Watch CBS News

Port of Baltimore businesses impacted by Key Bridge collapse can apply for wage subsidies. Here's how

Fourth construction worker recovered at site of Key Bridge collapse
Fourth construction worker recovered at site of Key Bridge collapse 03:47

BALTIMORE -- Applications are now open for a wage subsidy program supporting Port of Baltimore businesses impacted by the deadly collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge three weeks ago.

The Port Business Wage Subsidy program, administered by the Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Employment Development, will grant  $1 million in wage subsidies to help businesses at the port pay their employees. 

The subsidy application period began on Monday and stays open as long as funds are available. The mayor's office said it aims to move another $1 million to the program in the coming weeks. 

Businesses can receive a maximum of $22,500 in subsidies. 

Directly, the port supports 15,300 jobs, while another 140,000 in the area are related to port activities. The jobs provide a combined $3.3 billion in personal income, according to a CBS News report

"We've implemented this key program to support Port workers impacted by this crisis and ensure that businesses impacted, particularly small businesses, can access assistance to make it through this uncertain time," Mayor Brandon Scott said Tuesday in a statement. 

Apply online or contact for assistance.  

When will the Port of Baltimore reopen? 

Access to the Port of Baltimore remains limited since the collapse, and a delicate, complex salvage effort is underway in the Patapsco River. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is leading the salvage effort, prioritizes clearing the Fort McHenry Channel to resume operations at the Port of Baltimore.   

Two temporary passageways were created two weeks ago for smaller commercial and essential ships and barges. The mayor's office said at least 69 vessels have traveled through those channels.   

A third, deeper temporary channel is expected to open this month, allowing most vessels into the port.   

Officials aim to reopen the permanent, 700-foot-wide by 50-foot-deep channel by the end of May. That would restore port access to its previous capacity. 

The port is the ninth busiest in the United States, according to Census data, and handled more than $80 billion in import-exports last year, the most in 20 years. It is also home to Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines.

Recovery efforts ongoing

The bridge crumbled nearly three weeks ago after its support column was struck by a malfunctioning cargo ship in the early morning hours of March 26, sending eight construction workers into the Patapsco River below, killing six of them. 

Two bodies remain missing after the collapse.

So far, crews have recovered the bodies of 35-year-old Maynor Yasir Suazo-Sandoval, 35-year-old Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes and 26-year-old Dorlian Castillo Cabrera and a fourth man, whose family asked not to be identified.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.