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Downtown Business Resources for COVID-19

Below you will find information about financial assistance, employee resources, marketing opportunities and other resources to help small businesses through COVID-19. This resource list is updated and maintained by Downtown Frederick Partnership. Information is added on an as-needed basis and may update daily. The Partnership is making our best attempt to provide accurate information from reputable sources in this rapidly changing environment. Check back often. For questions, please contact mainstreet@downtownfrederick.org.

Health Information

The Frederick County COVID-19 Dashboard allows the public to track local COVID-19 statistics. The dashboard includes charts and data about testing, cases, and hospitalizations, which will be updated daily. Statistics on nursing homes are updated each week. The Frederick County Health Department provides information on the current status of COVID-19 in Frederick County. Opt-in for Frederick County COVID-19 updates by texting FredCoVID19 to 888777.

Frederick County Vaccine Info


Coronavirus Vaccine Information for the State of Maryland can be found at covidlink.maryland.gov/content/vaccine.

Small Business Financial Assistance

Click on the tabs below to expand each program’s description. If you have questions, please contact the Partnership at mainstreet@downtownfrederick.org. The SBDC is also available to assist small businesses with federal COVID-19 resources. Contact your local Frederick SBDC counselor (Lindsey Ashooh, lashooh@umd.edu or 301-531-0320) for direct assistance with federal applications.

Restaurant and Food Service Relief: Frederick County is providing a second round of Restaurant and Food Service Relief grants, thanks to additional funding of $1.2M from the State of Maryland. The application period is 11:00am on Thursday, January 7 through 3:00pm on Wednesday, January 13.

Those businesses who have received a previous food service grant do not need to reapply and will automatically be awarded a second round grant. Food service businesses that did not apply during the first round will need to submit an application here. The program is open to businesses that fall into one of these eligible categories: dine-in seated food service, carry-out food service only, craft beverage, non-seasonal food truck, bakery with commercial space, caterer with commercial space.

Questions about the program can be directed to the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at OED@FrederickCountyMD.gov.


Jump Start Outdoor Dining Heater GrantsGrant applications closed on October 9, 2020. Learn more at frederickcountymd.gov/jumpstart or email the Office of Economic Development at OED@FrederickCountyMD.gov.


Jump Start Frederick County Business Grants: Grant applications closed on June 5, 2020. Grant recipients can find a guide to Eligible Expenditures and the Expense Forms posted here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): EIDL loan applications will continue to be accepted through December 2021, pending availability of funds. Loans are available at 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations, with a 30-year term and automatic deferment of one year before repayment begins. Loans may be used for working capital and operating expenses (i.e. continuation of health care benefits, rent, utilities and fixed debt payments). Collateral is required for loans over $25,000. Apply here.


Resources for Completing your EIDL Application: Slides from the March 24 webinar, “COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds: State & Federal Resources for Small Businesses” and the Step-by-Step EIDL application guide and Small Business Loans Side-by-Side (compares EIDL & PPP loans)


As of July 11, the EIDL Advance Program is closed. The SBA has disbursed the $20 billion made available for the EIDL Advance grants. Learn more in SBA’s press release here.

PPP Round 2: The Paycheck Protection Program resumed at 9am EST on January 22, 2021. Learn more here. PPP First Draw Loans are for first time program participants. PPP Second Draw Loans (for certain businesses who have previously received a PPP loan) begin January 13.

As with the previous PPP program, you need to apply through a participating bank/credit union. To find a lender who is considered a Community Financial Institution and can accept applications now, use this website. More banks will be able to offer PPP as we move forward based on the federal guidelines for the program. Even if your bank cannot offer the loans yet, it is a good time to reach out, communicate with your banker and get your paperwork/number crunching underway so you can apply as soon as you are able.

  • You do not need to have your first PPP loan forgiven in order to apply for your second PPP, but you must have already used your first PPP allocation funding amount (if applicable)
  • Applicants can use 2019 or 2020 average monthly payroll for calculating PPP loan amount
  • Restaurant and hospitality businesses are eligible for 3.5x average monthly payroll in calculating their loan amount
  • The list of qualified expenses has been expanded for first- and second-draw PPP loans
  • PPP borrowers can now participate in the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) and it is retroactive to March 2020

Helpful resources from the National Retail Federation (NRF):


PPP Loan Forgiveness: On October 8, the Small Business Administration in consultation with the Department of Treasury announced a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. SBA and Treasury have also eased the burden on PPP lenders, allowing lenders to process forgiveness applications more swiftly.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidance: FAQ’s for PPP Loan Forgiveness (updated October 7th) available here.

Find the original loan forgiveness application and instructions, including several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, linked here. NFIB also released a video of Step-by-Step Instructions for Maximizing PPP Loan Forgiveness through the PPP EZ Application. Key updates:

  • Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
  • Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
  • Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
  • Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined

Tracking PPP Expenses: Quickbooks tutorial on tracking loan spending to ensure you qualify for forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program.


Update added July 8: The deadline to apply for a loan though the Paycheck Protection Program has been extended to August 8. The fund has about $130 billion left unused. Businesses access the PPP loan funds via a bank. Reach out if you are still interested.

Additional Information: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides $350 billion to help small businesses and nonprofits keep workers employed amid the pandemic. Applications can be downloaded here. PPP Loans are accessed through current SBA lenders. A portion of the emergency loans may be forgivable. On June 19, the SBA and Treasury announced enhanced transparency regarding the program, agreeing to make public additional PPP borrower data. Read more about these plans here.

Contact your own lender as soon as possible to see if your business is eligible to lend under this program. There is a funding cap on this program, so the U.S. Treasury Department urges businesses to submit their applications as quickly as they can. More info available here and a list of FAQ’s (updated August 11th) available here.

  • PPP has two application timeframes. Small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders beginning on April 3. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can begin applying on April 10. Proceeds from these loans can be used toward payroll costs (including benefits), interest on mortgage obligations incurred before February 15, rent under lease agreements in force before February 15, and utilities for which service began before February 15.

Resources for Applying for the Paycheck Protection Program: Information may be accessed by visiting the Treasury or SBA websites; Additional resources include Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Small Business Guide and Checklist and CARES Act Executive Summary for Restaurants (PPP) and Small Business Loans Side-by-Side (compares EIDL & PPP loans)


Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (enacted June 5): This new law enhances the Paycheck Protection Program by increasing the time small businesses can use funds and receive forgiveness from eight weeks to twenty-four weeks, by reducing the payroll cost rule from 75% to 60% to allow for up to 40% to be used for other qualifying expenses, delaying employer payroll tax payments through the end of 2020, and exempting borrowers from the FTE loan forgiveness reduction if borrowers are unable to return to the same level of business activity as before February 15, 2020 due to COVID-19.

  • Read the SBA’s press release summarizing the Flexibility Act’s key provisions.
  • The SBA and Treasury have issued new guidance as well as revised borrower and lender applications, which are available here.
  • The loan forgiveness application has also been revised (download the new application here) and a new EZ version is now available (download EZ version here). The EZ version can be used by borrowers who:
    • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
    • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
    • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%

On June 2, the NFIB Research Center released survey results on the utilization and financial assistance of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

SBA Debt Relief for 7(a), 504 and Micro-loan Borrowers: As part of its coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Micro-loans in regular servicing status, as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. Details here.

SBA Express Bridge Loans: Express Bridge Loans enable small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on EIDL, they may quality for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.

Federal Employee Retention Tax Credit (part of the CARES Act): 50% refundable tax credit for up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. Learn more here. Additional Q&A style information available from the U.S. Department of the Treasury here.

SBA Microloan Program: The SBA Microloan Program gives small business borrowers greater access to loans, providing small businesses with loans up to $50,000, as well as business-based training and technical assistance. This program is available to sole proprietors.

NEH Emergency Relief Funding: Through a new CARES Act program, the National Endowment for the Humanities is now offering up to $300,000 grants to cultural institutions affected by coronavirus in order to help stabilize humanities organizations nationwide. Find more information here.

U.S. Treasury Main Street Lending Program: The Main Street Lending Program will provide a total of $600 billion in financing for small and medium-sized businesses. Businesses may be eligible for loans if they have 15,000 employees or fewer, or had 2019 revenues of $5 billion or less. Minimum loan amount is $250,000 and maximum loan amount is $300 million, with a repayment period of five years. Borrowers are not obligated to make principal payments for the first two years. Once the program is operational, interested small and medium-sized businesses can apply for program loans by contacting an eligible lender.

  • Information and Guidance  for lenders and borrowers who would like to access the Main Street Lending Program, including an updated program overview reflecting changes made with the June 8th expansion.
  • Interested small and medium-sized businesses should speak to an eligible lender about applying for a Main Street loan.
  • Additional guidance, FAQs and facility term sheets available here.
Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA): Signed into law in February, the SBRA was enacted to expedite and reduce the cost of Chapter 11 bankruptcy for small business debtors with debt of approximately $2.7 million. The CARES Act expanded this relief to a wider demographic by increasing the debt-eligibility threshold from the approximately $2.7 to $7.5 million. This expanded eligibility expires after one year. Details here.
Loan Forgiveness: As of December 11, the Governor has directed the Department of Commerce to forgive the $75 million in emergency loans that the state provided to businesses during the first round of economic relief in March and convert them all to grants.


Maryland SERI (Strong Economic Recovery Initiative): The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is administering funding to support the state’s nonprofit tourism organizations, entertainment venues and businesses across Maryland. Learn more here.

DHCD is offering the MD-SERI funding through three applications:

  • Tourism Nonprofits (nonprofit and tourism producing organizations, such as museums, cultural attractions, zoos, aquariums, etc.)
  • Entertainment Venues (nonprofit and for-profit live music and performance venues as well as independently-owned local movie theaters)
  • Main Streets (the state’s 33 designated Main Street Maryland communities and Baltimore City’s 8 designated Main Street neighborhoods)


Expanded COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund: An additional $20 million in funding is available for Maryland’s small businesses through an expansion of the successful COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. Businesses undergoing financial stresses due to the pandemic can apply for up to $50,000 in flexible and customizable funding to maintain their workforce beginning Wednesday, October 28. Applications will be accepted through 30 days after the State of Emergency ends or until funding has been fully exhausted. Businesses will receive approval or denial within 5 days of applying for the funding.

  • Award recipients have used the average award of $22,738 per business for such things as purchasing remote access equipment and software to promote teleworking, assisting with employee training and education, purchasing cleaning supplies and services to maintain an onsite workforce, and taking advantage of the Maryland Department of Labor’s Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program by supplementing employee income.

To download the program’s policyapplication, and learn more about the eligibility requirements of the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, visit MD Labor’s website. Questions: laborcovid19.layoffaversion2@maryland.gov


Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority: The MSBDFA, which promotes the viability and expansion of businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs, will be allocated $5 million to provide financing for working capital, supplies and materials, machinery and equipment acquisitions, land acquisition, or real estate improvements. Learn more here.

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan & Grant Funds: $45 million in additional funding has been allocated to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund and will become available on July 20. The state is not accepting new grant applications and will continue to distribute funds on a first-come, first-served basis based on the applications already received. Read the Press Release announcing distribution of the additional funds, and find more information here. Applicants who have already submitted a loan or grant application should create a One Stop account in the Maryland One Stop portal if they have not already.

Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Manufacturing Fund: As of April 21, this fund is no longer accepting new applications. Manufacturers that have applications started, in process, have until 5:00PM Wednesday, April 22 to complete their applications.

Work Sharing: Work Sharing is a voluntary program through the Maryland Department of Labor, which provides an alternative to layoffs for employers faced with a temporary, non-cyclical decline in business due to lower economic activity. The program is designed to avoid layoffs by allowing employers to reduce an employee group’s hours by a percentage equal to the total reduction of hours that would have been achieved by a layoff. Employees in that group are then eligible for a percentage of Unemployment Insurance (UI) equal to the percentage of their reduced hours. Example: Reduce a group’s hours to 80% of what they normally work, those employees are now eligible for 20% of UI benefits. Learn more here.

State Apprenticeship Expansion Reimbursement Grant: The MD Department of Labor is accepting applications for grants to support the related instruction requirements of registered apprenticeship programs across the State. Learn more here.

City of Frederick COVID-19 Back in Business Conditional MicroGrant: Accepting applications through 12PM (noon) Friday, October 16. Apply here. This grant is designed to financially assist City-based small businesses which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the close of the program’s first round for priority funding, Round Two will feature widened criteria. Altered program criteria include:

  • Employee count may be up to 50 FTEs (full-time equivalent)
  • Regarding revenue reporting July 2019 vs. July 2020 – The applicant must be able to show a decrease in revenue from the previous year. This is a removal of the requirement to demonstrate 25% loss of revenue.
  • Applicants may now have received local grants previously via other City/County grants; applicants will still have to adhere to guidelines regarding allowable expenditures for which the grant award may be applied.
  • Unawarded applicants from Round I that meet these revised eligibility requirements will be automatically entered in the Round II lottery.

Businesses are encouraged to submit their application and backup information any time during the application period. The conditional grant awards will be made once the application period has closed using a random lottery system from the entire pool of eligible applicants. View full conditions and eligibility requirements here.


City of Frederick Micro-Grant Program: No longer accepting applications due to overwhelming response. The first round of checks should be distributed on Friday, April 3. Contributions to the fund are encouraged to help meet the demand from applications already received by the City of Frederick.

Recently Added or Updated:

  • “At Your Side” Small Business Grant from Main Street America supports brick-and-mortar small businesses in designated Main Street districts as they work to adapt to COVID-19 and prepare for the next phases of reopening. Grants of $5,000-$10,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications open January 21 – January 28. Apply here.

Complete List:

  • “At Your Side” Small Business Grant from Main Street America supports brick-and-mortar small businesses in designated Main Street districts as they work to adapt to COVID-19 and prepare for the next phases of reopening. Grants of $5,000-$10,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications open January 21 – January 28. Apply here.
  • eBay Up & Running Grants offers 50 eBay small business sellers grant packages of $10,000, including cash, eBay credits, coaching through eBay Seller School and more. Apply by sharing how you would invest the grant to grow your business online. Applications open November 23 through December 11, 2020 (midnight). Apply here.
  • The Entrepreneurial Dream Project is a $100,000 non-dilutive grant fund and mentorship program benefiting new businesses that are building during COVID-19. Submissions are open through June 15, 2020.
  • Fattmerchant, a payment technology provider, has partnered with Gift Up! to allow its clients to sell virtual gift cards. Gift Up! is waiving its usual 3.49% fee for Fattmerchant’s members’ first $5,000 in gift card sales.
  • FedEx discounts are available to Downtown Frederick retailers under the Maryland Retailers Association’s partnership with PartnerShip. Enroll in the MRA Shipping Program here and learn more about the program’s offerings here.
  • FedEx is offering grants to small businesses in the U.S. Each grant recipient will receive $5,000 plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office that can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more. Perfect for businesses who are making the move to selling and shipping online and/or ramping up safety and cleanliness measures to keep customers and employees safe.
  • GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp to allow independent businesses to start fundraisers and accept donations through Yelp’s pages. The Yelp Foundation and GoFundMe also both pledged to donate up to $1 million to the GoFundMe.org Small Business Relief Fund.
  • Google is donating more than $800 million to support small businesses, health organizations, governments, and health workers impacted by Covid-19. The amount includes $340 million in Google Ads credits for small and midsize businesses with active accounts in the past year.
  • Hello Alice is administering grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All grants to help small businesses in crisis. Applications for the COVID-19 grants close on July 16, 2020 at 11:59 PM.
  • Hootsuite, the social media management platform, is offering free access to its professional plan through July 1.
  • Idea Cafe offers Small Business Grants up to $4,000, which can be used for needs such as purchasing computers, hiring part-time help, and creating marketing materials.
  • The James Beard Foundation has launched the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. The organization will draw support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to offer micro-grants to restaurants, bars, and other independent businesses in the industry.
  • Kabbage launched an online hub to help boost sales for U.S small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a system through which businesses can sell gift cards to consumers for use at a later date.
  • Kangaroo wants to support business owners who are unable to be physically presentat their offices: The security startup is offering free (for three months) security camera and monitoring kits.
  • Kiva, an organization that offers 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs in the U.S., has expanded eligibility and increased loan size for small businesses impacted by the spread of COVID-19.
  • LISC Small Business Relief Grants: Truist has provided LISC with additional funding for a second round of small business grants. This program will provide grants of up to $10,000 each to small business owners, especially in rural communities and to enterprises owned by women and minorities, to help meet their most immediate needs. Applications close on June 17. Learn more and apply here.
  • Main Street America launched a second round of The HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program on October 22, providing grants of $5,000-$15,000 to support brick-and-mortar small businesses as they enter the next phases of reopening across the country. Grants will be awarded on a competitive and first-come, first-served basis. A minimum of 50% of grants will benefit diverse-owned businesses. Applications are due by 8PM EST on Thursday, October 29.
  • MainVest, a crowdfunding platform, announced its new Main Street Initiative: a $2,000, 0% interest, 120-day loan for restaurants or other brick-and-mortars affected by the shutdown, in addition to its normal fundraising offerings.
  • MD Small Business Development Finance Authority is providing emergency financial relief through low interest rates and low documentation loans to eligible Maryland businesses, beginning July 20. Five-year term loans ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 will be available with an interest rate of  0% for the first 12 months, and 2% for the remaining term of the loan. Program details and guidelines here.
  • The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation launched the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help restaurant workers in need.
  • Ogden Newspapers (the owner of the Frederick News-Post) has established a Community Marketing Grant fund to assist locally owned businesses with marketing costs. A total of $1,000,000 in matching advertising dollars is available, and grant funds can be used toward print or digital advertising in your local Ogden Newspapers publication. Grants available for April, May and June.
  • OLD BAY, McCormick for Chefs, and CORECares Foundation are offering grants valued at up to $2,500 to Maryland restaurants impacted by COVID-19 through their Maryland Restaurants Relief Fund.
  • Opportunity Fund, which specializes in money lending to small businesses owned by women, immigrants and people of color, is collaborating with investors and nonprofits to put together a coronavirus relief fund that will provide grants and low-interest-rate loans to business owners in need.
  • The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation formed a COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for small businesses and their restaurant workers.
  • Ring announced its Neighbor Pledge initiative, which encourages individuals and groups to create pledge groups to support local businesses.
  • Seated launched a hotline for restaurant owners to get advice from finance and law experts in the hospitality industry.
  • Shopify, the e-commerce platform, is offering an extended 90-day trial for new customers. For those of you currently on a 14-day trial, you can extend it at no charge to 90 days.
  • The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation is offering 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to women entrepreneurs in the U.S. through the Red Backpack Fund Grants program.
  • Tech Frederick Assistance: Tech Frederick has compiled a listing of local organizations and individuals who offered their FREE virtual assistance for any Downtown Frederick retail businesses in need. The first column displays the area of expertise they are able to help with, and the point of contact is listed. If you have any questions on the directory or need further assistance with matching up, contact Amy Pontius.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has created the Save Small Business Fund, which awards $5,000 grants on a weekly basis. To qualify, businesses must employ between 3-20 people, be located in an economically vulnerable community and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 21701 zip code is eligible for funds.
  • Verizon is donating $2.5 million to nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation for its Small Business Covid-19 Recovery Fund, which will use the funds to provide grants of up to $10,000 to struggling businesses.
  • Wefunder, an investment crowdfunding platform, launched a Coronavirus Crisis Loans program enabling small businesses to crowdfund loans of $20,000 to $1 million from supporters.
  • WiYNN, a marketing firm based out of Hagerstown, is providing free online ordering for Downtown Frederick restaurants. Contact Dustin Ecton for more information.
  • Yelp announced $25 million in relief to help local restaurants and bars in the form of waived advertising fees, free advertising, and products and services.

Federal Stimulus Program — Economic Impact Payments: IRS portal to check the status of your payment.

SCORE Small Business Resilience Hub: This website provides access to remote mentoring sessions, industry-specific training, and a comprehensive resource portal to help you find the specific information, government resources and financial support you need.

The SBA is staffed 24/7 at 202-765-1264 for assistance with the Economic Injury Disaster Loan process. There are also Daily SBA Conference Calls Monday through Friday to provide updates and allow you to ask questions.

  • 3:00PM (M-F): 202-765-1264, Conf Call ID# 827-299-626
  • 5:30PM (M-F): 202-765-1264, Conf Call ID# 310-688-488

SBDC Assistance with Federal Applications: The SBDC has received an infusion of funding to assist small businesses with federal COVID-19 resources. Contact your local Frederick SBDC counselor (Robert Bower, rbower@umd.edu or 301-600-1967) for direct assistance with federal applications.

  • The SBDC hosted a webinar on April 16 called The Counselor Is In: Q&A With Maryland SBDC Business Consultants, during which SBDC counselors responded to questions submitted by Frederick businesses. View the webinar slides here and the complete list of questions and answers here.

COVID-19 Small Business Survival Guide: Created by the Maryland SBDC, this excellent resource is frequently updated. Updated May 13. Subscribe to the SBA for email updates via www.sba.gov/updates and follow the SBA on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services.

Maryland Business Relief Wizard: Navigational tool to connect businesses with the resources and programming for which they’re eligible.

General SBA guidance for businesses can be found here. If you need additional help navigating the SBA process, Maryland SBDC can help.

COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds Webinar: This webinar (originally presented March 31, 2020) provides updates from the SBDC on new and existing financial resources for small businesses. A recorded version of the entire webinar is available on SBDC’s GoToStage Channel.

Maryland Department of Labor Financial Relief Guide Relatively comprehensive guide to financial relief resources and consumer protections including topics such as federal stimulus payments, loans (home, auto, personal, etc), insurance, utility services, etc.

Loan Comparison GuideThe SBA has created a Coronavirus Pandemic Disaster Loans Comparison chart that compares the details of the PPP program, EIDL (loan and forgivable advance), the SBA Express Bridge Loans and SBA Express.

Centralized Platform for Small Business Assistance: America’s SBDC and the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) have developed a website (covid-sb.org) with information from multiple federal agencies to assist small businesses with surviving and recovering from effects of the pandemic.

Safety Best Practices

Per the Frederick County Health Department, masks are required in all indoor public spaces where social distancing is not possibleUnder Governor Hogan’s Executive Order, everyone over the age of five must wear face coverings on public transportation, in healthcare settings and in schools. State health officials strongly recommend unvaccinated individuals continue to wear face coverings anytime they’re in public.

Frederick County Health Department provides the most up-to-date guidance specific to Frederick County businesses

Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to COVID-19 from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The CDC has provided this set of guidelines on steps an employer should take in the event that an employee tests positive for COVID-19, as well as a guide on when people can start to be around others after having (or likely having) COVID-19.


Click the images below to download safe shopping signage for your business.

Previous versions of Downtown Frederick’s safe shopping signs can be downloaded below:

We Are Open (masks, shirts & shoes required)

Masks Required for Entry

Executive Orders & Regulations

Click on the tabs below to show details related to the most recent Executive Orders issued by the Governor and/or Regulations set by Frederick County. Questions concerning the Governor’s executive orders should be directed to the Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel at 410.974.3901 or online at governor.maryland.gov/contact-the-governor. A complete list of all Proclamations, Orders, Interpretive Guidance and Suspended Orders can be found here.

If you are unsure of your current occupancy load use the City of Frederick’s Capacity Calculator. If you have other questions about policies specific to Frederick County, contact fchdBusinessInfo@frederickcountymd.gov.

Effective Date: January 4, 2022 (signed January 4) — 30-Day State of Emergency to take urgent short-term actions to combat the statewide COVID-19 surge. Includes mobilizing 1,000 members of Maryland National Guard to assist state and local health officials. Read the press release explaining the announcement here, and the full text of the proclamation here.

Effective Date: July 1, 2021 (signed May 18) — Legislation expanding the ability of restaurants, bars, and taverns to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption or delivery. This legislation is in effect for the next two years. View the full HB12 and SB205.

As of May 15, 2021 capacity restrictions are lifted on outdoor entertainment, art, and sports venues and indoor entertainment venues and conventions, and all remaining restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining.  Read the press release explaining the announcement here, and the full text of the Executive Order here.

As of May 15, 2021 everyone over the age of five must wear face coverings on public transportation, in healthcare settings and in schools. State health officials strongly recommend unvaccinated individuals continue to wear face coverings. Fully vaccinated individuals may resume activities as normal. Businesses and other workplaces are free to set their own policies with respect to masking. Read the press release explaining the announcement here, and the full text of the Executive Order here.

On May 12, 2021 the Governor extended the State of Emergency for Maryland. Read the full text here.

Restaurants, bars and State-licensed manufacturers of alcohol, and other entities holding a State or local license to manufacture or sell alcoholic beverages may continue to deliver off-premises, or sell if promptly taken from the premises before consumption, alcoholic beverages in sealed containers. Read the full text of the Executive Order here.

COVID-19 Business Information

The state income tax filing deadline has been extended until July 15, 2021. Find important tax information related to the pandemic at marylandtaxes.gov/covid.

The City of Frederick COVID-19 Response webpage provides the most current information related to the impact of COVID-19 on City services.

All due dates for City bills, permits, licensures, and citations will be extended to thirty days after the State of the Emergency ends. If you would like to pay bills or citations at this time, please note that City facilities are closed to the public. Payments can be made online or via drop boxes at the appropriate City location. For questions, please call 301-600-1380 or visit cityoffrederickmd.gov/covid19.

The City of Frederick created an online portal to submit applications, plans and fee payments for work with the Planning, Engineering and Building Departments. Learn more here.

Pop-up Dining

On the fourth Saturday of each month (June 26, July 24 and August 28) Market Street is closed to vehicular traffic and open for in-street dining. 11AM to 11PM between Patrick Street and 3rd Street. Participating restaurants will place tables in the roadway to expand outdoor dining opportunities, much like the effort put in place last summer during restricted dining orders. To learn more about the permitting process and specific details of Pop Up Dining in Frederick, visit cityoffrederickmd.gov/popupdining.

More info on Pop-up Dining

Parking in Downtown Frederick

Curbside Pickup Zones are no longer available as of July 6, 2021. All other parking restrictions remain in effect. Questions regarding parking enforcement can be directed to 301.600.1429.

Additional Parking Info

Human Resources

Sick & Family Leave:

Small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) are mandated to provide paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave beginning April 1, 2020. Eligible employers may claim a fully refundable tax credit equal to the required paid sick leave. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption.

The Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective April 1, 2020. Review the temporary rule here. This same link also includes a number of plain-language compliance assistance materials to explain the FFCRA’s benefits and requirements. The IRS website and Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers provides additional information about Tax Credits for Qualified Sick Leave Wages.

The Treasury Department and the IRS provide guidance in Notice 2020-54 to employers with a requirement to report the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Employers will be required to report these amounts either on Form W-2, Box 14, or in a statement provided with the Form W-2. Additional information about tax relief for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on IRS.gov.

Small Business Exemption: An employer, including a nonprofit organization, with fewer than 50 employees is exempt from providing Paid Sick Leave (PSL) #5 (school or place of child care closed/unavailable due to COVID-19) and Emergency Family Medical Leave (EFML) when doing so would jeopardize the viability of the small business as a going concern. A small business may claim this exemption if an authorized officer of the business has determined that:

  • The provision of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave would result in the small business’s expenses and financial obligations exceeding available business revenues and cause the small business to cease operating at a minimal capacity; or
  • The absence of the employee or employees requesting paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave would entail a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capabilities of the small business because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business, or responsibilities; or
  • There are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services provided by the employee or employees requesting paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, and these labor or services are needed for the small business to operate at a minimal capacity. 

If not offering leave, be prepared to document why.

As mandated by the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act, all workplaces must post this flyer. If your employees are working remotely, please email the flyer to your staff.

Guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

The EEOC updated its guidelines in response to the COVID-19 outbreak as they relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). See also, What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.


Unemployment Insurance:

The Division of Unemployment Insurance is housed under the Maryland Department of Labor. View a list of FAQ’s about COVID-19 and Maryland’s unemployment insurance on their website here.

  • As of January 8, the Maryland Department of Labor is accepting claims and issuing payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) unemployment insurance programs extended by the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act. All claimants will receive an email specifying whether they should file their weekly claim certification, reopen their claim, or reapply for benefits in their BEACON 2.0 portal.
  • If you have technical questions, e-mail UI.Inquiry@maryland.gov. In your e-mail, make sure to include your full legal name, complete address, phone number, e-mail address, the last four digits of your Social Security number, claimant ID number, and/or a brief description of the issue you are experiencing.

Filing Weekly Claim Certifications Over the Phone: To connect with the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system available 24/7, call 410.949.0022 or 1.800.827.4839, toll free. See Weekly Claim Certification FAQs for more information.

Employee Refusal of Recall to Work or Applicant Job Refusal:

  • If an employee refuses a recall to work or an individual refuses an offer of work, employers must notify the Maryland Department of Labor’s 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.
  • Employers should use the online application linked here to report return to work dates and job refusal information.

Resources for Completing your Unemployment Insurance Application: Unemployment Guide from the Maryland Department of Labor and Updates about Scheduled Maintenance, Virtual Waiting Lines & Gating System and the Beacon One-Stop Application Username and Password Handbook

Tutorial Videos Produced by the Maryland Department of Labor:

Health Insurance:

Maryland Health Care Enrollment: As part of the state’s overall response to the coronavirus, and in an effort to prioritize health and safety, Maryland Health Connection opened a special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders. The coronavirus emergency special enrollment period began in March and is scheduled to end on December 15.

  • COVID-19 information for individuals already covered through a Marketplace plan can be found here

Key Information on Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has provided a tip sheet on accessing health insurance through the ACA Marketplace for employees who do not receive health benefits through their employer, as well as Health Insurance Marketplace information for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Employee Guidance:

The Office of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh released a COVID-19 Employee FAQ answering some of the most commonly asked questions related to unemployment, time off, tips, benefits and more.

Job Seeker Resources: 

Free Resource for Job Seekers: The Frederick News Post is extending a free job-matching service to Frederick County residents affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Job seeker listings will be run daily in The News-Post and posted online. To protect the job seeker’s privacy, the FNP will publish only a first name and your preferred method of contact along with your recent job history and job preferences. Your full name and address will not appear online or in print.

Frederick County Workforce Services: Workforce services has jobs available in warehouse/grocery related roles. Those interested should fill out the online form you see when you click on the website link and, probably more importantly, sign up for email updates on future job listings.

  • Workforce Services has also compiled answers to the 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions from Businesses related to COVID-19. Questions are related to eligibility for unemployment insurance as a sole proprietor, whether employees of essential businesses need to carry a letter, how to handle a reduction in hours for your staff, where to start with the CARES Act, and supporting essential staff who are still required to work in public.

Census Jobs (info from United Way): The Census Bureau is still hiring good paying jobs locally. An important point for those that apply is that once you apply you should answer all phone calls you get (even ones labeled Spam) as that may be the only way you are notified for an interview. Apply online at 2020census.gov/jobs.

Justice Jobs of Maryland is a free nonprofit jobs office. Justice Jobs is open, taking new applicants, and providing full services remotely. Open jobs include food service (drive-thru and delivery), grocery and big box stores (cashier, stocker), warehouses, patient intake/receptionist, institutional food service (medical and assisted living), office cleaning, manufacturing, and order fulfillment. Justice Jobs helps all types of people, including but not limited to those who have been judicially-involved. Employers or applicants, please call 301-360-3502 or email info@justicejobsmd.org.


Mental Health Association: 226 S Jefferson St, Frederick, MD 21701 • 301.663.0011 • website

  • 2020 has been a year filled with change, challenge, and crisis. If you or a loved one are beginning to struggle with daily life or begin to feel overwhelmed, MHA’s Walk-In Services may be able to help. Walk-In is a free service where a Crisis Specialist will meet with you to help resolve a current crisis or concern and assist with connections to ongoing support. Learn more here.

Frederick County Health Department: 350 Montevue Ln, Frederick, MD 21702 • 301.600.1029 • website

Behavioral Health Partners: 604 Solarex Ct, Frederick, MD 21703 • 301.663.8263 • website

Heartly House: P.O. Box 857, Frederick, MD 21705 • 301.662.8800 • website

Whitesell Pharmacy: 236 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701 • 301.662.4848 • website

Assistance with Rent/Utilities:

Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs: 27 Degrange St, Frederick, MD 21701 • 301.631.2670 • website

Food Services:

Frederick Community Action Agency (Food Bank): 100 S Market St, Frederick, MD 21701 • 301.600.1506 • website

Frederick Rescue Mission (Food Distribution Center): 419 W South St, Frederick, MD 21701 • 301.695.6633 • website

Other Resources:

Spanish Speaking Community of Frederick County: 329 S Jefferson St, Frederick, MD 21701 • 240.877.7466 • website

The Salvation Army: 223 W 5th St, Frederick, MD 21701 • 301.662.2311 • website

Virtual Tip Jar:

A virtual tip jar has been set up to help Frederick County employees in the service industry (servers, bartenders, stylists, baristas, etc.) who rely on tips, and who may be missing a major chunk of their income right now. If you’re a service industry employee who wants to submit your info to the list, there is a link at the top of the Tip Jar to apply.

Each year, the Partnership tackles strategic initiatives to bring more residents and employees to Downtown Frederick, offers an exciting season of events and works closely with downtown businesses and partners to continue to strengthen and improve Downtown Frederick.