Counties Support More State Aid for Small Businesses During Local Emergencies

On February 9, 2022, Associate Policy Director Brianna January testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in support of HB 386 – Small, Minority, and Women–Owned Businesses Account – Local State of Emergency. This bill expands the eligible uses of the Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Businesses Account to include the provision of grants and the conversion of certain loan amounts into grants in areas in which a local state of emergency has been declared; and limiting to $50,000 the amount of certain grants and loan amounts converted to grants that may be provided to a single business or nonprofit organization.

From the MACo Testimony:

HB 386 expands the eligible uses of the Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Business Account to include financial support for businesses and nonprofits during local states of emergency. More precisely, should a local government declare a local state of emergency, then the account can be used for special assistance to small and minority-owned businesses and nonprofits in the form of grants, or
through the conversion of existing loans into grants.

While counties do their best to provide operational and fiscal assistance to the businesses and nonprofits impacted during local states of emergency, the needs are often greater than the resources available. HB 386 seeks to fill some of those gaps by expanding and streamlining eligibility for existing pools of funding for small, minority, and women-owned businesses and nonprofits during these difficult situations.

MACo’s Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally also testified on the bill’s crossfile, SB 310, on February 9.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.