Applications for snowstorm damage loans from the SBA due in May
Eligible private nonprofit (PNP) organizations in Maryland may submit disaster loan applications for physical damages caused by the severe winter storm and snowstorm Jan. 22-23 this year. The deadline to apply is May 3.
Examples of eligible non-critical PNP organizations include, but are not limited to, food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges.
The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to PNP organizations for physical losses up to its loan limits. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may now include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Additionally, PNPs can obtain loans for unmet working capital needs. To be considered for this assistance, PNPs need to apply by the deadline.
Applicants may apply online using the electronic loan application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-6592955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications can also be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is Dec. 5.
Learn how to pickle, make kraut at home
The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) will host a Fermentation Demonstration Workshop on 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at the St. Mary’s Agricultural Service Center, 26737 Radio Station Way, Suite C, Leonardtown.
Rachel Armistead of The Sweet Farm will demonstrate how to make raw, probiotic sauerkraut and pickles at home.
Participants will learn about the basic history and benefits of fermentation, make sense of some of the health claims, and learn how to make a variety of fermented foods.
The workshop will consist of a demonstration and discussion of kraut and pickle making, a discussion of things to consider before making fermented foods professionally, as well as a look at The Sweet Farm’s own journey from a small market stand to one of the premier fermented food producers in the region.
Space is limited to 45 participants on a first come, first served basis. Registration will close Thursday, April 14.
Workshop fee is $20 and includes dinner. Register online at the ‘News and Announcements’ page at www.smadc.com , or contact SMADC staff at 301-2741922, ext. 1.
Task force launched to protect Maryland senior citizens
A new federal-state initiative has begun to protect Maryland’s senior citizens through more aggressive enforcement of nursing home abuse and other elder abuse cases.
The Elder Justice Task Force will include federal, state and local prosecutors, law enforcement and agencies that provide services to the elderly, with the goal of coordinating and enhancing enforcement efforts.
The task force includes representatives from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, state Medicaid Fraud Control Units, state and local prosecutors’ offices, the Department of Health and Human Services, state Adult Protective Services agencies, Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs and law enforcement. In the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, resourc- es will be provided by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
In addition to Maryland, nine other regions across the U.S. are joining the initiative: the Northern District of California, the Northern District of Georgia, the District of Kansas, the Western District of Kentucky, the Northern District of Iowa, the Southern District of Ohio, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Middle District of Tennessee and the Western District of Washington.
The Elder Justice Task Force, part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative, will play an integral role in investigative and enforcement efforts against nursing homes and long-term care entities that deliver substandard care to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. The Elder Justice Initiative will provide litigation support and training to the Elder Justice Task Forces. More information on the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative can be found online at http://www.justice.gov/elderjustice.
Bay area photo contest begins
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) 12th annual watershed photo contest is now underway. Photo submissions are being accepted between now and April 13. Photographers of all skill levels are encouraged to participate to win cash prizes from $100 to $500, and to have their photos featured in CBF’s award-winning publications.
The foundation is seeking photographs that illustrate the positive aspects of the bay and its rivers and streams. Images depicting people, wildlife, recreation, and farms within the watershed will be considered. All photos must include water from the Chesapeake Bay or a river, stream, creek, or other body of water in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
All winners will receive a one-year membership to CBF and winning photos may be displayed on CBF’s website, in a CBF e-newsletter, in CBF’s 2017 calendar, and in CBF’s award-winning magazine, “Save the Bay.”
Judging will be conducted by a panel of CBF employees on the basis of subject matter, composition, focus, lighting, uniqueness, and impact.
The public will also be able to vote online for their favorite photo in the Viewers’ Choice Gallery, starting May 5.
Last year the judges considered more than 1,000 entries. Participation in the Viewers’ Choice Award was outstanding, too, with more than 2,400 votes cast.
Contest rules and details are available online at cbf. org/photocontest.
Registration open for annual food networking event
The Southern Maryland Food Council will host a free evening of discussion at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, at the Calvert Library in Prince Frederick (Meeting Rooms 1, 2 and 3), 850 Costley Way, Prince Frederick.
The event will consist of a networking session and a session of targeted discus- sions on specific food-related topics.
Session 1 will be an open networking opportunity to meet with others interested in food-related topics
Session 2 features discus-sion/action groups. Sign up for one of the pre-selected topics and learn more about what’s going on locally and how to become involved.
Register at www.somd-foodcouncil.com by May 4. To find out more about Southern Maryland Food Council initiatives, go to www.somdfoodcouncil.com, email email@example.com , or call SMADC staff at (301) 2741922 x1.
Annual Port Tobacco Market Day set for May
The Charles County Commissioners and the Society for the Restoration of Port Tobacco invite residents to attend the seventh annual Port Tobacco Market Day event 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at the historic Port Tobacco Courthouse on Chapel Point Road in Port Tobacco.
This event will showcase some of Southern Maryland’s local artists and vendors. Choose from antiques, jewelry, crafts, fresh produce, and more. The Charles County Garden Club will hold its annual plant sale. Food, baked goods, and drinks will be available for purchase. Step into the 18th century and tour the Port Tobacco Court House, Stagg Hall, and Burch House.
Admission is free. Rain date is Saturday, May 21. For more information, call Mary Fenton at 301375-7892, or go to www. CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800735-2258.
Charles County Public Library seeks community input
The Charles County Public Library is developing a strategic plan and needs community input to develop a game plan to create the best library for the community. Users and non-users of the library are asked to participate in the Charles County Library Strategic Planning Survey which began April 5 and ends April 13. The survey is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q5MWDZY.
Business network and the Blue Crabs support LifeStyles
The Southern Maryland Business Network (SMBN) and the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs have teamed up to support LifeStyles of Southern Maryland via a special ticket purchase program on opening day.
The Blue Crabs will donate $6.50 to LifeStyles for every regularly priced ticket purchased thru the on-line portal. To buy tickets and support Lifestyles, go to somdbluecrabs.com, select the 2016 season and Opening Day (April 21), and enter promo code LIFESTYLES.
April 18 tax filing deadline fast approaches
With the tax-filing deadline fast approaching, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) asks tax- payers who have yet to file to take advantage of all the conveniences of electronic filing. This year, taxpayers have three extra days to file; the deadline is April 18 due to Emancipation Day celebrations in Washington, D.C., on April 15.
To date, nearly 1.7 million taxpayers have filed their personal tax returns electronically with nearly 170,000 filing via paper. Based on 3.04 million returns filed last year, the returns filed so far represent 60 percent of last year’s total.
To date, refund payments of nearly $1.3 billion have been issued to nearly 1.3 million taxpayers.
To ensure an accurate return, taxpayers should remember to check Social Security numbers, verify back account and routing numbers for direct deposit refunds, double-check calculations, and include all pertinent information including relevant forms and documents, such as the W-2 form.
Electronic filing saves the state significant money in processing costs. Each paper return costs the state more than $2 to process, compared to 19 cents for e-filed returns resulting in savings of millions of dollars each year.
Free state tax assistance is available at all of the agency’s 12 taxpayer service offices, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For branch location information, go to marylandtaxes.com.
The agency’s call center offers extended hours Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. through April 18, returning to normal business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. thereafter. To check the status of a refund by phone, please call, 1-800-218-8160 or 410-260-7701. Refund status also can be obtained by visiting the agency’s website at marylandtaxes. com.
For more information on electronic filing or any other tax-related matter, call 410-260-7980 in Central Maryland or 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800638-2937) outside of Central Maryland.