Mayor Gavin Buckley has announced initiatives designed to help relieve some of the pressures downtown businesses, and their owners and employees, are facing during the closure to the general public of restaurants, bars, and gyms ordered by Governor Larry Hogan on Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, the City of Annapolis will no longer issue parking citations at metered spaces. As of March 17, Annapolis Parking, the City’s parking enforcement vendor, stopped issuing tickets. That will continue until further notice. Please note that the meters will not be bagged because this interferes with the long-term functionality of the meter by destroying the solar array that powers the units.
Second, spaces in front of restaurants that offer curbside carryout and pickup will have 20-minute spaces reserved for customers.
“I am encouraging people to follow all of the CDC protocols and guidelines for prevention, including social distancing and frequent hand-washing. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to patronize local businesses,” Mayor Buckley said. “Make no mistake, this pandemic is putting tremendous pressure on the local economy. The City is doing what it can to minimize those impacts.”
In addition, the Office of Economic Development has created two resources guides, one for workers and one for businesses:
The Workforce Assistance page includes information on applying for unemployment benefits through the Maryland Department of Labor, Food Supplement Program (FSP or SNAP) benefits and Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) through the Maryland Department of Human Resources, Health Insurance through the COVID-19 special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders through Maryland Health Connection, local resources and assistance through Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation, and more.
The Business Resources page includes links to Small Business Administration local offices and low-interest disaster loans, Centers for Disease Control guidance for environmental cleaning and disinfection of workspaces, Department of Labor guidance for preparing the workplace for COVID-19, the Maryland Department of Commerce “Business Express” section for employers, including insurance claims and opportunities for financial assistance.
The Mayor is also establishing an emergency Small Business Task Force which will meet virtually to determine the best ways to help local businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Executive Order #16, the City’s liquor license renewal requirement will be delayed for 90 days. Liquor license holders will still be able to sell liquor under this policy even though their existing licensure date may have passed. The 90 days may be extended depending on the length of the declared local State of Emergency.
“Anything residents can do to support these businesses will be appreciated,” Mayor Buckley said.