Mississippi lawmakers send $300 million small business relief proposal to governor

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U.S. one-hundred dollar currency banknotes pass through a money counting machine at a bank branch inside the FHB Commercial Bank Ltd, also known as FHB Kereskedelmi Bank Zrt, headquarters in Budapest, Hungary on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. Hungary moved closer to regaining its investment grade status at Moody’s Investors Service after Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government helped reduce the country’s debt load and kept the budget deficit in check. Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty Images

JACKSON, Miss. — Small businesses in Mississippi may soon receive additional relief amid the coronavirus pandemic if a bill approved by lawmakers gets signed by Governor Tate Reeves.

If approved Senate Bill 2772 will allocate $300 million from the Coroanvirus Relief Fund to create two programs: the direct payment program and the Back to Business Mississippi Grant Fund.

Qualifying small businesses that shut down due to the coronavirus will receive a $2,000 check as part of the direct payment program.

Approximately $60 million of the total $300 million will be used for this program with the vast majority ($40 million) of that going to minority-owned businesses.

The remaining $240 million will be set aside for the Back to Business Mississippi Grant Fund, which will provide up to $25,000 to cover costs that were a direct result of the pandemic, lawmakers said.

Any business that has 50 or fewer employees that was closed due to the coronavirus can apply for the grant. However, only those business which did not receive funds from the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance, any other federal program or compensation from business interruption insurance will be considered for the first 21 days that the grant is available.

Qualifying businesses in both categories must:

  • Have registered with the Mississippi Department of Revenue on or before March 1, 2020;
  • Have filed state taxes for the 2018 or 2019 tax year, or plan to file state taxes for 2020 (only businesses which were created on or after January 1, 2020);
  • Not be a subsidiary of a business with 50 or less employees, or be part of or owned by a larger business enterprise with 50 or less employees; and
  • Be controlled by one or more Mississippi residents.

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