·  Amber Grant - Open to all female entrepreneurs age 18 and up living in the United States or Canada and who pay a $15 application fee. The Amber Grant awards $10,000 to a woman-owned business every month. At the end of the year, one of the 12 monthly qualification winners wins another grant for $25,000. The submission deadline is on the last day of every month (due by January 31, 2021, if filling it out now); the winner is announced in the first week of the following month. Apply here.

·  Fearless Fund  - Fearless Fund is disbursing 10 business grants to 10 women of color entrepreneurs in the amount of $10,000 each for COVID supportApplications are open from now until January 21. Winners will be announced on January 31.

·  Operation Hope Mini-Grant Program - Grants can only be applied toward critical expenditures such as residential rent/mortgage, residential utilities, and personal credit card bills.  A single, one-time payment of $500 is made directly to the vendor/creditor. More info is here.


·  COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application - The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help businesses during COVID. Apply directly through the SBA here.


·  37 Angels - Open to early-stage, high-growth companies in attractive markets like technology and B2B/B2C. Eight finalists are selected every two months to pitch their company; the next application cutoff is February 8, 2021.  Most entrepreneurs receive $50,000 to $100,000 in seed funding (remember - that means you are giving away some ownership), along with professional help growing their company. Learn more here.


·  Halstead Grant  - is an annual award for emerging silver jewelry artists. Applicants submit answers to 15 business questions in addition to their design portfolios. The grand prize is a $7,500 cash grant plus other benefits. The deadline is August 1st each year. Learn more here.

2020 has been a challenging year, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw our first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 15th in Howard County. In the months since, we have worked tirelessly on behalf of all residents, businesses, and visitors to ensure access to the most accurate information and important resources. 

Earlier this month, we were all notified that the COVID-19 vaccine had been approved, and people across the United States have begun receiving the first dose. Getting vaccinated is incredibly important to help us combat the disease, which took the lives of 5,681 Marylanders, including 189 of our Howard County friends and neighbors. 

If we are to succeed in getting our lives back – safely getting our children back in school, fully opening businesses, enjoying large gatherings, and being able to enjoy activities and fellowship that bring us joy with our family, friends, and co-workers - we all must get vaccinated, according to the advice of our medical care providers. Therefore, I will be joining many of my fellow neighbors in getting a COVID-19 vaccine once it's available and my turn. 

The current distribution plan for the vaccine includes three phases: 

Phase 1 - Target priority groups include those at a higher risk of exposure to or developing complications from COVID-19 - healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and first responders. 

Phase 2 - People in critical infrastructure roles, including essential non-healthcare and transportation workers, and people at moderately higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness. 

Phase 3 - Wide-scale distribution of the vaccine to the general population will be made available.  

Throughout this pandemic, there has been a cloud of disinformation that has made it difficult for people to differentiate between fact and fiction. There is a documented history of decades of mistreatment and distrust for many communities regarding the medical system. However, many individuals and families in these communities have been hit the hardest by this virus because of existing medical care barriers. Additionally, many people of all races, ages, and backgrounds have been actively involved in developing this vaccine and protocols for distribution.

It is why I encourage you to please read our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs and visit our Coronavirus Information webpage

This vaccine provides a lot of hope for our community as we pass nine months of combatting this virus, but there is still much work to do. We must work together to set an example and empower our residents and visitors. A vaccine is our pathway to getting back to normal, as best we can, keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe, getting our children back in school safely, and fully opening all businesses.

Stay well, 

Calvin Ball

Howard County Executive 

By Authority: The Calvin Ball Team, Roger Barnes, Treasurer.

The Calvin Ball Team

P.O. Box 2248

Columbia MD 21045 United States

State of Maryland Financial Resources & Services 

Department of Human Services Resources & Financial Assistance


The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) is the state’s primary social service provider. Our mission is to aggressively pursue opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide prevention services, and protect vulnerable children and adults.

DHSs website,, hosts a wealth of information about the agency’s many services and programs, as well as additional resources, for Maryland families and individuals in need of assistance:

• DHS offers several financial assistance options to support individuals and families experiencing trying times. If eligible, you can receive cash assistance for rent, utilities, and many other emergency financial burdens.

• You do not have to weather the tough times alone. DHS services include, financial, medical, and more. Learn more at

• The Department of Human Services is providing updated information to Marylanders regarding our services, operations, and other important resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay informed by visiting our Coronavirus Covid-19 Resources web page at

myDHR/myMDTHINK Consumer Portal

Marylanders can get information, apply for DHS programs and services, and check the status of applications online at

SupplementalNutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, helps low-income households buy healthy food. Click here to download the Income Guidelines. Apply online: Go to who have little or no money may qualify for SNAP benefits right away.
TemporaryCash Assistance (TCA) TCA provides temporary cash assistance to families with dependent children. TCA also prepares participants for independence through work programs. Click here to download the Income Guidelines. Apply online: Go to to file your application.
Officof Home Energy Assistance Programs (OHEP) OHEP offers help to Marylanders who are facing potential energy shut-offs or having difficulty paying their energy bills. You do not need a turn-off notice to qualify for assistance; eligibility for energy assistance is based on your income. Please also contact your Local Home Energy Program Office at  to speak to a dedicated OHEP specialist who will guide you through all your options for energy assistance. Learn more about energy assistance at
Emergency Cash Assistance to Families with Children (EAFC) EAFC provides cash assistance to families who have at least one child under the age of 21 living with them, and need emergency paying rent, utilities, or other urgent bills. Apply online: Go to to file your application.

 Full PDF Download: State of Maryland Resources.pdf

We are proud to partner with Walker's Legacy to research the impact of the pandemic on
women of color owned businesses. The study will assist multicultural businesswomen,
and develop a plan to combat economic setbacks due to COVID-19.
Take the survey here:

Maryland Health Connection

Governor Hogan Announces Reopening of Coronavirus Special Enrollment to Uninsured Marylanders as COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                     Aug. 7, 2020

Governor Hogan Announces Reopening of Coronavirus Special Enrollment to Uninsured Marylanders as COVID-19 Pandemic Continues


Maryland Will Offer Nation’s Longest Special Enrollment Period Related to COVID-19 Emergency; More Than 54,000 Enrolled in Health Coverage from March 16 to July 15


ANNAPOLIS, MD—Gov. Larry Hogan was joined today by Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Birrane, insurance companies, and the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to announce the reopening of the coronavirus emergency special enrollment period until Dec. 15. More than 54,000 Marylanders enrolled in health coverage during the special enrollment period from March 16 to July 15. With today’s announcement, Maryland will offer the longest special enrollment period in the nation related to the coronavirus emergency.

“The people of our great state have endured so many personal, medical, and economic challenges, and this crisis is not yet behind us,” said Governor Hogan. “Reopening the special enrollment period is another way we are helping Marylanders weather this storm, get back on their feet, and recover.”

“As Maryland continues to battle this global pandemic, we would like to make it as easy as possible for uninsured Marylanders to address their health concerns by reopening the coronavirus special enrollment period to help our Maryland families get the health coverage they need,” said Michele Eberle, executive director of Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.

Maryland Health Connection plans cover testing, visits relating to testing, and treatment of COVID-19. Consumers will not be billed for a copay, coinsurance, or deductible for services to test, diagnose, and treat COVID-19. Marylanders do not need to be sick to enroll in coverage. This special enrollment is for private health plans only. Those who qualify for Medicaid may enroll any time of year.

To enroll, visit or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. For free consumer assistance, call 855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Help is available in more than 200 languages through the call center, as well as Relay service for the Deaf and hard of hearing. Trained navigators and brokers statewide offer free help enrolling by phone.

On June 30th, Governor Larry Hogan announced another round of small business support. This additional support is part of a much larger allocation of federal CARES Act resources to support K-12 and higher education, small businesses, nonprofits and eviction prevention.
$50 Million in Additional Assistance for Small Businesses
  • $45 million will be allocated to expand the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund. This program, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to businesses of 50 or fewer employees, has provided more than $40 million in funds to 4,073 applicants. These additional resources will be used to help pending applicants.
  • $5 million will be allocated to the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority to provide financing to businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs. MSBDFA uses include working capital, supplies and materials, machinery and equipment acquisition, land acquisition, or real estate improvements. The application for these funds will be available on or around July 20th.

Olszewski Announces New Grant for Small Businesses to Support Safety Efforts to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

County to provide $3 million in reimbursement funding for improvements, furniture, fixtures, and equipment to help service sector businesses protect health of employees and patrons

In the latest effort to support Baltimore County’s small businesses, County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced the Small Business COVID-19 Reimbursement Grant Program, a $3 million grant fund to reimburse service industry businesses for investments in critical improvements to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of employees and patrons.

“Baltimore County’s service industry is a critical link of our local economy and we must do whatever we can to be a strong partner in their recovery,” said County Executive Olszewski. “These establishments have had to quickly adapt to new ways of doing business and we’re proud to offer these new funds to help support their efforts to keep visitors and employees safe.”

Through the program, the County will offer grants of up to $10,000 to reimburse Baltimore County-based service industry businesses that had to limit or cease indoor operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for investments in capital improvements or the purchase of furniture, fixtures, and equipment to protect employees and patrons. Examples of items eligible for reimbursement under the COVID-19 Reimbursement Grant Program include:

  • Capital improvements, such as Plexiglas shields, carryout window installation, and hand-washing stations;
  • Outdoor tents, and other outdoor equipment;
  • Additional or new furniture or fixtures necessary to safely serve customers;
  • Services necessary to open and operate safely, such as cleaning and disinfecting services
  • Equipment and signage to help ensure customers and employees can observe safety requirements.

Establishment operators will be required to provide paid invoices, receipts and contracts as well as describe how these improvements will promote safety and public health.

Beginning  Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 9 a.m., grant applications will be posted online at and funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

To qualify for this grant program, establishments must: 

  • Be a for-profit enterprise,
  • Be registered and in good standing with the State of Maryland, if required by law,
  • Have been in operation as of January 1, 2020,
  • Not be in default on any loans from Baltimore County or delinquent on County taxes, and
  • Have between two and 25 full-time employees per Baltimore County establishment. Establishments may have more than 25 part-time employees.

This is the latest effort from Baltimore County to support small businesses and individuals impacted by the severe financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, Baltimore County 
made millions in grant funding for small businesses through the Small Business Relief Grants Program, $200,000 to assist professional artists, musicians and performers, and $1 million in rental assistance to households at risk of losing their current housing.

CLICK HERE for more information about the COVID-19 Reimbursement Grant Program

SBA Logo
National Safety Month


Did you know that June is National Safety Month? As many states move to reopen businesses affected during COVID-19, it's important to follow safety guidelines to keep your employees and customers safe. Take the time to review safety resources from the CDC when reopening your business. 

Learn more

Join the SBA team: Employment opportunities to support SBA's COVID-19 pandemic response


The SBA is hiring temporary employees to assist with disaster relief efforts during these unprecedented times. The positions include:

  • Call Center Customer Service Representative
  • Document Preparation/Legal Review/Loan Closings
  • Loan Processing/Credit Analysis/Mortgage Underwriting
  • Program Support

Apply today

IG logo

Beware of Scams and Fraud Schemes

The Office of Inspector General recognizes that we are facing unprecedented times and is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest financial assistance bill to date, includes provisions to help small businesses. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times.  Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.

Learn more

government contracting icon

Federal Coronavirus Resources

State, local, and federal agencies are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Check out for updates from the White House's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force. Go to for detailed information about COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Learn more about the federal government's response

mobile phone

Virtual Mentoring and Training 

Offices around the country may be closed to the Coronavirus pandemic, but SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers and other resource partners are providing free business mentoring and training by phone, email, and video.

Find an SBA resource partner near you

SBA District and Regional Office Webinars on Disaster Assistance  

SBA district and regional offices are offering webinars about Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

These webinars explain SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and how you can apply for disaster assistance. 

Sign up for SBA newsletters using your zip code to get updates

Back to Business Website - Guidelines and best practices for Maryland’s companies reopening in correlation with the COVID-19 outbreak.   

Small Business Technical Assistance and Business Support Services for Baltimore City Businesses

The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Businesses Development will work with the Baltimore Small Business Support Fund to assemble a technical assistance network that will help small businesses complete applications for appropriate federal, state, and philanthropic financial assistance programs that are currently available and federal programs, which are expected to be replenished in the coming days.

Businesses that are interested in requesting technical assistance should visit Baltimore Together and fill out the web form. 
In addition to this announcement, the US Chamber of Commerce has announced a Save Small Business Fund to provide $5,000 grants to businesses that meet the following criteria:

·  Employ between 3 and 20 people

·  Are located in an economically vulnerable community

·  Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A short application will be available starting April 20, 2020, at 12:00PM PT by visiting Save Small Business.  

Small Business Administration (SBA) Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan resources

The CARES Act established several New Temporary Programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak, Coronavirus Relief Options.




Baltimore City Mayor’s Office takes the initiative to connect COVID-19 funding resources available to small businesses.  BDC and M&T Bank sponsor a teleconference to with Federal and State officials to provide stakeholders an overview of federal and state small business COVID-19 economic disruption resources and Guidelines under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.

Attending:  Mayor Jack Young; Colin Torbin, BDC; Senator Ben Cardin, Member, Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee; Stephen Umberger, District Director, US Small Business Administration Baltimore District Office; Kelly Schultz, Maryland Department of Commerce.

Attending Stakeholder were not disclosed and participated via Q&A Chat.

Highlights of Teleconference:

The $2 trillion federally funded COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) was recently allocated under the CARES Act to address the impact on small businesses resulting from this public health crisis in the US.  Senator Ben Cardin and Stephen Umberger of SBA were intricately involved in structuring the COVID-19 Small Business (EIDL) Economic stimulus package to be administered through the SBA. 

Maryland’s Department of Commerce also administers a small business economic stimulus program that was in place prior to the CARES Act, which re-opens the door to COVID-19 small businesses funding resources across the United States.  The purpose of the teleconference was to ensure that Baltimore City small business stakeholders have first-hand information on how to access resources.

Full document: Federal and State COVID Resources.pdf

Maryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Business

For resources and more information regarding assistance for businesses in the State  Maryland click here

Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c) 4 non-profit organization. 1325 Bedford Avenue, Suite 5941; Pikesville, MD 21282

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