In latest the Weekly Wright Report:
Baltimore County Small Business Reimbursement Grant Program
As businesses across the State of Maryland begin reopening, residents are becoming accustomed to seeing certain fixtures that would have seemed incredibly out of place just months ago. Things like plexiglass barriers between customers and cashiers, hand sanitizer dispensers (everywhere), and stickers on the floor helping patrons keep their distance from one another are looking like they may be around for a while. These fixtures will surely help combat the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, they also carry high costs; costs that would be more manageable in a strong economy, but can be crippling to businesses already reeling from major revenue shortfalls.
Help is on the way for Baltimore County businesses. As of July 15, 2020, the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development is accepting applications for its Small Business Reimbursement Grant Program. Through this program, Baltimore County will award grants of up to $10,000.00 to Baltimore County-based small businesses for the reimbursement of capital expenditures, furniture, fixtures and equipment (among other approved expenses), required to safely reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be eligible, a small business must:
- Be located in Baltimore County;
- Be a for-profit entity;
- Have been in operation prior to January 1, 2020;
- Be in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation;
- Have at least two full-time employees and no more than 25 full-time employees, who are not owners or part owners, as of January 31, 2020, per location. (There is no limit to the number of part-time employees.);
- Not currently be in default on any loans from Baltimore County or delinquent on any taxes owed to Baltimore County; and,
- Have incurred approved expenses.
The grant may be used only to reimburse the grantee for expenses already incurred for capital improvements, furniture, fixtures and equipment necessary to operate a business safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds may not be used for personal expenses, lease or rent payments, payroll or other operating expenses.
If you plan to apply, gather together the following:
- Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Formation, or Articles of Organization;
- Bylaws or Operating Agreement, if applicable;
- W-9 Forms;
- Completed grant agreement (see application process below);
- Legible, itemized receipts for qualifying capital expenses, including furniture, fixtures and equipment purchased to reduce the spread of COVID-19. (Note: as this is a reimbursement grant, quotes for future installation will not suffice.);
- Proof of business address (a copy of a utility bill, phone bill, or water bill will suffice) dated within the past two months; and,
- A copy of the business information from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation website (which can be found HERE).
To apply, simply gather together the documentation identified above and click HERE.
Calling All Parents: It’s Time to Plan for the Unknown
If there is one take-away that parents of minor children have learned during the Coronavirus pandemic, it is that you can do anything and everything! Homeschool your children? Check. Work from home? Check. Homeschool your children while working from home? Check, check.
Now that the 2019-2020 academic year and all of the turbulence caused by remote learning are behind us, you may think that you can expect a smooth ride for the summer months. But, if you and your spouse are discussing a separation or already live in different households, I encourage you to consider a physical access schedule for your children over the upcoming school year. An access schedule often includes details such as drop-off and pick-up times and locations, which begs the questions: Will the kids be physically attending school in the Fall and, if so, on a daily basis? Will they be able to ride the bus to school and if so, at the same time as last year? Will you be working from home or do you anticipate returning to the office in the Fall? Do you need to hire someone to supervise your children’s remote learning while you work even if you are working from home? Will the before and after-school daycare options be operating?
As of the date of publication, the educational arrangements for school-aged children are, for the most part, largely unknown at this time. So, rather than scramble at the final hour and be limited by time and resources, it behooves you and your spouse to map out all of the possible scenarios for the Fall and generate as many options as you can for the physical access schedule, work-related child care options, and the payment of those expenses.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, give me a call so we can discuss the best approach for you to plan for the unknown. Parents should utilize the down time of summer to plan ahead for the new academic year. Depending on how well you can communicate and co-parent with your children’s other parent, you may be able to approach this issue directly. But, if not, you should consider a different format, such as attorney-to-attorney negotiations, mediation, or parent coordination, to work toward a temporary resolution in light of the lingering pandemic that we face. In either scenario, you will be better served to have an attorney strategize and advise you on your behalf, as well as to ultimately draft a temporary agreement, which will serve as the new roadmap for the upcoming academic year. Feel free to reach out to me at 410.659.1325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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