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Mississippi Offers Virus Relief Grant worth $300m to Small Businesses

May 22, 2020 / Nilesh Kumbharkar
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  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves expects to sign a bill to create grants for small businesses by using part the state’s coronavirus relief money.

  • The price tag for the grants would be $300 million.

  • The programs would be for businesses that existed before March 1 and have 50 or fewer employees.


Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said last week that he expects to sign a bill to create grants for small businesses by using part the state’s coronavirus relief money.

The governor’s staff was involved in negotiations that led to the bill that the Republican-controlled state House and Senate passed with broad bipartisan support. Reeves said his staff will review the bill, and he will sign it if all the details are as expected.


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“Wall Street is going to be just fine,” Reeves said Thursday. “Main Street is where my concern is – Main Street, Mississippi.”

The aid package was crafted days after Reeves and legislative leaders set aside a feud over whether the governor or legislators have the power to spend the $1.25 billion that Mississippi is receiving from the federal government for virus relief.

“We were motivated by the needs of the people of Mississippi, and not by anything else,” Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said Thursday.

The price tag for the grants would be $300 million.


We felt great urgency to get help to our small businesses. I think small businesses are the backbone of the state.

- Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn


A $60 million program would provide $2,000 grants for businesses that were forced to closed by government orders, including barbershops, salons, dance studios, gyms and child care centers.


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The other $240 million would be for grants ranging from $1,500 to $25,000 to cover expenses for virus response. For the first 21 days, the only applications considered would be from businesses that did not receive aid from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. And for the first 60 days, $40 million of this money would be reserved for minority-owned businesses.

The programs would be for businesses that existed before March 1 and have 50 or fewer employees. Reeves said he hopes the grant programs can be up and running soon.