

Stage One Activities Effective Friday, May 29, at 5:00 pm: Read the governor’s order here.

Outdoor Dining: Restaurants as well as social organizations such as American Legions, VFWs, and Elks Clubs will be able to begin safely reopening for outdoor dining following strict public health requirements consistent with the CDC, FDA, and the National Restaurant Association.

Guidance and best practices for restaurants.

Guidance and best practices for youth sports. 

Department of Health directives regarding youth camp programs.

Guidance and best practices for youth day camps 

Department of Health directives regarding swimming pools.

Guidance and best practices for outdoor pools.

 STAGE TWO. Governor Hogan noted that health officials will continue to watch the data closely, and if these encouraging trends continue into next week, the state will then be in a position to move into Stage Two of the recovery, which would mean lifting the order on non-essential businesses.

 

UPDATE AS OF MAY 14, 2020

On May 13, 2020, MD Governor Hogan announced Phase One for reopening the state to be effective Friday, May 15, 2020 at 5pm.  See his declaration here. 

BACK TO BUSINESS Pledge - Businesses that adopt all safety guidelines are encouraged to take a ‘Back to Business’ pledge. Take the pledge here.

PERSONAL SERVICES. Some personal services, including barbershops and hair salons, may reopen with up to 50 percent capacity, by appointment only and with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Guidance and best practices for personal services.

RETAIL STORES. Governor Hogan announced that retail stores may reopen at up to 50 percent capacity, with curbside pickup and delivery strongly encouraged, and all public health precautions in place. Examples of businesses that may reopen include clothing and shoe stores, pet groomers, animal adoption shelters, car washes, art galleries, and bookstores. Guidance and best practices for retail stores.

MANUFACTURING. Governor Hogan announced manufacturing may resume operations in a safe manner which protects the health of employees, with guidelines encouraging multiple shifts and other safety precautions. Guidance and best practices for manufacturing.

CHURCHES AND HOUSES OF WORSHIP. Churches and houses of worship may begin to safely hold religious services, at up to 50 percent capacity, with outdoor services strongly encouraged. Religious leaders are strongly urged to do everything possible to keep their congregants safe, and particularly to protect the elderly and vulnerable within their congregations. Guidance and best practices for religious services. 

 

UPDATE AS OF MAY 5, 2020

  • ReNEW Maryland is collection of policy proposals that will assist Maryland in in overcoming economic impact of COVID-19 and rebuilding the strengths of its economy.  Click here to view or download pdf.
  • Maryland Restaurant Relief Fund - Without question, COVID-19 has put incredible stress on the restaurant industry. That’s why OLD BAY, McCormick for Chefs, and CORECares have joined forces to offer support to local Maryland restaurants impacted by COVID-19 providing up to $2,500 in new grants. More information here 
  • Business Owners’ Idea Café Small Business Grant - $1,000 plus advertising opportunities grant is open to anyone who currently owns a small business that has been in existence for at least six months. There are no entry fees and a complete business plan is not required. Click here to read more
  • Looking for a different Grant? Click here for more grants. 
  • Track Your PPP Loan Spending to Ensure You Qualify for Forgiveness.  Click here to read more
  • If you didn’t get funding from PPPL, take a look at this tax credit from the IRS as another funding source. Click here to read more
  • A Guide to Employee Temperature Checks.  Click here to read more
  • Maryland Department of Labor - click here for website

 

UPDATE AS OF MAY 1, 2020

Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.  Read more here. 

 

UPDATE AS OF APRIL 21, 2020

  • As of April 18, Md Governor Hogan requires face masks to be worn in public. Read more here. 
  • White House guidelines for opening America up.  Read more here.  
  • Worcester County Commissioners Adopt Emergency Measures Restricting All Non-Essential, Short-Term Rentals in West Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and Other Unincorporated Areas.  Read more here.   
  • EIDL, PPP and MD assistance programs have capped.  They are not currently accepting applications.  Hopes are that the Federal Government will refund them soon.  All SBA program info can be found here.   
  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Read more here. 
  • The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore's  COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund which provides relief grants for Lower Shore nonprofits. Read more here. 
  • Guidance for Worcester County licensed establishments concerning carry out and delivery of alcoholic beverages operations in light of Executive Order issued on March 19, 2020.  Read more here. 
  • FAQs about COVID19 and Maryland’s Unemployment Insurance Benefits Administration. Read more here. 
  • FAQs about COVID19 and Division of Workforce Development & Adult Learning. Read more here. 
  • Maryland Business Express: Online Tools & Resources to Plan, Start, Manage and Grow Your Business. Read more here. 
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Application – New, simplified form  https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
  • Main Maryland Business Information site for COVID 19 updates and resources -  https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business

 

NEW INTERPRETIVE GUIDANCE FROM GOVERNOR

Number: COVID19-07
Date: March 30, 2020

Re: Order of the Governor of the State of Maryland, Number 20-03-30-01, dated March 30, 2020,
Amending and Restating the Order of March 23, 2020, Prohibiting Large Gatherings and
Events and Closing Senior Centers, and All Non-Essential Businesses and Other
Establishments, Additionally Requiring All Persons to Stay at Home

At this time, the Office of Legal Counsel (“OLC”) recommends that the Administration interpret the
above-referenced Order as follows:

1. Curbside Pickup at Non-Essential Businesses Not Permitted. Under this Order, because
residents of Maryland are not permitted to leave their homes to purchase products from NonEssential Businesses, curbside pickup at Non-Essential Businesses is no longer permitted. NonEssential Businesses may continue to sell products on a delivery basis, provided that this can be
accomplished in a manner consistent with all applicable guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (“CDC”), the Maryland Department of Health (“MDH”), and the
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) regarding social-distancing and
environmental cleaning and disinfection.

Please note that restaurants may continue selling food and drink on a carry-out or drive-through
basis, as permitted by paragraph V.b.2 of the Order.

2. Campgrounds. Please note campgrounds are now required to close under that paragraph V.f.i.8 of
Order No. 20-03-30-01. There is one exception to this requirement: Persons residing in
recreational vehicles (“RVs”) at campgrounds who genuinely have no other viable place of
residence may remain in the campground. Such persons should comply with all applicable
guidance from the CDC and MDH regarding social distancing.

3. Effect on Prior Interpretive Guidance. To the extent prior Interpretive Guidance issued by OLC
is inconsistent with Order No. 20-03-30-01 or this Interpretive Guidance COVID19-07, it is
rescinded and superseded, including without limitation:

a. Paragraph 1 of Interpretive Guidance COVID19-04.
b. Paragraph 1.f of Interpretive Guidance COVID19-06.
c. The reference to “curbside pickup” in paragraph 3 of Interpretive Guidance COVID19-0

 

Updated 3-24-2020

 

Beginning 3-23-2020, Governor Hogan of MD has asked all non-essential businesses to close and for residents to stay home, while Delaware Governor Carney has placed a stay at home order.  Use below links to help you find info on assistance as we navigate these COVID-19 waters.

 

Restaurants are encouraged to continue carryout/delivery and to that end, they are working on offering programs to offer help in paying liability insurance for deliveries. MD has also put together their own grants and zero interest for 12 month loan programs.

 

Financial Assistance & Taxes

The Maryland Department of Commerce is offering three new business assistance programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund - This $75 million loan fund offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/maryland-small-business-covid-19-emergency-relief-loan-fund 
  • Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund - This $50 million grant program offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/maryland-small-business-covid-19-emergency-relief-grant-fund
  • Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund - This $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More information coming by Friday, March 27, 2020.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide low-interest loans to companies affected by the outbreak, with President Trump asking Congress to increase funding for the SBA lending program to $50 billion.

Governor Hogan announced on March 19 that the entire state of Maryland has received official designation for SBA assistance. Individual businesses can now apply directly to the SBA for low-interest loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Visit SBA's website to apply now.  General SBA guidance for businesses can be found here.  https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

If you need additional help navigating the SBA process, Maryland SBDC (Small Business Development Center) can help:  https://www.marylandsbdc.org/locations/eastern-region

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