Maryland Retailers Association Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Executive Orders

Sunday, Governor Hogan signed an executive order which authorizes health officials to determine whether essential businesses still open during the current state of emergency are operating in an “unsafe” manner and gave local health departments the authority to shut businesses down. We are seeking interpretive guidance from the Governor’s office on what “unsafe” means and how businesses may appeal decisions made by authorized health officials. We do not have more details at this time, but will provide an update about how this executive order will be enforced as soon as we have more information.

Webinar Opportunities

Franklin & Prokopik COVID-19: Latest DOL Guidance and FAQs
Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor has provided much-anticipated guidance in support of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Join Bert Randall and Sarah Lemmert of Franklin & Prokopik’s COVID-19 Advisory Group as they discuss the most recent guidance and answer the most frequently asked questions relating to this global health crisis. Upon registration, you will be asked to forward your most burning questions to Bert and Sarah for consideration during the presentation.

Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Time: 2:00pm
Click here to register.

Resources from Maryland Small Business Development Center
Representatives from the Maryland Small Business Development Center, in partnership with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, will discuss the resources and programs it is offering to support employers and employees.

Date: Friday, April 10, 2020
Time: 10:00am
Click here to register

Local Resources

Please visit the following COVID-19 sites for the following organizations to learn more:

  • Maryland’s Business Express – includes links to recent news and statements from Governor Hogan. Additionally, topics include employer and worker assistance, financial assistance, taxes, and licensing and permitting.
  • Maryland Department of Labor – if a business experiences a temporary or permanent layoff, Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance’s Bulk Claim Services can open unemployment insurance claims for all affected employees. Businesses should contact a Claims Representative by emailing or calling (410) 767-3252. 
  • For more information, visit the Department of Labor’s COVID-19 FAQ page.
  • AAWDC – includes information regarding virtual services being provided during this time and resources for businesses and individuals.
  • Maryland Workforce Exchange – online location where dislocated workers can file an unemployment claim
  • Small Business Administration – includes information for how small businesses can apply for disaster loan assistance. 

To ensure the services provided align with actual needs, we’d like to hear from those most affected by the crisis. Please take a few minutes to complete a BRIEF QUESTIONNAIRE to help us best support affected businesses and workers.”

Stay in the Know

A list of Maryland and Federal COVID-19 news updates and information is available on MRA’s resources for businesses page.

Please click here for Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance. The Departments of Commerce and Labor have confirmed that any small business receiving financial assistance via federal loan programs is NOT DISQUALIFIED from applying for the loans/grants being offered at the state level. The same can be said in reverse – if a small business is receiving state assistance they are NOT DISQUALIFIED from federal loans and grants.

Our expert benefit partners are available during this challenging time to assist with your business needs, including shipping, loans, job posting, legal advice and more. Members with shipping questions can view updates, tips, and news from PartnerShiphere. Please note you should consult industry experts with specific concerns, however we are here to connect you to, or help find answers to your questions.

While many retailers have been forced to make cuts to their workforce due to temporary or permanent closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, other retail companies and businesses are hiring thousands of workers to meet increased consumer demand. National Retail Federation has created an online resource for displaced workers to learn about job openings. If your company is hiring, please contact them to include your job openings.

With the closing of non-essential businesses, MEMA is reviewing businesses for consideration of essential/critical status in the case that Maryland experiences widespread business closure or shelter-in-place orders. Businesses that would like to be considered for this status can fill out this form.

Do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.