CareFirst BCBS offers support in wake of Baltimore bridge collapse

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is offering space in its Baltimore headquarters for Small Business Administration employees assisting business owners in the wake of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. 

According to an April 3 news release from CareFirst, representatives from the Small Business Administration will be onsite at its office six days a week to help business owners affected by the collapse apply for up to $2 million in federal aid. 

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott appealed to local businesses to offer accessible, no-cost space for employees to process applications for aid. 

"While the period of recovery and rebuilding will undoubtedly be long and difficult, members of our community are resilient and have rallied to support one another," Brian Pieninck, president and CEO of CareFirst, said. "When Governor Moore's and Mayor Scott's offices put out a call for local businesses near the Port to step forward and assist in relief efforts, we didn't hesitate." 

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed March 26 after a cargo ship lost power and hit the structure. Six construction workers working on the bridge at the time of collapse are missing and presumed dead, according to The New York Times. 

The collapse is expected to have a ripple effect on the U.S. supply chain. A week after the collapse, small channels were opened to restore traffic in the Port of Baltimore for small vessels, according to The New York Times. Several large ships remain trapped in the harbor, and it will take a long time for the port to return to its historical scale, according to the Times. 

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