Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said Thursday that the state will allocate money from the Rainy Day fund toward the $250-million Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative.
Maryland restaurants, small businesses, arts organizations, entertainment venues and Main Street programs could qualify for direct assistance under this program. Hogan said he took the action as the federal government draws out debate over whether to implement another economic stimulus package.
“This new $250 million ‘Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative’ will be critical to the thousands of struggling restaurants, small businesses, and Main Streets across the state that are attempting to weather this crisis,” Hogan said. “I have directed our entire team in each agency to ensure that this much-needed funding gets out the door to our struggling citizens and small businesses as quickly as possible. We also intend to work closely with our local partners so that they can assist in expeditiously getting this money into the hands of those who need it most.”
“The Maryland Chamber of Commerce and our 4,500 members and federation partners are extremely grateful for Governor Larry Hogan’s unwavering support of the Maryland business community throughout the COVID-19 crisis. His announcement today will go a long way in helping our state’s employers face these difficult times with hope and confidence as they work to get back on their feet and keep Maryland open for business,” Maryland State Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Christine Ross said. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and his administration on behalf of our members to find creative solutions to support Maryland’s job creators throughout our economic recovery.”
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said that the announcement from Hogan was a good start, but “it’s simply not enough.”
“Nearly half of the $250 million is being set aside without explanation on how and when it will be used. Contrary to the Governor’s analysis of our fiscal posture, we are in a position to do more without taking another penny from the Rainy Day Fund,” Franchot said. “Just two years ago, the State of Maryland was willing to pony up $8.6 Billion to lure Amazon’s East Coast headquarters. Surely, we can do better than letting tens of thousands of small businesses, nonprofits, and Main Street communities fight over scraps.”