Talbot County Launches Small Business Grant Program

Talbot County will begin taking applications on Monday, June 8 for a grant program designed to help local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis. This is the second part of Talbot CARES, a program developed by the Talbot County Council to disperse funds the county received as part of the CARES Act.

The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $6.4 million to Talbot County. Half of the money was earmarked for use on healthrelated expenditures and is being administered by the Talbot County Health Department.

Legislative guidance allowed local jurisdictions to determine how to use the second half of the aid money. Talbot County elected to help both individuals and businesses, with the County Council designating $2.4 million to be split equally between the two grant programs.

“The need in our community is great,” says Talbot County Council President Corey Pack. “Our number one priority is to help our businesses and our most vulnerable citizens get through the crisis caused by the COVID19 pandemic.”

Staff members from Talbot County’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism and Finance Offices worked with a team of local stakeholders to develop the criteria for the Talbot CARE Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program.

The program is open to business and not-for-profit organizations located in Talbot County with 50 employees or less. Applicants must also demonstrate a loss of business revenue of at least 25% related to COVID-19 public health emergency. Funds may be used for expenses incurred between March 16, 2020, and December 30, 2020.

“Talbot County’s Emergency Operations Center, elected officials, and staff have been working tirelessly throughout this economic crisis to help the business community and keep them informed,” says Jackie Wilson, chairperson of the Talbot County Economic Development Commission. “Now we will actually have the opportunity to provide businesses with grant money received by the County as a result of the CARES Act.

“We hope that these funds will have a significant impact on our local businesses and provide one more opportunity for much needed relief in helping them remain open or to reopen,” she continues. “There is no doubt that the heart of a strong community is a vibrant business sector.”

Cassandra Vanhooser, director of the Talbot County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, agrees. “I am grateful to the County Council for choosing to invest CARES dollars back into our businesses and not-for-profits,” she says. “These organizations form the foundation of a strong, healthy Talbot County. This will be money well spent, and we will all benefit.”

For more information about the Talbot CARES Small Business Emergency Relief Program, log on to www.TalbotWorks.org. The site features both an online application form and a fillable PDF that may be completed and dropped at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism offices at 215 Bay Street in Easton.