Legislature approves direct payment of $2,000 to all businesses to aid economy

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 16, 2020

The state of Mississippi received $1.25 billion from the federal government to help with the effects COVID-19 had on the economy.
This week, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 2772, which doled out $300 million of the $1.25 billion in funds to solely help local businesses. District 108 Representative Stacey Wilkes said that the bill includes an immediate payment of $2,000 to any business that was operating prior to the executive orders issued as part of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional funding can be obtained through application processes. Businesses that will receive the one-time direct payment will be those who were registered with the Mississippi Department of Revenue prior to the mandated closures issued as part of that executive order. Wilkes said those payments, totaling $60 million, are just the first round of the money that will be issued from that $300 million. That round of payments will not require business owner to apply.
A second round of grant funding from the $300 million total will require business owners to apply for funding. That will include $40 million set aside for minority business owners. Any money left over from the minority business fund will be added to the remaining $200 million for any other business that did not receive funding. Businesses that will get priority in the approval process include those that did not receive assistance from the Paycheck Protection Plan or the Small Business Administration funding.
Qualifying businesses can receive up to $25,000 in grant funding from the application portion of this assistance.
Wilkes said each application process for grant funding will be open for 21 days from the day the application process starts.
Details concerning the application process are still being worked out, Wilkes said.
None of the $300 million outlined in this portion of funding will be provided to any government, Wilkes said.
Additional programs will be developed using the remainder of the $1.25 billion, which Wilkes said should be through the end of December.

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