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Key Bridge Response

Resources for Businesses Affected by Key Bridge Collapse

Apr 1, 2024

In the aftermath of the recent Key Bridge collapse, businesses across Maryland are grappling with unprecedented challenges and disruptions. Whether directly impacted by the incident or concerned about the broader economic repercussions, please be assured that we are here to help.

In collaboration with local and federal agencies and trusted partners, we are compiling a comprehensive array of resources and support services to assist businesses affected by this unfortunate event.

Impact Survey

During this difficult time, please know the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Greater Baltimore Committee and World Trade Center Institute are working to support you in any way we can. Your input is critical in helping us understand how businesses, companies, and organizations are being affected.

Please take a moment to complete a brief survey, outlining how your business has been impacted and what resources would be most helpful to you.

Your responses will be shared with key stakeholders including the Governor's Office, Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration and other trusted partners to inform their response efforts; we will also use it to help connect you with relevant support and resources.

Port of Baltimore Emergency Business Assistance Program

On April 5, 2024, Governor Moore signed an executive order to establish temporary relief programs to support businesses and workers impacted by the Key Bridge collapse and disruption of operations to the Port of Baltimore.

Under the Executive Order, the Department of Commerce is establishing The Port of Baltimore Emergency Business Assistance Program to provide grants to eligible businesses who rely on the use of or access to the Port, and whose business operations or shipments are hindered or halted entirely due to the redacted operations of the Port. Eligible businesses must demonstrate economic and financial injury resulting from the disruption to the operations of the Port of Baltimore through reduction in business revenue and activity and/or increased costs to business operations.

Eligible businesses may seek grants of up to $100,000. Recipients of grants through this program shall attest to their intent to continue operations at the Port of Baltimore, to the fullest extent practicable, upon the resumption of full operations at the Port of Baltimore. The Governor is authorizing up to $15 million for this program.

Learn more at commerce.maryland.gov.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Small businesses in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and select counties in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia are now eligible to apply for low-interest, long-term Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in response to the recent Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse on March 26, 2024.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million are available to help businesses overcome any temporary loss of revenue stemming from the bridge collapse. These loans may be used to pay normal operating expenses such as fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disruption.

Learn more, or visit the SBA’s Business Recovery Center in Dundalk. The center will operate Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The center is located at Dundalk Renaissance, 11 Center Place, Suite 201, Dundalk, MD 21222.

Comptroller of Maryland

The Maryland Comptroller’s Office has taken steps to support businesses in light of the Key Bridge collapse.

  • Late penalties and interest for any business in the state of Maryland have been pushed back to May 31, 2024. The waiver of late payment penalties and interest will apply to all business filings for the following tax types with due dates between Jan. 1 and May 31, 2024:
    • Employer Withholding Tax; Sales and Use Tax; Tobacco Tax; Motor Fuel Tax; Admissions and Amusement Tax; Tire Fee; Bay Restoration Fee; Transportation Network Fee
    • Late payment interest and penalties will automatically be waived if payment is received on or prior to May 31.
    • Businesses do not need to take any action to request this waiver; the waiver will be applied automatically. Business taxpayers can submit their filings through the Maryland Tax Connect portal. The deadline to file personal income taxes, or to file for an extension, remains April 15.
  • Motor fuel licenses and IFTA waivers. Comptroller Brooke E. Lierman has authorized a temporary waiver of International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) licensing and decal requirements for motor carriers hauling freight to and from a seaport and will waive certain penalties associated with the late filing of IFTA returns.
    • Maryland will waive IFTA licensing and decal requirements for motor carriers hauling freight to or from a seaport until at least May 31.
    • The Office of the Comptroller will continue to accept new license registration applications during this time. With the expectation that some IFTA licensees located in the affected area may experience hurdles or delays in filing their quarterly IFTA returns by the April 30 due date, the agency will also grant a waiver of penalties for this filing period.
    • IFTA licensees must file on or before June 30 to be granted this relief.
    • IFTA requires motor carriers to pay the appropriate taxes to the state for the use of Maryland highways quarterly and appropriately document mileage and motor fuel purchases.

Maryland Department of Labor: Worker Retention Program

If you are an employer facing a reduction in revenue and potential layoffs due to the Port of Baltimore’s reduced operations, you may be eligible for the Port of Baltimore Worker Retention Program. This program can provide up to $200,000 in grant funding to pay for employee wages (up to $7,500 per worker) and subsidize supportive services, such as skills training for current workers, contributions toward transportation, childcare and housing costs for workers.

Learn more at labor.maryland.gov.

Maryland Department of Transportation: Commuter Choice

Below are free resources for employers, including program information, incentives and support from Commuter Choice Maryland to find, use and implement commuting options:

  • Register to request materials or schedule a meeting to learn more about resources available through Commuter Choice Maryland
  • Consider allowing employees to telework or adjust working hours to avoid peak traffic if possible. Share resources to help them use other available options like transit, finding carpool or vanpool ridematches, register for Guaranteed Ride Home and more
  • Commuter Choice Maryland offers free support to help employers build commuter programs

Learn more at mdot.maryland.gov, or call (410) 865-1100 to discuss other options that may be available.

Additional resources will be added as updates become available.