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5 May 2020

Links to COVID-19 Resources

Date: 1 March 2020 12:00

Below is a list of links to various resources:

Baltimore City COVID-19 Dashboard: https://coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/ 

Baltimore City Emergency Food Insecurity Response: https://coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/food-distribution-sites 

Baltimore City Rec & Parks Virtual Rec Center: https://bcrp.baltimorecity.gov/virtual-rec

 

From Senator Van Hollen's Office:

Actions to Protect Maryland Families from Economic Fallout

  • New unemployment insurance benefits and how to get them: More workers now qualify for unemployment insurance, including self-employed and gig economy workers. Regular unemployment benefits in Maryland range from $50 to $430 per week, and the legislation increases everyone’s benefit by $600 per week through July 31. Additionally, workers can claim up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits – a 13-week increase. Click here to apply.

    • Full funding is also provided for Maryland’s “work sharing” program, and workers covered by this program as a result of having their hours cut by their employer will also be eligible for the $600 boost in weekly unemployment benefits.
  • New paid sick leave benefits and who gets them: Most Marylanders who work full-time for businesses with fewer than 500 employees, as well as government employees, get two weeks paid sick leave at full pay (up to $511/day) for coronavirus-related reasons, or two weeks at two-thirds pay (up to $200/day) to care for someone else affected by coronavirus. In addition, most Marylanders at businesses with fewer than 500 employees get up to 12 weeks of leave at two-thirds pay (up to $200/day) to care for children whose schools or daycares are closed due to coronavirus.
  • Refundable tax credit: Employers get a refundable tax credit to fully cover the cost of paying sick leave wages and health benefits paid under this bill. Self-employed workers can also claim this credit.
  • Direct cash payments: Each adult gets $1,200 ($2,400 for couples), and families get $500 for each child. The amount begins to be reduced for people whose adjusted gross income was above $75,000 ($150,000 for couples). You can use this tool to calculate your direct payment. An automatic payment will be sent to households that filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, and recipients of Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits – others can claim their payment by filing a tax return.
  • Keeping people in their homes: Federally-backed mortgages, including those guaranteed or insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs, are protected from foreclosure for 60 days beginning on March 18, 2020. Additionally, borrowers should be able to suspend or reduce payments for up to six months without penalties or late fees, and the lender cannot report the loan as late. Foreclosure or eviction proceedings against renters and homeowners cannot start until at least May 17 if the landlord has a government-backed mortgage. 
  • Student loan relief: Payments and interest accrual on federal student loans are suspended through September 30, as are collections on overdue loans. Loans for any semester interrupted by the virus are forgiven, and those loans and Pell grants don’t count against a student’s limit. Schools can continue to pay work-study students who can’t work and make other emergency grants to cover students’ virus-related expenses. 
  • Personal tax breaks: Withdrawals of up to $100,000 from retirement accounts without the normal 10% penalty are allowed this year for hardships related to COVID-19. A $300 charitable giving deduction without itemizing deductions is available for 2020. For those whose employers help repay their student loans, up to $5,250 of this assistance is tax-free for you in 2020. And separately from the CARES Act, state and federal income tax filing and payment deadlines have been postponed.
  • Homelessness: Increases funding that states can use to assist families, veterans, and others experiencing homelessness. 
  • Protect jobs at large employers: To preserve jobs at large companies, some federal assistance is necessary. While this assistance should have come with greater protections for workers, Senate Democrats fought for oversight provisions that will help prevent these taxpayer funds from being abused.

Actions to Protect Maryland's Small and Medium Businesses and Nonprofits

You can find more information on these programs and how to apply on the pages listed in Senator Van Hollen’s Small and Medium Business Owner and Non-profit Guide to CARES Act.

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Zero-fee forgivable Small Business Administration (SBA) loans of up to $10 million, at 1% interest, to keep workers on payroll and pay fixed costs such as rent. (p. 2)

    ***The application window for PPP opened Friday, April 3 (April 10 for independent contractors and sole proprietors), and funds are limited. We encourage you to apply quickly through any qualified lender. Click here to learn more.
  • SBA Debt Relief: Existing and new SBA borrowers get all loan payments covered, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months, except for PPP loans. (p. 6)
  • Emergency Grants and Disaster Loans: A $10,000 grant can be provided to SBA disaster loan applicants. The full loan can go up to $2 million. (p. 7)
  • Employee retention tax credit: Business tax credit worth up to $5,000 per employee for salary and health benefits paid by the hardest-hit firms. (p. 11)
  • Payroll tax deferral: Half of 2020 payroll taxes can be deferred through the end of 2021, and half until the end of 2022. (p. 11)
  • Eligible businesses: Small and medium businesses currently eligible for SBA programs, as well as other businesses and charitable nonprofit organizations with 500 or fewer employees. Businesses in certain industries, including hospitality, are included if they have 500 or fewer employees per location.

Small business owners can also benefit from these provisions:

  • Other tax deductions: Increased business loss and interest deductions. Fixed “retail glitch” for restaurants and retail businesses. 
  • Reimbursement for employee sick leave: Employee sick leave was covered through refundable tax credits in the Phase 2 bill. CARES provides those credits faster.  

Non-profit organizations can benefit from these provisions:

  • Eligible for the above-mentioned Paycheck Protection Program, SBA emergency grant, employee retention credit, and payroll tax deferral programs.
  • Loans: An additional Treasury loan facility for non-profits of any size (not limited to 500 employees).
  • Disaster relief: A $45 billion Disaster Relief Fund for organizations providing critical and essential services.
  • Deduction for donors: A special above-the-line charitable giving deduction for 2020 should also boost donations.

State Protections and Resources for All Marylanders

  • No evictions: The state has ordered that no Maryland family or business who suffered a substantial loss of income due to COVID-19 or related closures can be evicted during the coronavirus state of emergency. The obligation to make rent and mortgage payments remains. Landlords may continue to file failure to pay rent cases, which will be considered after the state of emergency ends.
  • No repossessions: Marylanders’ cars, mobile homes, trailers, and house boats cannot be repossessed during the coronavirus emergency. The obligation to make rent and mortgage payments remains. Landlords may continue to file failure to pay rent cases, which will be considered after the state of emergency ends.
  • Senior citizens seeking information and resources on COVID-19 can click here.
  • To find school meals nearby, visit the Maryland State Department of Education’s meals site.
  • To find child care, call Maryland’s LOCATE referral system at 1-877-261-0060, or click here.
  • For temporary cash assistance to families with dependent children, click here.
  • For state small business help (separate from the Federal programs listed above), click here.

 

 

From Enoch Pratt Library: Links You Can Trust

Coronavirus COVID-19 has been the subject of many recent news and social media reports. With the increase of fake and unreliable news, we suggest going to the following trusted sources to learn more about this topic.

Maryland Resources

Updates from Maryland Governor Hogan

Baltimore Resources

Health Insurance for Uninsured Marylanders

Maryland Department of Health

Legal Help from Maryland Access to Justice

Legal Help from Lawyer in the Library Service

  • Maryland Legal Aid attorneys can provide free legal advice to individuals who are financially eligible, by email or telephone.
  • Call 443-451-2805, or email virtualcommunitylawyer@mdlab.org. Include your name and legal issue in your email or voicemail and your message will be returned within 48 hours.
  • Print or share a flyer for Lawyer in the Library Virtual Service, a partnership between The Enoch Pratt Free Library and  Maryland Legal Aid.

 

Maryland 211

  • Call Maryland 211 if you wish to talk with someone regarding the Coronavirus. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in more than 180 languages. Accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing through Maryland Relay (dial 711).

 

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a trusted, authoritative source for public health information. The WHO announced the official name for the disease that is causing the 2020 outbreak of coronavirus disease: COVID-19.

  • Advice for the Public
    This WHO page on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has practical information for dealing with the outbreak on a personal level. The page includes video, graphics, myth-busters, and even tips for coping with related stress.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are our nation’s premier authority on public health information.

  • Coronavirus
    The page that the CDC has developed for American citizens is a one-stop shop for background on the strain, COVID-19, as well as the class of coronaviruses; CDC-authored news monitoring the situation, including all the statistics on cases; and a wealth of resources for professionals, travelers, and the general public.

MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus offers up-to-date information in language you can understand. MedlinePlus is a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world's largest medical library, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Associated Press

The Associated Press (AP) is a not-for-profit news cooperative that is widely considered the least biased reporting in the U.S.

Johns Hopkins University

U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State provides updated information about travel safety and security. 

Hesperian Fact Sheets in Spanish and French

Hesperian Health Guides is a reliable nonprofit health information source that has translated a COVID-19 fact sheet into French and Spanish. More languages will be available soon.

 

 

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Links to THANK YOU HEROES Campaign Sign and Banner Artwork

Date: 5 March 2020 12:00

THANK YOU HEROES CAMPAIGN

Do you want to be part of a project
to publically thank our healthcare workers?

Download one of the files from the links below. There is a 8.5" x 11" sign to be printed at home. There are two sizes of banners: 2'x8' and 3'x12'. Download those files and purchase your own banner at www.bannersonthecheap.com. Step-by-step instructions are below.

   
 8 x 11 window sign

 8.5" x 11" YOU ARE OUR HEROES sign

   
   
 2' x 8' banner

 2' x 8' - YOU ARE OUR HEROES banner

   
   
 3' x 12' banner

 3' x 12' - YOU ARE OUR HEROES banner

 

Thanks to Geoff Moore from Butchers Hill for conceptualizing and organizing this project.

And thanks to John Adsit from Upper Fells
for designing and donating the artwork!


HOW TO GET A BANNER PRINTED

1. Download the PDF of the size banner you
want. Currently there are two sizes: (a) 3’ X 12’, which will cost you about $45 to $50, or (b) 2’ X 8’, which will cost about $35 to $40 (depending on options, timing). If you want a different size, email Geoffery Moore: Geoff@GeofferyMoore.com.

2. Go to www.BannersOnTheCheap.com. (You are welcome to use another printer if you prefer, but these directions are for using this printer.)

3. On the Home Page under Material, select Vinyl.

4. Select the Size. MAKE SURE the size of PDF you have matches the size you select here.

5. Select the Quantity of banners you want printed. The price will then be displayed.

6. Select: Start From Scratch. This will bring you to the design page.

7. On the design page, on left, click Upload Image, then find the PDF on your computer and
upload it. You will see it appear here.

8. Drag the PDF image from the left to the box on right. If necessary, adjust the edges of
the image to match the dotted lines around the box.

9. Click on Lock. Then click on Save and Continue below. This brings you to new page.

10. See if design looks right. If not, click on Go Back And Edit Design, and do so. Once the design is right, go to Select Your Options on right.

11. Under number 1 Materials, we recommend you select Premium Vinyl Upgrades, for a banner that will last longer in the weather. This adds about $10-$12.

12. Using the bar on the right, move down to 4 Grommets, select Brass Grommets. This adds about $6 and gives you four grommets, one on each corner.

13. Click on Add to Cart below. This will bring you to the cart.

14. Check to see if everything is right on the order. Here, you have options to go back and edit the design or go back and change options.

15. Click Checkout, put in your information, and order.

Any questions? Contact Geoffery Moore: Geoff@GeofferyMoore.com or 603-236-6500.

And thanks for helping with the THANK YOU HEROES campaign!

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EVENTS

Special Events

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Links to COVID-19 Resources

Date: 1 March 2020 12:00 to 31 December 2020 15:15
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Links to THANK YOU HEROES Campaign Sign and Banner Artwork

Date: 5 March 2020 12:00 to 31 December 2020 16:45
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Date: 25 May 2020 12:00 to 03 December 2020 21:30
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To Pay for Cafe Lights

Date: 30 May 2020 12:00 to 30 December 2020 21:00
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Date: 2 June 2020
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Stoop Sitting Wed., June 3 - No general meeting this month

Date: 3 June 2020 17:30 to 19:30
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Land Use Committee Meeting

Date: 8 June 2020
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Executive Committee Meeting

Date: 11 June 2020
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Crime Prevention Committee Meeting

Date: 17 June 2020
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Date: 23 June 2020
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