MARYLAND (WDVM) — In a one-on-one interview with WDVM’S Katie Misuraca, Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan discusses how the state has been handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday marked 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 across the old-line state.
“Well I think we are going to definitely be asking people to take precautions and be careful,” said Hogan. “I think, while Maryland has done a better job than most other states of people listening to the advice and doing the things that keep us safe. I think people are starting to feel complacent. The last thing that I want to do is have to take actions on the stay at home orders or changing and stopping businesses from trying to operate safely”
Businesses across the state are suffering due to COVID-19. Especially hard hit are small businesses, restaurants, and the hospitality industry.
Hogan said the impact isn’t from state closure. But people not feeling safe. Hogan said Maryland’s economy is better than other states along with the state’s unemployment at about 6 percent. He says about 70 percent of businesses were able to stay open during the pandemic thus far.
“We’ve put $10 billion in federal paycheck protection monies out to small businesses across the state to Maryland to keep people employed.”
Hogan said the state has invested $250 million specifically to help businesses. He also announced taking an additional $250 million out of the state’s rainy day fund to help small businesses in grants and loans.
“By no means is this virus over,” continued Hogan. “We’re still pushing for additional assistance from the federal government. Those programs ran out and there is no additional money coming. The state is now tapping out the money that we have. So, we are doing everything we possibly can to help those businesses. But until we get this virus under control. They are going to continue to have some difficulties and we are going to do everything that we can to help them.”
Looking at next year, Gov. Hogan said the state is already seeing a $1.8 billion shortfall that is going to require cuts to state government.
“We are potentially looking at some steps just like businesses are taking where we may see layoffs. We may see furloughs. We may see some departments and services that we’re going to have to cut and try to do the best we can with the most essential services.”
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