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Is your business affected by the Port of Baltimore shipping closure? Help is here.

Shipping containers are stacked together at the Port of Baltimore, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez
Shipping containers are stacked together at the Port of Baltimore, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Baltimore.

The Port of Baltimore Worker Retention program launched on Friday. That program seeks to stop businesses from doing layoffs while the Port of Baltimore remains partially closed.

“The Worker Retention Program will keep Port businesses in operation and workers able to earn income and support their families as the U.S. Army Corps and others work to get the shipping channels reopened,” said Maryland Secretary of Labor Portia Wu in a statement.

Businesses that employ up to 500 workers are eligible for up to $200,000 in grant funding. Unions, trade associations and organizations hampered or completely haltered due to the Port closure are eligible. Up to $7,500 per worker can be spent towards wagers or other support including training to upskill employees while they are kept on payroll.

The $12.5 million program was created by Governor Wes Moore via executive order and authorized by the Maryland Protecting Opportunities and Regional Trade (PORT) Act, which Moore signed into law on Tuesday. Funding consists of $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and $10 million from Maryland’s Rainy Day Fund.

Additional information and applications can be found here.


Governor Moore’s office plans to launch two more relief programs on Monday April 22nd. Information and eligibility requirements for those can be found below.

Department of Commerce: Port of Baltimore Emergency Business Assistance Program


Department of Housing and Community Development: Small Business Grants Program and Business Loan Program


Emily is a general assignment news reporter for WYPR.
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