Our local businesses and commercial corridors are key to the vitality our communities. They are also our family, neighbors and friends. Some 250 of these establishments and their employees were affected by property damage, theft and vandalism in the evening and early morning hours of April 27th and 28th.
I am grateful to the first responders who worked tirelessly to keep an unsafe and unacceptable situation from becoming worse. I am equally grateful for members of community who came together in the following days to stand for peace and reconciliation in the face of rumors of more violence and lawlessness. I remain encouraged by the willingness of so many to take a hard look at ourselves and to work together toward the social, political and economic restoration of Baltimore City.
In this update, we have gathered information from multiple websites, emails and other correspondence regarding economic recovery efforts relevant those working for Baltimore City.
Tracking Recovery Efforts
One key mechanism the City is using to track damage and the need to reinvestment is at the recently launched website: http://www.baltimorebusinessrecovery.org/ which is a partnership of the Mayor’s office and the Baltimore Development Corporation. Each business that signs up will be provided a single point of contact for assistance at BDC to work with them until they re-open. This can be a one-stop shop for businesses looking to access resources to re-open.
Summer Jobs Program, Your Assistance Needed
The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development operates Baltimore City’s YouthWorks summer jobs program and funding is needed to provide jobs for as many 14 to 21-year-olds as possible. Online donations can be made through the Baltimore City Foundation at baltimorecityfoundation.org. Please choose Mayor’s Office of Employment Development – YouthWorks 855-00 – to make your contribution.
Maryland Unites was created as a one-stop shop to provide Marylanders with the resources they need to react and respond to the recent disturbances in Baltimore. The website enables you to report new incidents to the police, donate to local charities, and volunteer your time to help the residents of Baltimore. http://governor.maryland.gov/mdunites/.
Business Assistance Efforts
1. Website: The City of Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) has launched www.BaltimoreBusinessRecovery.org as the main portal for businesses that had physical damage to connect with city, state and federal resources. Businesses should complete the contact form on the website. Additional information will be added to the website to help businesses recover as it becomes available.
2. Business Recovery Team: BDC has established a Business Recovery Team to assist impacted businesses. BDC will provide a staff member as a single-point-of-contact for each business to help answer questions and connect it directly to resources until it is fully re-open. Businesses will be connected with a BDC representative by signing up at www.BaltimoreBusinessRecovery.org.
3. Business Inventory: BDC, in coordination with city agencies, is developing a comprehensive list of city businesses that were damaged, so that the City can determine what is required for businesses in order to re-open. This inventory will be used to match resources with needs. BDC staff has been to all major commercial areas affected to begin the inventory, and will continue to be on the ground assessing damage and meeting with business owners. BDC is coordinating with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for potential federal assistance.
4. Police Reports: If a business needs to file a police report for property damage and/or damaged or stolen inventory, they may do so by calling 311 or online at http://www.baltimorepolice.org.
5. Employment: The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) has been in discussions with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to seek support of program funding aimed at youth employment and assisting dislocated workers of damaged businesses. MOED will collaborate with both DOL and DLLR to develop a plan that addresses the need for increased employment opportunities and skills training for City residents, especially those in impacted communities. MOED is also working closely with BDC and DLLR to immediately provide reemployment services to residents who have lost their job due to businesses that have closed or laid off workers. If you are unemployed or displaced due to recent events please contact MOED at 410-396-3009 from 8:30am to 4:30pm or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Expediting City Permits: The Mayor has asked City permitting agencies to expedite permits for repair work and inspections for re-opening businesses. The Mayor is also providing a hardship waiver (based on certain eligibility criteria) for businesses to assist with permit fees and costs.
7. Liquor License Renewals: Given the events of the past week, the Mayor requested the Liquor Board extend the deadline for liquor license renewals and waive penalties for licenses not paid for on the original deadline date of April 30, 2015. Licensees will have until Thursday, May 7, 2015 to pick and pay for renewals without any penalties. The Board will meet on May 14 and May 28, 2015. The Board will not meet on May 7 and May 21, 2015. If there are any questions regarding any of these matters please call the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City at 410-396-4377.
8. Maryland Lottery: Retailers should report lost or stolen lottery tickets to Darryl Massey, the Lottery Security Supervisor, as soon as possible. He can be reached at 410-230-8746 or email@example.com.
In addition, beginning Wednesday, May 6, 2015 and every Wednesday thereafter until further notice, there will be an open house at the Lottery Headquarters for any affected retailers. The Headquarters will be open for retailer meetings from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm and then again from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. There will be stations set up for retailers to meet with lottery security, lottery sales and lottery accounting. The Lottery’s vendor will also be present to help identify missing and needed equipment to get affected retailers back up and running. The Lottery Agency Headquarters is located at 1800 Washington Blvd. Baltimore, Maryland 21230 Suite 330. There is no need to call and schedule a meeting ahead of time. Lottery representatives will be available.
9. BGE Payment Assistance: If a business is having difficulty making BGE payment due to business interruption, business customers may call BGE at 877-685-0123 to ask for a new due date and/or payment arrangements.
10. Language Access: The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MIMA) is assisting businesses with language barriers to ensure all information is accessible to non-English speaking business owners. MIMA will continue to work closely with BDC and community partners on outreach to impacted immigrant businesses to ensure the successful re-opening of businesses, many of which are local and family-owned. Business owners requiring language assistance may contact MIMA at 410-396-8056 or via the MIMA website – http://mayor.baltimorecity.gov/contact-mima.
11. Corporate Support:
- Many businesses have offered to donate their services and expertise to affected businesses. BDC is tracking those offers and will help connect businesses accordingly to those in need of services. If your business would like to assist, please contact BDC at www.BaltimoreBusinessRecovery.org.
- The need for additional youth employment opportunities has never been greater. Please consider signing your business up for the Mayor’s Hire One Youth campaign to support summer jobs for city youth by hiring a young person. If you have signed up this year already or in the past, please consider increasing your commitment. You may also donate funds to support the Mayor’s YouthWorks Summer Employment Program, which provides employment placement for youth at government offices and partner locations. Online donations can be made through the Baltimore City Foundation at baltimorecityfoundation.org. Please choose Mayor’s Office of Employment Development – YouthWorks 855-00 – to make your contribution.
12. Tax: Businesses in Baltimore City will have an extra two weeks on the state’s sales tax deadline after Comptroller Peter Franchot granted an extension.
Sales tax returns and payments that had been due by May 20 will now be due by June 3. The comptroller’s office will waive all penalties, waive all interest and apply vendor discounts as long as returns are filed and taxes remitted by the new deadline.
13. Messaging: Visit Baltimore, the City’s official tourism bureau and destination marketing organization, is working closely with business leaders in the restaurant, hospitality and tourism sectors, as well as the state economic development partners, to ensure Baltimore remains a premier destination for the millions of tourists, convention attendees and local Maryland residents that come to Baltimore City each year. In addition to an immediate and long-term messaging strategy, Visit Baltimore is also working with local organizations, including Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, the Greater Baltimore Committee, and Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, to ask residents, workers and visitors to support local businesses affected by the recent events.
14. Partnering Agencies/Organizations: The Mayor’s Office has been in contact with the following economic development agencies and organizations who have offered assistance. The City will continue to work with our partners until business recovery is fully complete:
- Baltimore City Department of Health
- Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC)
- Baltimore Housing
- Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
- Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore
- Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC)
- Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED)
- Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Development
- Mayor’s Office of Multicultural & Immigrant Affairs (MIMA)
- Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development (DBED)
- Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR)
- Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)
- Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA)
- U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL)
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
- Visit Baltimore
- Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore
15. Insurance: Property owners and business owners whose property was damaged in the recent violence in Baltimore City should contact their insurance agents or carriers to see if they are covered. Many policies, both for commercial and personal property, have provisions for civil unrest. In addition, comprehensive auto policies may cover damage from the violence. It’s important to note, however, that not all policies include this coverage. If you are unsure whether your policy covers this situation, check with your agent, broker, or insurance company.
As the state’s insurance regulator, the MIA can:
- Answer questions about different types of insurance.
- Explain your rights and suggest ways to work out problems with your insurance company;
- Investigate whether a company did what it said it would do in its contract with you and, if any laws or rules were broken, take action against the company; and if you need assistance with a claim, call 410-468-2000 or 1-800-492-6116.
16. Career Centers: Businesses and job seekers impacted by the recent events in Baltimore are encouraged to use the services provided by the city’s two, One-Stop Career Centers and its four Satellite Employment Centers – operated by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.
For businesses, services include:
- Outplacement support
- No-cost job posting, outreach and recruitment
- Applicant pre-screening
- Tax credit for hiring
For job seekers, services include:
- Job placement assistance
- Job search and referral
- Resume and job preparation assistance
- Occupational skills training
- Skill level identification and assessment
MOED One-Stop Career Center locations:
Northwest One-Stop Career Center
2401 Liberty Heights Avenue
Mondawmin Mall – Suite 302
Baltimore, Maryland 21215
Phone: (410) 523-1061 or (410) 523-1061
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
Eastside One-Stop Career Center
3001 East Madison Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21205
Phone (410) 396-9030
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
Satellite Employment Centers:
Bon Secours Community Works
Community Job Hub
26 N. Fulton Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21223
Monday – Thursday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Govans Ecumenical Development (GEDCO)
Community Job Hub
5513 York Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
My Brother’s Keeper
Community Job Hub
4207 Frederick Ave.
Baltimore, Maryland 21229
Tuesday – Friday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Employment Connections Center
1410 Bush St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
17. State Loan Programs: The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has two programs specifically for recovering businesses the Maryland Business Recovery Microloan Program and the Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan Program. They are detailed below. Please go to http://mdhousing.org/Website/Programs/BusinessRecovery/ for more information about the programs and how to apply.
Maryland Business Recovery Microloan Program
The Maryland Business Recovery Loan Program is an emergency program to assist small businesses affected by civil unrest in the spring of 2015. The program provides financing for existing microenterprise businesses within the designated Sustainable Communities of Baltimore City.
- Maryland-based small businesses with not more than 5 full-time employees (exceptions may be made)
- Business must be located in a commercial space
- Nonprofit organizations
- Business must be located in a designated Sustainable Community in Baltimore City
Eligible Businesses (some restrictions apply)
- Retail businesses
- Manufacturing businesses
- Goods and Services related businesses (some restrictions apply)
- Must be located in a Sustainable Community area (see map)
Eligible Uses of Funds
- Repairs and replacement of furniture, fixtures and equipment
- Inventory replacement
- Certain other costs associated with recovery of a small business, including working capital
- Loan amounts up to $35,000
- Interest rate of zero percent (0%)
- Target loan term is 1 – 5 years, depending on loan size and affordability
- Personal guarantees and lien on business assets required
- No prepayment penalties
- Note: Forgivable loan option – loan forgiveness, for a portion of the loan, may be available if benchmarks are achieved
Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan Program
The Neighborhood BusinessWorks program (NBW) provides a revitalization resource to help stimulate investment in Maryland’s older communities. The NBW loans provide flexible gap financing to small businesses in locally designated Sustainable Communities throughout the State.
- Maryland-based small businesses (small business as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration)
- Nonprofit organizations whose activities contribute to a broader revitalization effort and whose projects are intended to promote
Eligible Projects (some restrictions apply)
- Retail businesses
- Manufacturing businesses
- Service-related businesses
- Mixed-use projects, consisting of a commercial or retail use at street level and no more than 12 residential units
Eligible Uses of Funds
- New construction or rehabilitation
- Leasehold improvements
- Machinery and equipment
- Inventory replacement
- Working capital (when part of total project cost)
- Certain other costs associated with recovery of a small business
- Interest rate is below market, based on underwriter’s analysis
- Loan term up to 15 years, depending on loan size and underwriting
- Minimum 5 percent applicant capital cash contribution is required (based on total project cost)
- Personal guarantees and collateral are required
- No prepayment penalties
Restrictions & Considerations
Priority is given to projects that strengthen neighborhood commercial districts and are part of a greater revitalization strategy. The following types of projects and activities will not be considered for NBW financing, unless the project includes another eligible business type (groceries, restaurant, etc.):
- Speculative developments (All properties must be pre-leased for a minimum of 51% of the leasable space prior to loan closing.)
- Residential or transient living facilities (other than mixed-use projects described in Eligible Projects section), e.g., multifamily or single-family housing developments, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, crisis care centers, group homes, transitional housing, and homeless shelters
- Facilities such as community halls, fire stations, hospitals, colleges, or universities
- Adult bookstores, adult video shops, other adult entertainment facilities, gambling facilities, gun shops, liquor stores, massage parlors, pawn shops, tanning salons, or tattoo parlors
Make a Difference
These efforts will only make a difference with the continued involvement of all Marylanders. Please consider helping out with your time, money, and connections.
- Donate your time by calling 311 to sign up to volunteer
- Donate your money to the Baltimore City’s YouthWorks summer jobs program which provides jobs for as many 14 to 21-year-olds but needs more support to expand. Online donations can be made through the Baltimore City Foundation at baltimorecityfoundation.org. Please choose Mayor’s Office of Employment Development – YouthWorks 855-00 – to make your contribution.
- Donate your connections by signing your business up for the Mayor’s Hire One Youth campaign to support summer jobs for city youth by hiring a young person. If you have signed up this year already or in the past, please consider increasing your commitment.
I have seen such an outpouring of support over the past week for the city we all love, let’s continue that support by investing over the long term in our communities.
I remain in Partnership and Resolve,
Delegate Mary Washington