COVID-19 Assistance Grant FAQs

Funding

What can I use the funding for?

  • Payroll
  • Operating Expenses
  • Business Lease or Rent
  • Business telework equipment costs
  • Inventory Acquisition (inventory needed to reopen or maintain open status)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) purchase
  • Facility Readiness (social distancing preparedness, business modifications, etc.)

For further information, please visit the U.S. Treasury’s May 28, 2020 Guidance for State, Territorial, Local and Tribal Governments, or the U.S. Treasury's Frequently Asked Questions page.

What can I NOT use the funding for?

  • Capital Improvements not associated with COVID-­‐19 or Personal Expenses
  • Items already covered through Other CARES Act Funding (i.e., Payroll through PPP)

 

Eligibility

The eligibility states less than $5M in annual revenue. Is that gross or net revenue? Do I have to provide documentation?

Gross revenue. No documentation is needed at the time of application and is self-­certified, but is subject to audit at the County’s discretion.

Are sole proprietors eligible?

Yes. Sole proprietor businesses (zero non-owner employee for $2,500 offering or a minimum of 1 non-owner employee for $5,000 offering) are eligible.  

Can Non‐Profits or Faith Based Organizations or Churches apply?

No.

Is a franchise eligible for this grant?

Yes. The business will need to be located in Worcester County, meet the employment criteria, and expend the dollars in accordance with the grant. Business affiliates, subsidiaries, and parent company must have a combined revenue of less than $5 million.

I am a franchise owner. Does my Franchisor’s 2019 revenue count towards the $5M aggregate limit?

No, as a franchise owner, each franchise location’s revenue is considered separate from the franchisor’s revenue.

If I have applied for other COVID‐19 related grant assistance and received such can I still apply for this grant?

Yes. Priority preference will be given to applicants who have not received grant assistance to date.

 

Application

Will an electronic or typed signature be accepted on the application and W-9?

Yes. An official signature with scanned documents returned via email is also acceptable.

Can I apply for all 4 grants? ($2,500, $5,000, $7,500, $10,000)

No. Businesses who submit applications for more than one grant will not enter the queue for consideration and will need to be resubmitted to only one of the grant programs. Applying for more than one grant will jeopardize your opportunity for funding through this grant initiative.

I personally own the property and building where my business is located. Do I select lease or own on the application?

Regardless of who owns the building and property, if the business applying pays rent or has a lease agreement, then select "lease" on the application.

Is there a physical address where I can mail or drop off my application?

No. Applications will only be accepted electronically. The applications and documentation must be submitted through the online application or in one email to chooseworcester@co.worcester.md.us.

Who can I contact for assistance with the application?

If you need assistance with assessing your eligibility or compiling the needed documents for your application, we advise that you consult with your financial or legal advisors.

 

Employees

How many employees do I need to have in order to qualify for this grant?

Two categories of grant are available. One for 1‐25 full time employees and one for 26‐50 full time employees. Agricultural producers and sole proprietor (zero employees) are not required to meet the employee requirements.

What qualifies as Full‐Time Equivalent (FTE)?

An average of 30 hours per week or more.

Can my part time employee hours be calculated to equal one FTE (full‐time equivalent) employee?

Part‐time hours worked may be converted to hours that equal one full time employee (minimum of 30 hours worked per week).

FTE = (Total of part‐time hours worked per week / 30) + Number of Full‐Time Employees

How are exempt, salaried employees calculated for the employment requirement?

Exempt, salaried employees are assumed to be full time as long as they follow Maryland employment standards for salaried employees.

 

Sensitive Information

I am concerned about submitting sensitive information found on my payroll records and W‐2s. What information is absolutely needed for the application to be complete?

For employee verification, applicants only need to provide the name and average hours worked for each employee by providing a payroll record or W‐2. You may redact any sensitive information such as Social Security Numbers, Birth dates, Driver’s License Numbers, and/or an employee’s personal address.

With regards to the MD Public Information Act Disclosure for the Grant Programs, what information and documentation submitted with the application is subject to public disclosure?

Any document deemed a public record by the Maryland Public Information Act is subject to disclosure in response to a request under said law. For more information, visit https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/Pages/OpenGov/pia.aspx

Is a payroll report sufficient documentation for the employment requirement?

A payroll report is sufficient, and can be for any length of time ending on March 9, 2020, as long as the documentation lists each employee name, shows they were employed as of March 9, 2020 and the number of work hours per week can be calculated. Wage and/or salary information is not needed.

 

Submission and Review

Who will be reviewing the assistance grant applications?

An extensive process has been established involving county staff from multiple departments and will include several stages of management review.

How can I find out the status of my application?

Applications are reviewed in the order they are received by the review committee. After all documents are reviewed for completion and accuracy by our team, you will receive notification concerning the status of your application. An application may be rejected or returned for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The business is ineligible under program terms
  • Information provided in required documentation is inaccurate
  • The application or required documentation are incomplete

In the event that the application was rejected but the business is eligible, your notification of status will clearly identify the reasons for returning the application and you will be able to resubmit a new application with the required adjustments if funding is still available. Due to the large number of applications we are reviewing, we will not be providing individual updates of application status.

When will I receive my grant funds?

Applications will be processed and funded as quickly as possible.