The Mississippi Legislature passed legislation that, once signed into law by Governor Reeves, will appropriate $300 million for small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Senate Bill 2772 sets aside $300 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to create two programs providing a direct payment to some businesses and a grant to others.
The direct payment program would provide qualifying businesses that shut down — including hair salons, fitness centers, and some restaurants — a flat $2,000 check. All small businesses with 50 or fewer employees experiencing interruption due to COVID-19 can apply for the “Back to Business Mississippi Grant Fund,” authorizing up to $25,000 for costs incurred as a result of the virus.
The legislation provides $60 million to the direct payment program and $240 million to grants. For the first 60 days, $40 million from the grant program will be set aside for minority-owned businesses. The first 21 days of the application period will only be available to businesses that 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.
To qualify under either program, a business 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.
The programs are available to all small businesses, including sole proprietorships.
Source: Mississippi Secretary of State