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COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund - Workforce Development and Adult Learning

COVID-19 Layoff Aversion FundUpdates

Thank you for your interest in the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. The Department is no longer accepting applications at this time, as the $20 million allocated for the expanded fund has been fully exhausted. Thank you.


Pursuant to the RELIEF Act of 2021, which Governor Hogan recently signed into law, funds awarded through the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund are eligible for a Maryland State income tax subtraction for Tax Year 2020. The Comptroller of Maryland is in the process of updating its tax forms and updated forms will be available soon. If you have already filed your return and are eligible for a subtraction, you will need to file an amended return once the forms have been updated.

For more information on this RELIEF Act tax subtraction, please visit or contact

What is the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund?

Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Labor have announced additional funding is available beginning Wednesday, October 28th through the successful COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support small businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.

Labor will begin accepting grant applications from small businesses on Wednesday, October 28th and the program will remain open through 30 days after the State of Emergency ends or until funding has been fully exhausted.

How can it help me?

  • Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing remote access (ex. computers, printers, etc.) equipment to allow employees to work remotely from home versus being laid off;
    ✔ Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing software or programs that an employee would need to use from home;
    ✔ Supporting businesses that take advantage of the Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program by supplementing the employee’s income and benefits;
    ✔ Providing funds to cover the costs of cleaning/sanitizing supplies and/or services that will allow a small business to maintain an onsite workforce as a result of exposure reduction through frequent deep cleaning;
    ✔ Paying for liability insurance for restaurants that convert to delivery while under emergency circumstances;
    ✔ Providing funds for training or professional development opportunities for employees to avoid layoffs; and
    ✔ Adopting other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs in the small business community.Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing remote access (ex. computers, printers, etc.) equipment to allow employees to work remotely from home versus being laid off;

NOTE: This funding is not for rent.
This funding is not for employee wages unless approved for Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing participation.

Examples of how a business may demonstrate the need for layoff aversion funds:

  • I run a call center where employees usually work in an office setting. To support social distancing, I’d like my employees to work remotely, which will require equipment such as reliable headphones and laptops for each employee. If they do not have this equipment, I will need to layoff my staff.
  • I could ask employees to use their personal phones and work remotely, but I do not have the funds to support the cell phone packages. If provided funds to reimburse employees for the increased data usage, my business could avoid layoffs.
  • My employees could work remotely if they had a specific software or computer application, but I cannot afford to purchase. Without this software, I will need to layoff my workforce until we can go back to the office.
  • I need my 8 employees to continue to work on site, but I am concerned about their potential exposure to COVID-19 and cannot afford frequent deep cleaning to help limit potential exposure. If I had funds to support the deep cleaning, it would allow my workers to continue to work and would foster a safer work environment.
  • Due to the impacts of COVID-19, my employees have more down time than usual. If I were able to offer the opportunity for them to take project management training online during this down time, they will increase their skillsets, making them a valuable asset to our company and less likely a candidate for layoff.


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