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Good afternoon -

A lot of news broke late this week regarding reopening Maryland's economy. In this email I've enclosed the details from Governor Hogan's announcement earlier this week along with links to the official Executive Order and guidance associated with it.

While I believe this first step will help get our economy moving again in a safe, common sense manner, I know that some types of businesses were still left out of this order and there are other issues. My commitment is to keep pushing to use the metrics and data that we are getting to let local jurisdictions who continue to see declining hospitalization rates and deaths be able to go further and make more individualized decisions. Here is the information from the Hogan administration:

From Governor Hogan's Administration - Stage 1 Information:

Below is more information on Stage 1 and Governor’s recent Executive Order.  Per the Governor’s announcement on Wednesday, the Stay at Home order was lifted Friday, May 15 at 5 p.m.  This will include retail stores and some personal services like hair salons and barber shops.  Churches will be allow to reopen with up to 50% capacity with outdoor services encouraged.  I will continue to keep pushing to move forward to Stage 2 earlier than anticipated. Self-responsibility and making smart decisions during Stage 1 with health, safety, sanitary, and physical distancing protocols in place will be the key to the timing of moving to State 2. 

You can read the Executive Order here.

Here is guidance from the Governor’s Legal Office on businesses covered under the May 13 Executive Order.

Industry specific guidelines from the Department of Commerce.

Guidelines for Churches and Places of Worship.

Unemployment Assistance & Small Business Loans:

I have been contacted by large numbers of constituents who have been unable to get through to the unemployment office or have needed assistance with their claim. I hear your worries and frustrations - my team and I are frustrated as well. I want you to know my office is here to help. I cannot promise a quick answer to fix the underlying issues with the system, but I can assure you that we will personally reach out to the Department of Labor on your behalf and continue pushing.

The same has been the case for businesses who applied for emergency small business loans from the Maryland Department of Commerce. Again, we are doing our best to get answers and ensure that funds get out to those who qualified. My understanding is that a large percentage has not made it out yet but is supposed to be on the way soon. Obviously I wish I had more specific and better news but if you are a business owner - or involved in one - that has applied and has questions, you can reach out to me and we'll do our best to help.

Note: My staff continues to work remotely and can be reached at  Justin.Ready@senate.state.md.us or by calling 410-841-3683. Both email and voicemail are checked regularly. My team and I will do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible. 

As always, I want you to know it is my honor to represent you in the State Senate. During these difficult times we are coming together in our community and I'm hopeful that better news is around the corner. While I'd like to go further, I'm glad we have at least started the process of reopening and that Carroll County's Commissioners fully embraced moving ahead, unlike several other counties in the state. Again, your feedback and ideas are always welcome to me personally at SenatorReady@gmail.com or by contacting my office.