Starting in February, bars and restaurants throughout the state will be able to provide service to customers after 10 PM. The decision, announced by Governor Hogan on January 28, comes after the state’s case and positivity rate dropped, with data showing the holiday surge is ending. While the removal of the state regulation allows more flexibility for businesses, establishments should double check for additional regulations through their county government organizations. Indoor capacity restrictions will remain at 50 percent.
Food establishments in need of financial assistance should contact their local jurisdictions to see if any funding is available through the restaurant relief grant program, which was recently allocated an additional $30 million from the State. Funding can be used for rent, payroll, and job training; equipment purchases to expand outdoor dining (including tents, heaters, and carts); and more, though final criteria and guidelines are decided by the individual jurisdictions.
Additionally, a new grant opportunity is available for hotels across Maryland. Similar to the previously announced restaurant grant program, the state is distributing a total of $50 million across each county and Baltimore City based on the percentage of total sales tax revenue generated by the accommodations to the state. Hotels interested in this new grant must apply through their local jurisdiction, which will launch their own relief programs.
This direct relief can be used for payroll expenses, rent, and utilities.
Details for restaurants and hotel relief programs, can be found on this page, under "local programs."