When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many struggling small businesses lacked the knowledge to navigate the various government assistance programs. Todd Marks, CEO of Baltimore-based web design and technology company Mindgrub, developed a solution.
As president of the Maryland Tech Council, Marks sought input from his colleagues, who represent hundreds of tech and life science and science companies across Maryland.
Working with the Howard County Economic Development Authority, BTS Software Solutions, Maryland Department of Commerce, Howard County Chamber of Commerce, Maryland Chamber of Commerce, IBM and other subject matter experts, Marks led efforts to launch the Maryland Business Relief Wizard. . The online tool, launched in April 2020, has helped small businesses better understand how to navigate federal, state and local COVID-19 assistance programs.
The Maryland Business Relief Wizard Portal is a one-stop-shop that includes daily updates of information on any new financing program that small businesses may seek help with. Companies answer a short series of questions that will help them identify the programs to which they are entitled.
While some small businesses were used to working with banks and government grant programs, many small businesses, such as restaurants, were unaware of the funding. These companies were the ones Marks hoped to help the most, he said in a previous interview.
“Times are tough and we wanted to do our part to help. What better way to participate than by doing what we do best? We are proud to be part of the coalition that developed this tool for the Maryland small business community, ”Marks said in a press release.