by Stacey Smith Stacey Smith

Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland received the letter below on March 19, 2020 from Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz with links to the most current COVID-19 information and updates, FAQs , loans for businesses, recent orders by Governor Hogan, and a link to send questions and concerns to the Secretary and her team at Maryland Commerce. Be safe.

Mike Galiazzo, RMI President

A Letter From Kelly Schulz, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce

Dear Partners and Valued Members of Maryland’s Business Community,

We understand these are difficult times, and we at the Maryland Department of Commerce are here to provide some guidance for businesses across the state.

This morning, Governor Hogan announced that as of today at 5PM , enclosed malls should close pedestrian concourses and other common areas, including food courts and retail stores only accessible from inside the enclosed shopping center. This does not require stores to close that are attached to malls and directly accessible from the outside.

Today’s announcement also impacts recreational establishments across the state, including bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, and amusement parks. Please read the executive order for more information.

These closures are in addition to those previously announced by the Governor, including all bars, restaurants, and other similar establishments that sell food or beverages for consumption on site; all Maryland casinos, racetracks, and simulcast betting facilities ; as well as all fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers, and self-defense schools. This does not include hair salons, barber shops, funeral homes, or food trucks . Drive-thru, carry-out, and delivery services will also continue.

If a business does not fit into one of the categories for closing in the executive order, there is nothing saying that they are required to close, but we strongly recommend that everyone use their best judgement and consider the possible impact on employees and customers if remaining open. Public utility, such as the need to provide food or essential supplies, must be balanced with the need to preserve public health.

If a business remains open, it is critical that they follow social distancing guidelines and do everything in their power to prevent groups of 10 or more people from congregating in one area. If a business is not covered in one of Governor Hogan’s executive orders, please use it as guidance.

Businesses with 10 or more people that are not included in the executive order are not required to close, but we need everyone’s help to prevent the virus from spreading. This may require you to make difficult choices. Guidance from the CDC for businesses is available here.

Governor Hogan also announced today that Maryland has received official designation from SBA that allows small businesses to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans during this state of emergency. Learn more about these low-interest loans and how they can benefit businesses throughout the state .

It is essential that you continue to check our Coronavirus Information for Businesses webpage for the latest information and guidance. This site will be updated frequently as new information becomes available. It includes an FAQ that will also be updated regularly.

Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing Secretary.Commerce@Maryland.Gov .

Thank you,