Governor Larry Hogan announced Thursday a $250 million package of state aid for Maryland business owners. The announcement came a day after Comptroller Peter Franchot urged the governor to make the package available quickly.
Franchot told the governor during Wednesday’s Board of Public Works meeting that the aid would be the key to survival for many businesses and begged him to free it up quickly.
Thursday, Hogan agreed, adding the money to a fund announced earlier. .
“Today we are doubling this $250 million in relief by investing $250 million from the state’s rainy day fund for a total relief package of $500 million,” he said in an afternoon news conference.
As part of the package, the state will spend $50 million in small business relief and another $50 million to help restaurants expand outdoor dining through the fall and winter with tents and heaters.
The money is to be distributed through local governments, but they have to spend it quickly, he said.
“All of this money must be dispersed immediately and no later than December 31 of this year,” he said.
He said he made the move because Maryland businesses and their employees can’t afford to wait for national leaders in Washington to act on an aid package.