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COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: January 15, 2021

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: January 15, 2021

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Please visit www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info for the latest numbers on Washington County’s COVID-19 dashboard.’
 
COVID-19 Joint Information Daily Briefings will be released ONLY on Tuesdays and Fridays.
 
**The dashboard is updated Monday-Friday**
 
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
 
While vaccination efforts begin to ramp up across the state, the Washington County Emergency Operations Center reminds residents that we still remain very much in the thick of the battle against COVID-19. As our numbers have indicated over the past few weeks, we are now beginning to see the effects of people gathering during the holiday season. Hospitalizations, deaths, and positivity rates have all increased to levels that are still very concerning. In the graph below, the pink line indicates Washington County’s 7-day positivity rate compared to the State of Maryland’s overall positivity rate. We continue to be well above the state’s percentage. Please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands often, practice social distancing, and avoid gatherings outside of your household.
 
If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or if you are experiencing any symptoms, please stay home and quarantine. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please isolate yourself from other members of your household.
 
Please continue to follow the guidelines put forth by the CDC and Maryland Department of Health:
 
  • WEAR A MASK that covers your nose and mouth
  • WASH YOUR HANDS
  • WATCH YOUR DISTANCE
 
Total Vaccinations Administered in Washington County: 6,127
 
***Timelines are subject to change depending on multiple factors, including vaccine availability***
 
COUNTY STATUS: PHASE 1A
 
Washington County continues to vaccinate those in Phase 1A. With Governor Hogan’s announcement yesterday, the Health Department will be transitioning to Phase 1B beginning next week.
 
**Please note that ALL vaccinations are by appointment only. Walk-ins are not accepted at this time.**
 
PHASE 1B: Begins January 19, 2021
 
  • Assisted living, other congregate facilities
  • Maryland residents ages 75 and older
  • Education
  • Continuity of government
 
ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES & OTHER CONGREGATE FACILITIES
The vaccination of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and congregate living facilities are being coordinated by pharmacies through a federal contract. However, in an effort to assist in vaccinating these vulnerable populations sooner, the Washington County Health Department will be moving forward with vaccinating certain local congregate living facilities beginning later this month. More information on these clinics and how staff and residents can schedule their appointments will be released next week.
 
ADULTS 75 AND OLDER
Those who are 75 years and older can schedule an appointment with Meritus Health. Information to register for an appointment can be found below.
 
NOTE: Appointments are only made available when additional supplies of vaccine come from the state.
 
  1. MyChart patient portal – Have an active account? County residents age 75 and older may self-schedule as appointments become available. The easiest and fastest way to schedule your appointment.
  2. County residents 75 and older who have previously received services from Meritus Health practices, the hospital, etc. – If your email address is on file, you will receive an activation code to open a MyChart account to self-schedule as appointments are made available.
  3. NEW online form here: www.MeritusHealth.com/covidvaccine. If you are a Washington County resident age 75 and older, fill it in, submit it and wait for a call to be scheduled for an appointment. Yes – If you know someone who wants to be scheduled for a vaccine appointment and is a county resident age 75 and older, fill in and submit the form for him/her. NOTE: With an expected high volume of forms being submitted, the call to schedule an appointment could take up to several weeks.
 
EDUCATION & CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT
The health department will be providing vaccination clinics to Washington County Public School employees and government employees. Meritus and the Health Department will also be collaborating to provide vaccination for staff at non-public schools as well. Information regarding vaccination appointments and additional details will come from the employer for this grouping.
 
As the health department receives more allocations of the vaccine, clinics will be expanded to the other groups identified in phase 1B such as daycare providers, high-risk inmates, and developmentally disabled populations.
 
Once the health department has moved into Phase 1B and can schedule the priority groups listed above, more information on registering to be vaccinated will be announced. All updates will be located on the County’s website at https://www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info/vaccine. The public can also stay updated from the state by signing up for 211 alerts by texting “MdReady” to 898-211.
 
PHASE 1C: Begins January 25, 2021
 
  • Maryland residents ages 65 to 74
  • Public health and safety workers not covered in Phase 1A
  • Essential workers in lab services, food and agriculture production, manufacturing, the U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery stores.
 
PILOT PROGRAM WITH GIANT AND WALMART PHARMACIES
The State of Maryland is launching a pilot program for COVID-19 vaccines to be administered at Giant and Walmart pharmacies beginning the week of January 25. This initial program will be available at 22 Giant locations across the state, three Martin’s locations in Allegany and Washington counties, as well as 10 Walmart locations in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. As the federal allocation of vaccines increases, the state will bring more pharmacies and more locations online. Specifics on clinic locations will be released in the near future.
 
If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, or substance use, please dial 2-1-1. For a more in-depth look at resources available in Washington County, please visit www.washcohope.com.
 
 
To partner with the community for this outreach campaign, golden thread bracelets will be given to businesses and community organizations across Washington County who would like to be a Threads of Hope partner. All partners are asked to hand out bracelets to anyone who may need encouragement during this season. If you are a business or organization in Washington County that would like to get involved, please sign-up at www.washcohope.com. Scroll to the bottom of the page to complete the form.
 
The County recognizes that nothing about this year has been normal. As we enter into the winter months, staying connected may become more difficult. It is okay to reach out for help. Citizens are encouraged to check on your friends and family members. Find creative ways to connect virtually or send cards of encouragement in the mail. We will get through this is together.
 
COVID-19 TESTING SITES IN WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD
 
  • Meritus Screening Drive Thru Center is located at 13620 Crayton Blvd. The drive-thru screening center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m and Saturday from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
  • Health Department Winter Testing Site: located at 13 West Lee Street, Hagerstown, MD. The site is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. *The COVID-19 testing site located on West Lee Street will be closed Monday, January 18th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
  • CVS Drive Thru Testing Site located at 1503 Potomac Ave, Hagerstown MD 21742. Please visit https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing to see if you qualify for testing at this site and to schedule an appointment.
  • CVS Drive Thru Testing Site located at 10 E Wilson Blvd, Hagerstown MD 21740. Please visit https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing to see if you qualify for testing at this site and to schedule an appointment.
  • U.N.I. Urgent Care Center located at 11236 Robinwood Drive, Suite 101 Hagerstown, MD 21742. Appointment required and patients are charged with copay. Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; 240-313-4242
  • U.N.I. Urgent Care Center located at 18721 N Pointe Drive Hagerstown, MD 21742. Appointment required and patients are charged with copay. Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; 301-733-8313
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
 
The Washington County Health Department is continuing to hire interested individuals to assist us in our local COVID-19 efforts. Anyone interested in becoming a contact tracer or working at our COVID-19 testing site, please email your resume to Jessica Delmotte at jessicaa.delmotte1@maryland.gov.
 
COVID-19 TESTING
 
Mobile Testing Sites: Closed for the winter months.
 
Winter Testing Site: Our drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 test site is located at one place during the winter months. Please go to the entrance at 13 West Lee Street and follow all traffic directions to be tested.
 
Hagerstown Housing Authority
13 West Lee Street, Hagerstown
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
 
*The COVID-19 testing site located on West Lee Street will be closed Monday, January 18th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
 
PSA- Fraudulent Calls Claiming to be Contact Tracers:
We have seen an increased number of reports of people receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the “health department”. These individuals are then asking Washington County residents for personal and financial information. Please be cautious and aware that contact tracers will NEVER ask for your:
 
  • Social security number
  • Financial or bank account information
  • Money or payment
  • Immigration status
  • Passwords
  • Personal details unrelated to COVID-19
 
You should never give out personal information without being sure of who you are talking to directly. Contact tracers will only ask you questions regarding:
  • To verify your name, date of birth and address
  • About your health and symptoms
  • Locations you have been during a specific period of time
  • Names and contact information for any household and casual contacts (we do not disclose your name to anyone, only that they may have come into contact with an infected individual)
 
For more information about contact tracing please visit https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/contact-tracing   
CONTACT TRACING UPDATE
Due to significant increases in the daily volume of COVID-19 positive individuals in our county, the Washington County Health Department is working diligently alongside NORC call center to notify all positive cases and their contacts in a timely manner.
 
Currently NORC call center is making all first contact attempts for COVID-19 positive individuals in Washington County. When you see “MD COVID” or (240) 466-4488 on your phone, please answer the call. If NORC is unable to reach the individual, Washington County Health Department is notified and attempts to reach the COVID-19 positive individual.
 
The key things to know if you test positive but don’t get a call are to isolate (please see the FAQs about Isolation and Quarantine) and to tell your close contacts* of their exposure.
 
We urge Washington County residents to cooperate and help contact tracer by answering all the questions they ask. Your honest answers and the information you provide will help us in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Your cooperation in contact tracing efforts plays a crucial role in keeping our community healthy.
 
* Close contact is described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Cumulative total can be determined by adding individual exposures over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes)
 
For more information of contact tracing please go to https://covidlink.maryland.gov/content/faqs/#faqCT
 
Maryland Department of Health launches MD COVID Alert
Marylanders can now use MD COVID Alert to receive COVID-19 exposure notifications on smartphones The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today announced the launch of MD COVID Alert, the official COVID-19 Exposure Notifications Express system of Maryland. MD COVID Alert uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly notify users who might have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 with the goal of reducing infections in Maryland.
 
Exposure Notifications System: Helping Health Authorities fight COVID-19
 
The Maryland Department of the Environment is offering Free Radon Test Kits to Maryland residents. To learn more about Radon and how to request your free kit go to https://washcohealth.org/free-radon-test-kits-available/
 
MERITUS HEALTH
 
MERITUS HEALTH DRIVE-THRU SCREENING CENTER
The drive-thru screening center for COVID-19 testing is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
 
The screening center is located behind Meritus Medical Plaza at 13620 Crayton Blvd., in Hagerstown. Testing is available for anyone, including those who do not currently have symptoms of the coronavirus, but suspect or are concerned that they have been exposed. No appointments or referrals are needed to be tested. Due to the current volume of cars coming through the line daily, results can take more than five days to be available through a patient’s My Chart account or primary care provider.
Essential Workers
 
Seasonal Illness Care Clinics – SIC Clinics
Meritus Health has established Seasonal Illness Care Clinics or SIC Clinics to safely accommodate patients with symptoms of COVID-19 or flu. Once a patient has been cared for by his/her provider via video or phone, the provider may refer said patient to one of the SIC Clinics. This would be for those individuals who need to be seen in person, but have COVID or flu-like symptoms preventing them from having an in-practice appointment. Symptoms that would be present to visit a SIC Clinic could include:
  • Upper respiratory illness
  • Body aches
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Ear pain
  • Shortness of breath/wheezing
  • Generalized body aches/joint pain/muscle pain/fatigue
  • Chills
  • Nasal congestion/runny nose/sinus pain and pressure, postnasal drip
  • You’ve tested positive for COVID and have worsening symptoms
  • You have known COVID exposure and feel ill
 
SIC Clinic – North (located at Meritus Medical Plaza, 13620 Crayton Blvd.)
Hours of operation: Monday–Sunday from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. including holidays
 
SIC Clinic – Smithsburg – by appointment only (located beside Meritus Pediatric & Adult Medicine – Smithsburg, 22911 Jefferson Blvd.)
Hours of operations: Monday–Thursday 10:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday 8:30-11:30 a.m
 
UPDATED MERITUSHEALTH.COM COVID-19 RESOURCE PAGE
Please visit the recently updated MeritusHealth.com website for additional COVID-19 resources and information including:
  • Infusion treatment now available in our community
  • E-Visits and free telehealth visits with providers
  • COVID-19 vaccine information
  • Current hospital visitor restrictions
  • How to make a donation to Meritus Health Care Heroes
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Visit www.washcorises.net for constantly updated resources and information to help you reopen your business.
SBA Re-Opening Paycheck Protection Program to Small Lenders on Friday, January 15 and All Lenders on Tuesday, January 19
 
NEW: SBA will re-open the #PaycheckProtection Program loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on 𝗙𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗝𝗮𝗻𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟭𝟱 𝗮𝘁 𝟵 𝗮𝗺 𝗘𝗧. The portal will fully open on 𝗧𝘂𝗲𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆, 𝗝𝗮𝗻𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟭𝟵 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA.
 
Earlier in the week, SBA granted dedicated PPP access to Community Financial Institutions which include Community Development Financial Institutions, Minority Depository Institutions, Certified Development Companies, and Microloan Intermediaries as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to reach underserved and minority small businesses.
 
On Friday, SBA will continue its emphasis on reaching smaller lenders and businesses by opening to approximately 5,000 more lenders, including community banks, credit unions, and farm credit institutions. Moreover, the agency also plans to have dedicated service hours for these smaller lenders after the portal fully re-opens next week.
 
First Draw PPP Loans are for those borrowers who have not received a PPP loan before August 8, 2020. The first round of the PPP, which ran from March to August 2020.
 
Second Draw PPP Loans are for eligible small businesses with 300 employees or less, that previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will use or have used the full amount only for authorized uses, and that can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
 
Read the full press release here.
 
For updated PPP Lender forms, guidance, and resources go to https://www.sba.gov/ppp
 
FEEDBACK NEEDED FROM BUSINESS COMMUNITY
Over the last several weeks, the Chamber has been contacted by numerous members and other stakeholders regarding the role of the business community in Maryland’s mass vaccination efforts.
 
To support the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in their efforts moving forward, it is critically important that you submit your feedback via the two surveys linked below.
 
Please note that responses to these surveys do not entitle the entity to immediate vaccine deliveries. The next phases of vaccine distribution will depend on vaccines that are allocated to Maryland through the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed program. The intent of this effort is to gather feedback and information to better assist in Maryland’s mass vaccination planning for future phases.
 
For more information and assistance on the Stakeholder COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Operations & Logistics Capabilities Support, please contact psector@maryland.gov.
 
Please visit the covidlink.maryland.gov website for more updated information on the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination in the State of Maryland. For additional information and assistance on Mass Vaccination General Inquiries email secretary.commerce@maryland.gov
 
PLEASE FILL OUT THE SURVEYS BELOW ON BEHALF OF YOUR ORGANIZATION
 
Please input your feedback in order for the State to improve the communication resources and tools provided to support your industry in the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination effort.
 
Please fill out the following survey below to provide the State your capability to support Mass Vaccination Operations and Logistics.*
 
*Please know that the beginning of these next phases will depend on when vaccines are allocated to Maryland through the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed program. The intent of this document is to gather feedback in order to assist our mass vaccination plan. Responses to this survey will be used for continued vaccination distribution planning as Maryland moves through Phase 1 into Phase 2 and so forth. Responses to this survey do not entitle the entity to immediate vaccine deliveries.
 
For questions, please contact Ashley Duckman, Vice President of Government Affairs, at aduckman@mdchamber.org or 410-269-0642, ext. 1112.
 
HOTEL AND LODGING GRANT APPLICATION
The Washington County Department of Business Development announces the application for the Hotel and Lodging Grant is now open. The application can be accessed by clicking the link below.
 
 
Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, or until funds have been exhausted. Applications will be accepted electronically and can be downloaded at www.washcorises.net. Details for submission are stated on the application. The website also provides guidelines, application instructions, and answers frequently asked questions.
 
The Hotel and Lodging Grant program will award a total of $581,461. The award amount will be determined based on the hotel room capacity. Criteria of grant qualifications include a minimum requirement of 10 sleeping rooms for a hotel establishment (hotel, motel, inn, lodging business) or a minimum of 5 sleeping rooms for a Bed and Breakfast. Hotel and lodging owners who have previously received a Washington County Rise Up Business Stabilization Grant are still eligible for the Hotel and Lodging Grant.
 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to email their completed application to riseup@washco-md.net or to drop it off at the County Administration Building. Please be sure the application is fully complete, as only completed applications will be accepted and reviewed.
 
For specifics on terms and conditions of the grant program, please visit the Economic Recovery section at www.washcorises.net.
 
Please note any financial information shared as part of this application will remain confidential, but the names of businesses receiving grants and the amount they receive are public information.
 
For questions regarding eligibility criteria or required documentation, please email riseup@washco-md.net.
 
SDAT Reminds Businesses to Verify Good Standing Status, Prepares for 2021 Filing Season
 
The Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) encourages business owners to look up their business’ status on Maryland Business Express to ensure they are in Good Standing with the state, and if not, to follow the steps in this Good Standing Checklist to avoid being forfeited. The Department also announced that its free 2021 Annual Report Extension System is live, which allows businesses to extend their filing deadline from April 15 to June 15, 2021.
 
UPCOMING WEBINARS
 
Tuesday, January 19, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Essentials of Social Media
Presented by: Jude Cyhpher, Graduate Assistant, Maryland SBDC
Learning how social media can help you accomplish your goals and grow your business through best practices and industry trends is key to starting a new business. Learn strategies and tips that will help you successfully reach your target audience.
 
Tuesday, January 19, 1-2:30 p.m.
Building Blocks of Intellectual Property (IP)
Presented by: Kevin McDermott, Esquire
Join this seminar to discover the basic elements of patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trade dress, and trademarks/service marks.
 
Wednesday, January 20, 1-2:30 p.m.
Anti-Social: How to Promote Your Business Without Social Media
Presented by: Melody Belotte
Is it possible to build a strong marketing strategy in 2021 that doesn’t completely revolve around social media? Join strategist and marketing expert, Melody Belotte, to explore alternate ways to promote your business and discover which ones could be a good fit for your specific industry, target audience and individual skill level.
 
Thursday, January 21, 10-11:30 a.m.
An Option for Your Business Venture….FRANCHISING!
Presented by: Richard Bock, FranNet
Join us for this detailed franchise ownership workshop from the business experts at FranNet. Designed just for you to answer all those initial questions on business and franchising basics. Stop climbing the corporate ladder, and create your own!
 
Thursday, January 21, 1-2:15 p.m.
New Year, New Message: Plan Your Business Marketing for 2021
Presented by: Pieter Bickford, Marketing Executive, HighRock Studios
With the busy holiday season behind us, January is a great time to plan out your marketing for the year. Join the experts at HighRock to learn how to organize your marketing goals and strategize your messaging for 2021.
 
Monday, January 25, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Marketing 101
Presented by: Lennart Elmlund, LGE Designs International Corporation
In what ways is marketing different from sales? How can you get the most bang for your marketing dollar? What forms of marketing should you consider? These and many more questions will be discussed.
 
Tuesday, January 26, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Business Plan Basics & Capability Statements
Presented by: John Hickman, Eastern Region Director, Maryland Small Business Development Center and Arthenia LeFlore, Procurement Specialist, Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Learn the basic elements of a business plan and how to structure writing an effective plan to maximize your loan potential. Government contracting is a very competitive marketplace! Contractors must know how to distill the information that is most important to a particular decision-maker, state it in a clear concise manner and reinforce its importance to the prospect.
 
Wednesday, January 27, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Key Census Program and Tools for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners: A Strategic Approach
Presented by: Andrew Hait, Economic Management Division, U.S. Census Bureau
This webinar will provide an overview of key Census (and non-Census) demographic and business data programs that entrepreneurs and business owners can use to better understand their markets from the start-up phase to expansion considerations. Tune in for the interactive, live demo of the free Census Business Builder data tool that businesses can use to access these data.
 
Wednesday, January 27, 1-2:15 p.m.
Getting the Most from Your Web Presence and Development
Presented by: Ali Stamathis, Business Sustainability Center, Maryland SBDC
Join this session to gather helpful marketing tips to assess your digital footprint. We will identify what your web presence needs in order to be accessible and searchable to an online customer base. We will cover issues on how to identify your business needs on the web, and what you need to do to create next steps to achieve your digital goals. Ideas will assist you in thinking like a customer and making the most of your online efforts!
 
Thursday, January 28, 1-2:30 p.m.
Business Model Design Success in Uncertain Times
Presented by: Dr. Winsome Leslie, President and Ceo of DevSolutions Consulting
Entrepreneurs in the face of COVID19 must be agile to adapt and pivot in a situation of uncertainty. This presentation will describe these methods, with their emphasis on the client and on constant improvement and show participants how these tools are relevant in the current environment.
 
 
Registration is now open for the first-ever virtual SMARTProc GovCon on January 22, 2021.
 
Check out the website here: SMART PROC GOVCON 2021| Virtual Conference
 
For nearly two decades SMART PROC GOVCON has helped small businesses navigate the federal procurement system with focus areas on the contracting and programs at Fort Detrick, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Meade, and the Civilian Agencies in the Mid-Atlantic Region. This year, the Mid-Atlantic’s best-kept secret will be held virtually. The Fort Detrick Alliance is proud to sponsor this event in its 18th year. It is the premier event to bring together government and industry to provide invaluable insight on federal procurement priorities for FY21 and beyond.
 
Registration and more information can be found here: https://registration.socio.events/e/smartprocgovcon
 
FREE NFIB Webinar: What You Need to Know on Applying for A Second (or initial) PPP Loan!
Don’t miss NFIB’s PPP and COVID-19 experts, Beth Milito and Holly Wade, as they go step-by-step on how to apply for a PPP loan:
 
  • Who’s eligible?
  • Where to apply?
  • New application form
  • How to calculate loan amount
  • And more!
 
Please submit your questions ahead of the webinar so we can make sure to answer them.
(If you have EIDL or Covid paid sick leave questions, we welcome them as well!)
 
NFIB’s On-Demand Webinars are available online, anytime. Browse our online library of free small business Webinars, from legal and tax advice to operations information, to help you run your business better.
 
 
WESTERN MARYLAND RETAIL RESILIENCY TRAINING SERIES
Below is information for the upcoming webinar series in January that the Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering to businesses.
 
Important information below from SBDC’s Financial Specialist Team if you or your business as received a PPP loan: 
 
As a PPP borrower – and with 2020 tax preparation season now in swing – the Maryland SBDC Financial Specialists Team wants to remind you about tax implications related to PPP forgiveness. Although the SBDC does NOT provide tax advice, they wanted to make you aware of a potentially KEY issue. Per IRS Notice 2020-32, expenses paid using FORGIVEN PPP funds are NOT tax-deductible expenses. This means that if your application for forgiveness is APPROVED in 2020, the expenses you paid with those “forgiven” PPP funds WILL NOT be deductible on your 2020 tax return. This could have significant “2020 income tax due” implications when you file the return. If you delay the “Forgiveness” request/get approval until 2021, that would allow time for tax planning related to the 2021 tax filing when those “forgiven” related expenses still cannot be deducted. STEPS TO TAKE: SBDC encourages you to connect ASAP with your tax preparer to consider strategies and options. Certainly, if you have any questions or want additional insights, please feel free to contact your Maryland SBDC Business Consultant, go to the www.marylandsbdc.org website to get connected with a Consultant and/or refer to our COVID19 Small Business Survival Guide.
 
Help Us Continue on Our Path to Keep Washington County Open – Please ensure your business and customers continue to follow the recommended CDC guidelines as we reopen businesses and other activities across Washington County. Wearing masks inside, social distancing, regular hand washing, and expanded cleaning is still a critical part of keeping infection rates low. By taking on these minor inconveniences, we can prevent a spike in infections which could force officials to slow down or even reverse the reopening process. The coronavirus has not gone away and we must stay vigilant until a vaccine is created. We all have a responsibility to do our part to help our economy reopen so that our many local businesses can survive and provide jobs for our citizens.
The purpose of this page is to help the public distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Rumors can easily circulate within communities during a crisis. Do your part to the stop the spread of disinformation by doing 3 easy things; don’t believe the rumors, don’t pass them along and go to trusted sources of information to get the facts about the state of Maryland’s (COVID-19) response. 
 
CITY OF HAGERSTOWN
 
CDBG-CV CARES Act Funding Program Accepting Applications
City of Hagerstown Seeking Applications from City Public Service
In September 2020, the City of Hagerstown was awarded the second allocation of funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This $274,365 allocation is in addition to the previous allocation of $472,845 awarded in March 2020. The purpose of this funding is to provide grants to local non-profits that must be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
The City of Hagerstown is accepting applications from qualified public service organizations that are able to serve residents in the prevention of, preparation for, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike the first round of funding, any type of service activity is eligible to receive funding as long as the applying organization/program meets the following criteria: (1) applicant is a non-profit organization, (2) program/service primarily serves low-to-moderate income or high-risk residents, and (3) provides a service that prevents, prepares for, or responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The City of Hagerstown will be accepting applications for this funding until Friday, January 22, 2021. The funding application and guidelines can be accessed at https://www.hagerstownmd.org/1499/CDBG-CV-CARES-Act-Funding
 
The City will also be holding an information session on the application and the CDBG-CV CARES Act funding on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. Anyone interested in attending this event must register in advance online at https://www.hagerstownmd.org/1469/Community-Development-Block-Grant-Program.
 
Additional information on eligibility and HUD requirements can be found on the City’s website at the above link.
 
Any questions or concerns over the application can be directed to Mr. Jonathan Kerns, Community Development Manager, at jkerns@hagerstownmd.org or 301-739-8577, ext. 134.
 
COMMUNITY RESOURCES, INFO & EVENTS
 
EMERGENCY SHELTER & EVICTION ASSISTANCE IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
If you or someone you know is in sudden need of shelter and/or eviction assistance as the rental moratorium comes to an end, please contact the resources listed on the poster below.
 
During the day, all individuals/families are being directed to the Community Action Council (CAC) and/or Reach. It is very important that people be directed to these agencies for appropriate assessment of all needs and eligible services. For immediate shelter at night; adult individuals are directed to the Reach Shelter. 
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY PARENTS SUPPORT DATABASE
The group WC Parents have created a simplified support database to gather and retain all services and needs in one place. This is an excellent example of the community working together to meet the tangible, everyday needs of parents in our community as this school year will begin with distance learning.
 
If you need childcare or can provide it, if you need tutoring or can provide it, etc., please join this forum and share your resources or needs.
 
It is up to the community to share your resources and fill this database. The group is asking for the public’s help in:
  • Adding to the forum if you can provide a service or have a need
  • Sharing the forum
 
Click on the graphic below to join the forum or visit Wcparents.freeforums.net.
 
For additional information, please contact the Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or pr@washco-md.net.
 
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Other news:

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: February 26, 2021

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: February 26, 2021

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.   Please visit www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info for the latest numbers on Washington…
COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: February 23, 2021

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: February 23, 2021

The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.   Please visit www.washco-md.net/coronavirus-info for the latest numbers on Washington…
COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: February 19, 2021

COVID-19 Joint Information Center Update: February 19, 2021

COVID-19 JOINT INFORMATION CENTER BRIEFING February 19, 2021   The Washington County, Maryland Joint Information Center (JIC) provides the following update regarding the COVID-19…

AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, DIRECTV and Antietam Cable Television have Points of Presence within the county. Washington County is well served and several options are available for broadband services. Resources to help your household find the right internet service plan include InternetProviders.com. Cellular telephone services are available through private local and regional vendors.