When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many struggling small businesses lacked the knowledge to navigate the varying government relief programs. Todd Marks, CEO of Baltimore-based web design and tech firm Mindgrub, developed a solution.
As the chairman of the Maryland Tech Council, Marks sought suggestions from fellow members, which represents hundreds of tech and life and sciences companies throughout Maryland.
Together with the Howard County Economic Development Authority, BTS Software Solutions, the Maryland Department of Commerce, the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, IBM and other industry subject matter experts, Marks led efforts to launch the Maryland Business Relief Wizard. The online tool, launched in April 2020, helped small businesses easily and better understand how to navigate federal, state and local aid COVID-19 programming.
The Maryland Business Relief Wizard portal is a one-stopshop that includes daily information updates on any new funding programs in which small businesses could seek assistance. Businesses answer a short series of questions which will help identify which programs that which they qualify.
While some small businesses were accustomed to working with banks and government grant programs, many small businesses, such as restaurants, were not familiar with financing. Those businesses were the ones Marks was hoping to help the most, he stated in a previous interview.
“Times are tough, and we wanted to do our part to help. What better way to pitch in than by doing what we do best? We are proud to be a part of the coalition that developed this tool for the small business community in Maryland,” Marks said in a press release.