Small businesses say Bank of America unfairly locked them out of federal lending program

On the first day small businesses could apply for federal relief to help pay employees during the coronavirus crisis, some complained they were unfairly locked out. The much anticipated $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program opened Friday, offering federally backed loans of up to $10 million to employers with fewer than 500 workers. Businesses were told to apply through a participating SBA lender, bank or credit union and that they could be approved as soon as the same day. (Balt Sun)

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Under Armour lays off thousands temporarily at stores and warehouses due to coronavirus

Under Armour will layoff about 6,700 employees temporarily because of a significant drop in sales during the coronavirus pandemic. The Baltimore-based athletic apparel maker said Friday it will temporarily layoff employees, starting April 12, at its full-price and outlet stores and its U.S. distribution centers, including warehouse and distribution centers in Sparrows Point and Curtis Bay. (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore oyster bar Lee’s Pint & Shell to reduce crowds after being criticized by Councilman Zeke Cohen

The manager of Lee’s Pint & Shell in Canton said he has taken steps to reduce the crowds outside the restaurant after people on social media posted photos of people gathering in close proximity to one another. The oyster and bourbon bar in Canton had been the subject of criticism on Facebook after some people commented about how crowds had gathered outside the restaurant this weekend. (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore suspends Harbor Connector commuting services to defend against coronavirus spread

Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation announced Saturday the city will suspend Harbor Connector maritime commuting services beginning Monday. The suspension comes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s stay-at-home executive order. “This change further encourages residents to stay at home as much as possible, and to practice social distancing when commuting,” Young said in a statement. (Balt Sun)

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Here’s how your small business can get help

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak hammering businesses in Maryland and across the nation nearly every level of government is providing funds to help small firms retain employees and stay open. Government agencies, such as the Small Business Administration and the Maryland Department of Commerce, are accepting applications for funds online. While local groups, such as the Baltimore Development Corporation, continue to alert local small businesses about these resources, and even launching their own portals to aggregate the various resources in one place. (Daily Record)

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Unemployment claims in Maryland skyrocket

As public officials freeze the economy in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, Americans have filed a record number of unemployment claims. More than 84,000 Marylanders applied for unemployment insurance during the week ending March 28, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. The total is almost double the previous week’s total of 42,334. (Balt Brew)

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This Baltimore County firm helps staff cannabis companies across the country

Mike Waranch is all too familiar with the assumptions outsiders have about work in the cannabis sector — for example, their idea of the dispensary, the main contact point for those shopping for legal weed and those selling it. “Working in a dispensary is not just hanging out smoking weed all day,” he says, adding, “It’s not as easy as just stepping in as a budtender and making your $16, $17, $18 an hour and loving life. It’s work.” (Balt Bus Journal)

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The companies that are pledging not to lay off workers amid the coronavirus unemployment crisis

On the evening of March 19, as statewide stay-at-home orders were just beginning, reports of job layoffs were surging and the number of U.S. coronavirus cases topped 14,000 in the United States, Marsh & McLennan chief executive Dan Glaser made a pledge to his employees. “I want to say to all of you that while we are in the thick of this global pandemic, your job is secure,” he said in a video message to the firm’s 76,000 global employees, including workers in its insurance and risk management, human resources, management consulting and reinsurance brokerage businesses. “There will be no counting of sick days or vacation days until things return to normal.” (Wash Post)

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