Well guys, it is not what happens to you, it is what happens next that counts. Our world has been dealt a huge blow with the COVID-19 outbreak and no one is immune from the consequences. However, our nation, state, and community are full of loving, caring, resilient people who pull together in crises so that we can make it through to brighter days that lie ahead. Your Area Development Partnership (ADP) team is working diligently to promote our member businesses, help our local companies, and yes still proactively working with new companies that may want to locate here.


Our health and our finances are inextricably linked. We must heed the advice of our healthcare experts and elected officias so that the pandemic subsides as quickly as possible. Each day of uncertainty leads to more economic losses. The silver lining is that by working together, we will get through these challenging times and will then hit the accelerator and grow our economy once again. I know that many of you are struggling right now and we want to do everything that we can to assist. Please take a moment to complete this survey so that we can do our best to match needs with the proper resources.



ADP Virtual Events – COVID 19


Rise Up Professional Development Series: Effectively Navigating Human Resources During COVID 19

ADP Panel Discussion – Maneuvering Through the Crisis COVID 19 Update

Forrest Health – COVID-19Merit Health Wesley – COVID-19Hattiesburg Clinic – COVID-19


Through a collaborative effort between the City of Hattiesburg and their Community Working Group, our business community and healthcare providers we’ve compiled a list of suggestions and recommendations to guide private sector businesses looking to reopen.

This guide contains best practices on:

‣ Protecting employees and customers

‣ Cleaning, disinfecting, hygiene and sanitization

‣ Communicating with staff and the public

‣ Personal protective equipment

‣ Paid leave guidelines in federal law

‣ Industry-specific COVID-19 resources

Click here to view the full guide.

COVID-19 TEST SHORTAGE: How a clinic stayed local for solutions

Considering the constantly moving pieces associated with this pandemic, Hattiesburg Clinic knew they had to plan for the arrival of COVID-19. Partnering with the local Forrest General Hospital, their priority was to transform one of the immediate care facilities into a cough and fever clinic to evaluate patients with symptoms of COVID-19. However, after seeing 143 patients on the first day, the clinic was facing a shortage of COVID-19 test kits.

CLICK HERE to read the full article

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Resources

ADP Member Support

The ADP is monitoring COVID-19 virus developments, including updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as local and state partners. If your business is expected to experience adverse conditions as a result of the COVID-19 virus situation, please let us know directly at info@theadp.com.

As we are all working to navigate through recent changes, take advantage of your membership with Area Development Partnership by letting us share your updates!

Tag us in your posts!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ADPHattiesburg/

Twitter: @ADPHattiesburg

Instagram: adp_hattiesburg

Now Hiring

Current Job Listings

Eat Local

Consider these Chamber restaurants as you are planning your meals. This list includes members who are currently offering carry-out, delivery, and/or curbside service. Please call ahead to verify hours of operation. Is your restaurant hosting a pop-up event? Visit Pop Up Eats Hattiesburg to add your listing.

ADP Member Restaurants 

ADP Industry Surveys

Survey response

Remote Working Resources

Remote Working Resources

Federal Assistance for Small Businesses


On Thursday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed a historic, bipartisan $2 trillion economic stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to address the impact of COVID-19 on the nation. The legislation includes a plan to send $1,200 checks to many Americans, unemployment insurance for those who lose their jobs in the crisis, a $500 billion Treasury fund to shore up industries damaged by coronavirus and $377 billion in small business support.

The U.S. Chamber’s SUMMARY OF THE CARES ACT highlights the key pieces for small business, big corporations, and non-profits.

To see how the $2 Trillion breaks down click HERE.

To see how the CARES Act impacts Independent Contractor’s click HERE.


Part of the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses and non-profits, as well as the self-employed and independent contractors. Nearly $350 billion has been authorized for 100% federally guaranteed loans toward job retention and certain other expenses of which a portion is eligible for loan forgiveness on certain operating costs. Generally speaking, as long as employers continue paying employees at normal levels during the eight weeks following the origination of the loan, then the amount they spent on payroll costs (excluding costs for any compensation above $100,000 annually), mortgage interest, rent payments, and utility payments can be combined and that portion of the loan will be forgiven. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. The U.S. Treasury has released new details on the PPP for both borrowers and lenders (links below). The application process opens on Friday, April 3, 2020 (for small businesses, non-profits, and sole proprietorships) and on Friday April 10, 2020 (for independent contractors and the self-employed).

  • For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
  • The application for borrowers can be found HERE

The SBA is providing targeted, low-interest EIDL loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. There is also an EIDL Emergency Advance of up to $10,000 that can be processes in three business days. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.




Difference Between EIDL and PPP Loans

Families First

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) into law. Beginning no later than April 2, 2020, and through December 31, 2020, the FFCRA mandates family medical and sick leave payments for individuals affected by Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) to be paid by employers with fewer than 500 employees. For family medical leave, the determination of the number of employees is based on the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) rules. For sick leave, the determination of the number of employees is based on the rules of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FSLA”).
There are three key parts of the law that relate to employee benefit programs: COVID-19 testing, paid FMLA, and paid sick leave for individuals affected by COVID-19. These payments are funded with a refundable tax credit applied to the employer share of FICA and Medicare taxes due in the quarter in which the payments are made.

To read the entire up please click here.

Click HERE to view the full FFCRA Guide

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. They have also added payroll tax credits and other benefits for small businesses.  This page will be updated as new information is available.

IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief

IRS Filing and Payment Deadline Extended

U.S Response To COVID-19


Other Small Business Assistance


On Wednesday, May 13th, the State House & Senate passed a historic, bipartisan $300 million small business relief bill (S.B. 2772) for businesses impacted by COVID-19. This is the first allocation of the $1.25 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds Mississippi received as part of the federal CARES Act. The relief programs (outlined below) would be for businesses that existed before March 1 and have 50 or fewer employees. Businesses that work in partisan politics or in lobbying are not eligible to apply. It now moves on to Governor Tate Reeves for signing.

Included in this bill is aid for Mississippi small businesses as follows:

Phase I: $60 million

  • $2,000 Relief Checks – All businesses (< 50 employees) that filed Mississippi state income taxes in 2018, 2019, or eligible businesses who intend to file for 2020, and who were subject to any COVID-19 related state, municipal, and/or county required business closure or voluntary closure will receive a $2,000 relief check- no application required. Businesses covered in this phase include clothing stores, dance studios, barber shops, salons, restaurants, etc.


Phase 2: $240 million

  • Relief Grant Program – All businesses (<50 employees) that filed Mississippi state income taxes in 2018, 2019, or eligible businesses who intend to file for 2020, and suffered any interruption in businesses due to COVID-19 may apply to receive up to $25,000 in grants to cover payroll, rent, utilities, mortgage interest payments and other eligible expenses incurred during the the COVID-19 outbreak. Approved applicants under this program will receive a base payment of $1,500 and can either (1) receive an additional $500 per full-time equivalent employee OR (2) itemize eligible expenses on the application form.
  • Additional notes on Phase 2
  • Businesses that receive checks under Phase 1 are still eligible to apply for Phase 2 relief without restriction.
  • Businesses that did not receive federal PPP funds will receive priority for the first 21 days of the program. After that period, businesses that received PPP funds will be allowed to apply, with a portion of their state aid offset based on the amount of the PPP loan.
  • For the first 60 days, $40 million will be reserved for minority-owned businesses.
  • Grants awarded will not be subject to tax.

Both programs will be administered by the MS Development Authority which is already working to get Phase 1 payments sent to eligible business owners without delay.


The Mississippi Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Southern Mississippi is deeply committed to the region’s small business community, especially during this difficult time. Their COVID-19 Business Resources Toolkit contains information about the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and how to apply, business resiliency guides, and details about federal legislation that affects small business. Their business counselors are available to help you navigate through this. To schedule a free appointment with a SBDC counselor or to receive information about their upcoming webinar on the SBA disaster loans, click here.  

For Greater Hattiesburg Residents – please contact the team at the USM’s Small Business Development Center – 662-832-3667 or at rita.a.mitchell@eagles.usm.edu.


To extend a helping hand to small businesses suffering from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation – in partnership with Vistaprint and a coalition of supporting companies, foundations, and philanthropic donors – is working to provide financial relief through the Save Small Business Fund.

The Fund is providing $5,000 in short-term relief to employers across the United States, including chambers of commerce. These one-time supplemental cash grants are for businesses that have between three and 20 employees and operate in an economically vulnerable community.

The grant application will go live on Monday, April 20 at 12:00 PM PT/3:00 PM ET. To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund and to apply for a grant, visit www.savesmallbusiness.com.


Mississippi Power remains committed to delivering safe and reliable energy during the COVID-19 pandemic and recognizes that several community needs have increased during the crisis, especially grocery supplies and assistance with household budgeting.

Mississippi Power, through its Foundation, has committed $350,000 to assist South Mississippi residents, local charities and small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These funds will be dispersed via Mississippi Power’s Project Share and Community Connection programs:

  • $200,000 for Small Businesses – Businesses with 50 employees or less are eligible for this new Project Share program distributed through Catholic Charities.
  • $100,000 for Project Share – Distributed through Catholic Charities. Any Mississippi Power customer with a demonstrated financial need may be eligible to apply for Project SHARE by simply calling 1-855-847-0555.
  • $50,000 for Local Charities – Food banks, non-violence and youth shelters, and other agencies that count on Community Connection donations to operate, especially during a crisis.

For more information on Mississippi Power’s Project Share and Community Connection Program click HERE.


The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Through this Fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have demonstrated being financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. These grants will be made on a first-come first-served basis, subject to availability of funds. 100% of the Fund’s proceeds will go to providing grants to restaurant workers. This Fund is operated by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, whose mission is to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workers.


Application Information (Opens 4/2/2020)


The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. They have also added payroll tax credits and other benefits for small businesses.  This page will be updated as new information is available.

IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief



Remote Working Resources

State Resources

Cases of COVID-19 continue to be identified in U.S. states and in Mississippi. This is a rapidly changing situation that is continually being monitored by the CDC and MSDH as more cases in the U.S. are expected.

Mississippians are advised to take health precautions to prevent the possible transmission of disease, and stay in touch for the latest information on the situation in Mississippi.

Governor Tate Reeves issued an executive Safe Return order on May 28, 2020 that can be found here.

This order went into effect On May 28th, 2020 and has been extended to remain in effect until 8 a.m. on Monday, July 20, 2020. The guidelines for the Safe Return are as follows:

  • All those in the vulnerable population are instructed to continue sheltering in place to protect their health.
    • This includes all elderly individuals (age 65 or older per CDC guidelines) and individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune systems are compromised as such by chemotherapy for cancer or any other condition requiring such therapy.
  • For large group gatherings when social distancing is not possible, groups are limited to 20 people or less indoors and 50 people or less outdoors.
  • For large groups gatherings when social distancing is possible, groups are limited to 50 people or less indoors and 100 people or less outdoors.
  • All travel may resume, while minimizing non-essential business travel when possible.

Essential Businesses

All COVID-19 Executive Orders

State of MS – Coronavirus 

MS Department of Health

MS Emergency Management


Local Government Resources

City of Hattiesburg

This order goes into effect on June 29 and will be enforced until July 7, 2020.

City of Hattiesburg Executive Order

City of Petal

Following guidelines for bars, nightclubs, restaurants, coffee shops, event venues, and fitness centers in the City of Petal which will be implemented beginning March 24, 2020 and will be enforced until April 30, 2020.

  • All restaurants located in the City of Petal, with or without drive-in or drive-through services, may only provide take-out, pick-up, delivery, or drive-through services allowed by law. There shall be no in-house dining or available sitting areas for the public.
  • Bars, taverns, lounges and nightclubs shall close, except to the extent that such establishments may only provide take-out, pick-up, delivery, or drive-through services for food as allowed by law. Entertainment venues, such as skating rinks and bowling alleys, shall close.
  • There shall be no gatherings of more than 10 people for any event. This includes, but is not limited to, church services, weddings, concerts and other entertainment venues.
  • Funerals shall also be limited to 10 or fewer people. Graveside services are encouraged; however, indoor services and viewings are permitted, as long as there are 10 or fewer people inside at one time. Funeral home directors are encouraged to livestream services for those who cannot attend. Funeral home directors should also follow CDC guidelines as it relates to visitations, viewings and funerals.
  • All gyms and fitness centers shall be closed.
Forrest County

The Forrest County Board of Supervisors have announced all restaurants and bars to suspend dine-in services due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Effective March 21, 2020 at 12 p.m., the decision was done in response to the recommendation of the Mississippi Department of Health to prevent the spread of coronavirus and assist in the protection of human life.

Lamar County

Lamar County supervisors have declared a state of emergency amid the coronavirus pandemic. Libraries are closed and meal sites are ceasing operations. Community centers and multipurpose buildings are also closed. All county closures will last until the end of March.

Perry County

Richton Mayor Michael Ruffin issued an executive order March 19, 2020 declaring a local emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The executive order puts a curfew in effect for Richton, unless it is an emergency or for work. It begins at 9 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m.

Individual Resources

Mississippi Department of Employment Security

Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) announced that Mississippi workers who are not able to work due to COVID-19 will be eligible to file for unemployment benefits.

Based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor and Governor Tate Reeves, MDES is modifying existing unemployment compensation rules to allow workers to file a claim for unemployment benefits who are affected based upon these measures below:

  • Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency,
  • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employers due to COVID-19 concerns,
  • Those who are diagnosed with COVID-19,
  • Or, those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

To file an Unemployment Claim, by visiting this site or call the MDES Contact Center at 1-888-844-3577. Online filing is encouraged! A claim may be filed online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, the contact center hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., seven days a week

MDES Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Filing Unemployment in MS Due to COVID-19

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) recently announced that Mississippi workers who are not able to work due to COVID-19 will be eligible to file for unemployment benefits. These temporary measures will help relieve the financial hardship of temporary layoffs by making unemployment benefits available to individuals whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19. This helps not only individuals but also employers by helping them retain their workforce and stabilizing local economies.

MDES has created a resource page of Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Filing Unemployment in Mississippi due to COVID-19. This information will be updated as new details are provided.

To view MDES FAQ Page Click Here

Waiver Removes Unemployment Waiting Period

Governor Reeves has signed an executive order removing the one-week waiting period to receive unemployment benefits for all claims filed from March 8 to June 27, 2020 and suspending all work search requirements that normally must be met to receive benefits.

To view the Executive Order Click Here

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. They have also added payroll tax credits and other benefits for small businesses.  This page will be updated as new information is available.

IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief

IRS Filing and Payment Deadline Extended

Available Wifi

Parking Lot Wifi Location

Now Hiring

Current Job Listings

Mississippi Power Project Share

Our Project SHARE program supports families and small businesses with a demonstrated financial need to help pay their electric bill. Call Catholic Charities at 855-847-0555 to see how we can help.

Remote Working Resources

Remote Working Resources

Testing Centers & Protocols

Curbside Testing 

In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, Forrest General Hospital and Hattiesburg Clinic are now offering curbside testing for COVID-19. This testing will be provided through the Cough & Fever Clinic, located at the Cloverleaf Medical Plaza at 5909 U.S. 49 in Hattiesburg.

Patients must schedule an appointment online at www.curbsidecovid.com a minimum of three hours in advance to get tested.

Cough & Fever Clinic

Effective March 30, 2020, Cough & Fever Clinic and Curbside COVID Testing, both services of Forrest General Hospital and Hattiesburg Clinic, are announcing new hours of operation. They are now open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cough & Fever Clinic will continue to offer walk-in appointments only while Curbside COVID Testing will continue to offer online appointments only.

In partnership with Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg Clinic has opened a Cough and Fever Clinic in response to the increasing Coronavirus concerns. The clinic is located at Cloverleaf Immediate Care, 5909 US Highway 49, across the street from Walmart.

Do not go to an immediate care or emergency room if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.


  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

Patients will be evaluated to determine if they meet the CDC guidelines for testing for COVID-19 based on symptoms, travel, and exposures.

If you are not showing symptoms and need to see a physician, please call your primary care provider or visit Iris to schedule a video visit.

If you need to contact Cough & Fever Clinic, please call (601) 261-1533.


MS Local COVID-19 Testing Providers

Forrest General Hotline

Forrest General has created a Hot Line telephone number for anyone calling into the hospital with general questions regarding COVID-19 or other general questions related to visitors, symptoms, supplies, etc. The Hot Line is staffed with nurses from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m., 7 days a week. The number to call is 601-288-1111.



K-12 Education

Our local school districts are releasing plans for returning to school next month. District leaders are using data, parent surveys, and guidance from experts to keep students safe and on track. You can view each district’s plan below. We are grateful for the strong school leaders in and amazing teachers that serve our community each day.

  • Forrest County School District

    Forrest County School District

    School Reopening Guide:  

    COVID-19 Guidelines Include:

    • Employee Temperature Checks
    • Student Temperature Checks
    • Mask/Face Coverings
    • Hand Washing
    • Sanitizing
    • Classroom/Office Distancing
    • Additional Student/Parent Communication
    • Virtual Attendance Option

    For more information and to read the entire Forrest County District Plan please click here.

  • Hattiesburg Public School District


    COVID-19 Guidelines Include:

    • Additional daily cleaning
    • Daily temperature checks
    • Social Distancing
    • Hand Required to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible
    • Individualized resources as available

    For more information and to read the entire Hattiesburg School District Plan please click here.

  • Lamar County School District


    School Reopening Guide:  

    COVID-19 Guidelines Include:

    • At home Before School Screening
    • Temperature Checks for Staff
    • Masks
    • Visual Social Distancing Markers
    • Sanitizing
    • Classroom/Office Distancing
    • Early Dismissal on Wednesdays.

    For more information and to read the entire Lamar County District Plan please click here.


  • Petal School District


    School Reopening Guide:  

    COVID-19 Guidelines Include:

    • Traditional School Model with Virtual Distance option
    • Social Distancing
    • Sanitizing
    • Home Screenings for Students
    • Self-Staff Screenings
    • Masks required while in motion

    For more information and to read the entire Petal School District Plan please click here.


  • Perry County School District


    School Reopening Guide:  

    COVID-19 Guidelines Include:

    • Temperature check before being allowed on the bus
    • Face shields during small group instruction
    • Distance learning available for those who cannot attend. due to health concerns
    • Sanitizing

    For more information and to read the entire Perry County School District Plan please click here.


  • Richton School District


    School Reopening Guide:  

    COVID-19 Guidelines Include:

    • Temperature check before being allowed on the bus
    • Mask in possession while on campus and worn while in common areas

    For more information and to read the entire Richton School District Plan please click here.

The ADP compiled a list of their favorite free education resources to keep students from losing ground during this challenging, extended break from school. The “Summer Slide” is the tendency for students, especially those from under-resourced families, to lose some of the gains they made during the previous school year. So, let’s work together to prevent this slide! When students move forward, our community moves forward!

ADP’s Favorite Educational Resources

Free Audible Stories for Students

Higher Education

  • Pearl River Community College

    Pearl River Community College

    Pearl River Community College is moving safely forward while keeping students, faculty and staff at the center of all decisions in the midst of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

    PRCC students with questions should check the FAQ tab and Resources tab first. If their answer is not found, they should view the Contact Us tab and reach out to the specific department or their instructor via email. Beginning Monday, March 30th, a chat feature and call center will be available for students still needing assistance.

    Students will begin coursework online on Monday, March 30th. Students are instructed to check their emails as well as their Canvas courses Monday morning for course instructions. With several Career and Technical programs and lab-based courses being offered as part of Pearl River’s varied curriculum, alternative learning opportunities are being explored that consider both student health and their future career objectives. Career and Technical and lab-based instructors are keeping in contact with their students as to organize the best instruction options for their specific needs. Students should expect instructions from their instructors regarding these situations.

  • University of Southern Mississippi

    University of Southern Mississippi

    The University has converted institutional functions to remote formats wherever possible and limited operations and access at all locations.

    A Message from the President:

    • As students – you have remained engaged and followed CDC guidance to help protect yourselves and those closest to you. I am deeply grateful for your patience and adaptability as our faculty, staff, and executive leadership team have worked quickly to implement changes designed to support your success. I encourage you to continue consulting resources to help you Keep Learning during this transition, and to contact your instructors or the Dean of Students office if you need assistance.
    • As faculty and staff – you have worked countless hours to learn new technologies and convert course work, operations, and services to remote formats. I sincerely appreciate your dedication to making this transition as seamless as possible for our students and your willingness to remain flexible throughout this ever-evolving situation.
    • As alumni and friends – you have helped to share the University’s COVID-19 response updates, and you have supported one another as neighbors and as members of our Golden Eagle family. Thank you for continuing to demonstrate the Southern Miss Spirit to the world, despite the uncertainty we all now face.

    To read the full message please click here.

    Guide to Course Completion

    Internet Access


  • William Carey University

    William Carey University

    Beginning on March 23 all WCU classes will be delivered online.  Special arrangements are being made for professional programs that involve clinical components.