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Montgomery County Executive Elrich Supports Governor’s Executive Order to Prevent Further Spread of COVID-19; Pledges to Help Impacted Small Businesses and Residents

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 23, 2020

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich is announcing his full support of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s order closing all nonessential business, organizations and facilities in the state of Maryland to slow the spread of COVID-19. Elrich said this is the responsible action to take to ensure residents’ safety during this unprecedented pandemic.  

 “I want to be clear that I support the Governor’s mandate, and I appreciate his making this difficult decision,” said County Executive Elrich. “These are steps we must take to slow the spread of the virus. If you’re going to go out, you can go out to get food. If you’ve got a prescription, you can get your medicine. If you need household supplies, you can get that.”

The order went into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, March 23. Essential businesses that may remain open include: grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, laundromats, pet stores and liquor stores. 

Elrich also thanked the Governor for his initiatives to help small businesses and residents.  The County Executive announced that he is recommending a total of $25 million in emergency appropriations to help small businesses, nonprofits and County residents, which he sent to the County Council today.  The County Executive’s recommendations include a special appropriation of $20 million for one-time funding for the County’s Economic Development Fund to provide aid to County small for-profit and nonprofit establishments that have experienced an economic loss, and $5 million to provide financial support for food, housing, and childcare for County residents currently facing hardships resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

“Our small businesses are taking an enormous hit during this crisis, and for many small businesses, they face two issues: how will they survive through the crisis and what happens after the crisis is over – when it is time to open their doors,” said Elrich.  “When this crisis ends, we want our business establishments to return to normal as quickly as possible.  Small businesses employ many people in this County, and we are working hard to do everything we can to help keep their operations going.   These businesses may be facing enormous debt and loans, and the Fund I’m proposing may make the difference in their decision to reopen or stay closed.  We also know we have residents who were barely making ends meet before the pandemic, and now they are facing extreme difficulty.

“Clearly, there is a role for the federal and state governments in this important task; the Governor just announced a series of measures for both businesses and individuals, and very much appreciate these initiatives, which we are currently reviewing.  These County funds can be used to fill in the gaps so that we can help as many people as possible.

“I know my colleagues on the Council are also very concerned about the businesses, workers and residents of this County, and I look forward to working with them as we craft solutions to help in these very difficult times.”

The $20 million will be available for small for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations.  Elrich is currently recommending businesses whose principal place of business is in Montgomery County with under 100 employees would be eligible for funds up to $75,000. 

The appropriation bills will be sent to the Council for its review and consideration.  Guidelines and procedures will be developed.  Once finalized, there will be an announcement about when the application process will open. 

 “While these are not times that we can come together physically as a community, we can come together in other ways to support each other,” said Elrich. “Stay in touch with your friends and family and be kind to each other in these difficult times.”              

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.

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Release ID: 20-116
Media Contact: Julie Parker 2407776507