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Disaster Relief Loans Available to Maryland Arts Organizations and Creative Entrepreneurs

Disaster Relief Loans Available to Maryland Arts Organizations and Creative Entrepreneurs


Updated April 16, 2020

Organizations and entrepreneurs in Maryland’s arts sector are facing income shortfalls as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. In response to a request from Gov. Larry Hogan, the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering disaster relief loans to Maryland organizations of all sizes, including private, nonprofit entities, for-profit entities, and sole proprietorships. These low-interest, long-term disaster relief loans are available now, per a March 19 announcement by Gov. Hogan.

Maryland-based arts organizations of all sizes, including private, nonprofit entities, for-profit entities, and sole proprietorships are eligible. Funds may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the impact of the public health emergency. Loan applications may be made online, by mail, or in person at a disaster center. Read below for details and resources.


The eligibility provisions make SBA loans a potentially important resource for cultural organizations, as well as creative entrepreneurs and independent artists whose businesses have been disrupted due to the pandemic. Additional resources for navigating SBA applications include:
Because many small arts organizations have never before sought loan assistance, a number of organizations are offering on- demand webinars that walk nonprofit applicants through an SBA loan process in more detail. 
How the CARES Act Supports the Arts Sector (Americans for the Arts membership required)
Because of intense demand, nonprofits interested in a loan are encouraged to apply quickly, before funds are exhausted. MSAC has learned that applicants should expect protracted approval wait times and prepare for the possibility of smaller award amounts, given high demand on a limited pool of funding. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

The information below was compiled from Small Business Administration publications by Maryland State Arts Council and Baltimore Creative Acceleration Network staff. Note that the Small Business Administration website is very busy. If a link is not working, try back after waiting a few minutes.

What are approximate interest rates?

Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations.

How are loan amounts determined?

Loan amounts are determined based on 2019 gross profits divided by 12 and then multiplied by 4, so successful applicants will receive about four months of working capital. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis.

What expenses are ineligible for support through these loans?

Existing loan refinancing is an ineligible expense.

What is a disaster center; are there any in Maryland at this time?

Small business resource centers exist in every Maryland jurisdiction, though some are closed for in-person meetings due to the nature of the public health emergency. Find the center in your area at this link, and call ahead regarding technical assistance for your disaster relief loan application.

What is the process mail-in application option? 

Instructions, form downloads, and addresses available at this link

What is the difference between economic injury and physical damage and economic injury?

Though many loans like this are meant to mitigate physical damage after a natural disaster or similar event, the Small Business Administration notes that “as a small business, small agricultural cooperative, small business engaged in aquaculture, or private non-profit organization you may borrow up to $2 million for Economic Injury.”

What will people need to have ready to apply?

A list of required documentation and other supplemental forms is available on Page 2 of this PDF download

Are sole proprietorships eligible to apply?


What is the collateral requirement?

Collateral is required, but no loans will be denied due to insufficient collateral.

Visit the following links for additional resources.