UPDATES, INFORMATION, AND RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, HOMEOWNERS, AND RENTERS
In an effort to support Latinos and other underserved communities impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency, we have created a list of resources and key information for small businesses, homeowners, and renters located in Maryland, DC, Virginia, and Puerto Rico.
LEDC will continue to provide digital service delivery until further notice. Our offices in DC, MD, VA, and Puerto Rico will remain physically closed. However, all staff will continue to serve clients digitally. Please find contact information for LEDC staff here: ledcmetro.org/team.
Please click the links below to get a full list of updates, information, and resources:
*LEDC will be updating this page frequently as new information becomes available.
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Small businesses in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Puerto Rico can now apply for SBA’s working capital loans to help alleviate economic injury caused by the pandemic.
Jane Walker First Women Grant Program: As part of the First Women campaign, Jane Walker and IFundWomen have teamed up to help create more opportunities for women to achieve their goals. Through this program, 15 groundbreaking women-owned businesses will be selected across the Entertainment & Film, Music, Sports, Journalism & Hospitality industries to receive a $10K grant plus a one-year Annual Coaching Membership on IFundWomen. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis through June 2021.
- Recover, Rebuild and Resilience: The 3Rs Program is dedicated to helping Black business owners grow and scale during the current pandemic and continued racial unrest. The goal is to help as many Black businesses as possible navigate the short-term uncertainty in the markets. Including $500K in grants rewards to be distributed. Apply through June 30, 2022.
- Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator is dedicated to helping build sustainable equity and growth for Black entrepreneurs by enabling their success as sellers. Grow your business with access to financial support, strategic business guidance and mentorship, and marketing and promotional support. Small businesses also have the opportunity to apply for grants up to $10,000. Applications close on July 29, 2021. For more info, click here.
- P5 Pitch Competition Series for Female Founders: Submit your business for a chance to pitch live at quarterly virtual pitch competitions and compete for a $5,000 cash prize! Winners of the virtual competitions will have the opportunity to pitch in-person, live to a celebrity panel of judges at the annual P5 Women’s Summit, August 15-17, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin for a chance to win over $20,000 in cash and prizes! Learn more here.
- Free Brief Legal Advice for Non-Profits & Small Business: DC Bar Pro Bono offers free 45 minute phone consultations.
- Business Licensing & Permitting Extension: Any business licenses, professional/occupational licenses, vending licenses, etc. that expire during the declared emergency will be considered valid, and people will have until 45 days after the declared emergency is over to renew their licenses.
- BGE Energizing Small Business Grants: BGE is pledging $15 million to assist Maryland’s small businesses with COVID-19 relief and recovery. Eligible businesses located in BGE’s service area can apply for a $20,000 BGE Energizing Small Business Grant. Round 2 opens May 5. (Round 3 opens September 1 and closes October 13).
- Kiva Small Business Loan: Kiva in PR has launched a new 0% interest loan product for small businesses impacted by Covid-19. Businesses can start repaying the loan 6 months after receiving the money. The life of the loan repayment is 36 months, which starts counting after the 6-month grace period.
- Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP): HPP supports eligible families (30% of Medium Family Income or below) to prevent episodes of homelessness through case management, mediation, financial assistance (including up to 4 months of rent arrears), and connection to housing resources. Families and individuals seeking access to homeless services may call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 from 8 am-12 am, Monday-Sunday, or call 311 after hours.
- The Washington, DC Council has declared a public health state of emergency. Residents cannot be evicted during the public health emergency or within 60 days after the public health emergency has lifted. Read more about your rights as a renter.
- COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP): Rental assistance to low-income renters who are in arrears. Tenants must earn 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI) or below based on the COVID-19 Income & Rent Schedule. Click here to apply and read more about this program.
- Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP): ERAP helps District residents earning less than 40% of the Area Median Income (AMI) who are facing housing emergencies by providing funding for overdue rent including late fees and court costs if a qualified household is facing eviction. Click here to apply.
- On April 7, 2020, DC Council passed emergency legislation creating a mandatory 90-day mortgage deferment program for residential and commercial mortgage holders who request one. Click here to read the FAQs and Guidance: Residential Mortgage and Commercial Mortgage Deferment Program
- Emergency Broadband Benefit Program: The EBB subsidy helps low-income households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic with up to $50/month for internet service for low-income households (HH) and a subsidy of up to $100 to participating internet service providers (ISPs) to offer a laptop, desktop or tablet for between $10-$50/HH. Learn more.
Utility Disconnections Prohibited: The COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 passed on March 17, 2020 prohibits electric, gas, and water from being disconnected for non-payment during the declared public health emergency.
Pepco is waiving new late fees and suspending service disconnections through at least May 1 and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. Customers who may be experiencing challenges paying their Pepco bill should contact Pepco Customer Care at (202) 833-7500.
The Utility Discount Program (UDP) assists low-income District residents reduce their utility costs. Eligible customers may receive a discount of up to $475 per year on their electric bill ($300 per year if non-electric heat). District residents can visit the Department of Energy and the Environment website at doee.dc.gov to apply online or calling 3-1-1 to schedule an in-person appointment.
The Greater Washington Urban League provides up to $500 in assistance to eligible customers facing disconnection. Customers can call 202-265-8200 or visit www.gwul.org.
- If you need help paying heating bills, you may qualify for the Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP). This program helps eligible families with the cost of heating. Payments are made to the fuel supplier and utility company on the customer’s behalf.
- If you are in danger of having your utility turned off, you may qualify for the Utility Service Protection Program (USPP). This program is available to ALL MEAP participants. This program provides access to an even monthly payment program and protection from service disconnection. Participation in this program also requires a year-round even monthly budget billing.
- If you need help paying electricity bills, you may qualify for the Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP). This program helps low-income electric customers pay their electric bills. Eligible customers receive help that pays a portion of their current electric bills. Customers who receive EUSP are placed on a budget billing plan with their electricity company.
- If you need help paying overdue bills, you may qualify for the Arrearage Retirement Assistance. This program helps customers with large, past due electric and gas bills. Eligible customers with a past due bill of $300 or greater may receive a grant amount up to $2000 once every seven years paid directly to their energy utility company.
- Landlord issues: When you sign a lease agreement, you are granted certain rights and protections under the lease agreement. Contact Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc at 1-800-487-6007 if you are having issues with your landlord. They can help you understand your rights and protections.
- Emergency Food Insecurity Response: A full list of resources as well as an interactive map of meal sites across the City for food-insecure residents.
(A list of job opportunities from LEDC-supported small businesses)
- Colada Shop is currently hiring. Visit https://www.coladashop.com/careers to apply.
- FishScale has job openings for Advanced Prep Cook, Advanced Grill Cook, and Dishwasher. More info about these positions can be found here. Candidates should call or text 202-780-7886 or email [email protected]
- KSC Consultant Services is currently seeking two Structured Cabling Technicians/Installers to provide work in a commercial setting. To apply, please fax your resume to 240-389-1957. More info can be found here.