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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE SMALL BUSINESS FUND
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
Remote Working Resources