The state is providing aid for startups that are struggling to survive this economic downturn.
As part of an economic relief package announced by the State of Maryland in December, TEDCO will be making $5 million available for technology businesses that were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding will be available for technology-based businesses that are socially or economically disadvantaged, or based in rural areas, according to TEDCO, which is the quasi-public state agency that supports early-stage tech companies. The funding is expected to be made available in early February.
“The COVID-19 crisis has significant and potentially long-lasting effects on Maryland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said TEDCO CEO Troy LeMaile-Stovall in a statement. “Much of the current recovery efforts are focused on more established small and large businesses. This is rightfully so, as the impact is [devastating] to many of these entities. However, this crisis is a ‘make-it-or-break-it’ time for many younger companies, like those in TEDCO’s portfolio.”
The relief is designed as bridge funding for early-stage companies. In particular, it will focus on “companies that have the highest barriers to traditional financing but are still expected to scale to the next phase of fundraising,” a news release states. TEDCO has previously used the moniker “disadvantaged” in connection with its Builder Fund, which has provided funding for founders who identify as women, people of color and entrepreneurs from other backgrounds who are typically overlooked by investors.
The funds for tech companies were part of a $180 million package announced by Gov. Larry Hogan in December. This also included specific pots of money for hotels and hospitality businesses, restaurants and entertainment venues. The state launched a separate small business loan program earlier in the pandemic. Hogan also hinted at a larger relief package that will be taken up by the Maryland General Assembly when it convenes this month.
In other federal aid news, President Donald Trump on Dec. 27 signed a $900 billion relief package from Congress that provides further aid for small businesses, including a second loan from the Paycheck Protection Program. Here’s Technical.ly’s full breakdown of the biz aid in the bill.-30-