The Charles County Coronavirus Small Business Relief Grant Program is a $2.5 million program to provide financial help to local businesses to provide relief from interruptions due to COVID-19 related closures and to assist with expenses related to reopening after COVID-19 related business closure. Businesses in just about any industry are eligible; half a million dollars has been dedicated to local agriculture and aquaculture related businesses that have suffered from interruptions due to COVID-19 related closures. Eligible businesses include, but are not limited to, farms and on-farm stores, agritourism enterprises, equestrian operations, and enterprises engaged in the harvesting of seafood.
HOW TO APPLY
Businesses with at least 5 and up to 75 employees may apply for grants up to $10,000. Those business with fewer than 5 employees are eligible for grants up to $5,000. Applicants must meet eligibility criteria (below) and provide evidence of financial disruption due to the COVID-19 crisis. Applicants should thoroughly review the eligibility requirements and application process below and read the Frequently Asked Questions. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and submission of an incomplete or inaccurate application may result in delay or ineligibility for program funding.
Applications will be reviewed based on a scoring matrix which is included on the application. The highest scoring projects and/or needs will be recommended for funding. (Minimum score of 50 is required for funding). Scores below 50 (out of 100) will be considered in round two for funding if there is money remaining. The Charles County Economic Development Department is committed to timely review and processing to ensure award recipients can apply for and leverage this resource to the successful continuation of business operations.
- Grants up to $10,000: not to exceed 3 months of cash operating expenses for Charles County small businesses and agriculture and aquaculture related businesses, with a minimum of five (5) full-time equivalent (FTE) employees who are not owners or part-owners and a maximum of 75 FTE employees
- Grants up to $5,000: not to exceed 3 months of cash operating expenses for Charles County small businesses, agriculture and aquaculture related businesses, sole proprietorship, and independent contractors with the minimum of zero (0) full-time equivalent (FTE) employee who are owners or part-owner, and a maximum of 4 employees
- For-profit business located in Charles County
- Must be in business for a minimum of 1 year as of May 2020
- Must be a legally recognized business entity in good standing with Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT)
- Certify that all business affiliates, subsidiaries, and parent company have a combined 2019 revenue not to exceed $5 million
- Owner/Applicant is not currently in bankruptcy
- Owner/Applicant is current with property taxes and County fees, or has a payment plan in place with County as of March 30, 2020
- Not have a conflict of interest with Charles County Government
- New business ventures are NOT eligible.
USES OF GRANT FUNDS
- The grant funds must be solely used for expenditures that occur between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020 and fall under one or more of the following categories:
- Cash operating expenses
- Inventory Acquisition (inventory needed to reopen or maintain open status)
- Business lease, rent, or mortgage
- Fixed cost payments
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) purchase
- Facility Readiness (social distancing preparedness, business modifications, other recovery projects, etc.)
- Other business critical cash operating costs
- Equipment purchases for COVID related preventive measures
- Completed grant application
- Executive Summary & COVID-19 Action Plan
- 4506-Tax Return Verification Form
- 2019 Business Tax Return, or Income Statement & Balance Sheet
- 2020 Year-to-Date Income Statement for the period January 1 – April 30
- W-9 Form
- Evidence of Business Disruption