Back to Business Mississippi Grant to benefit LOU Community

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, June 4, 2020

Businesses in the LOU Community are encouraged to take advantage of state programs to help recover from losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill on May 20 establishing a grant to help Mississippi businesses with 50 or fewer employees recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, including operating expenses and salaries.

The Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program was established in Senate Bill 2772. The bill transferred $240 million to the fund, which can be accessed through the Mississippi Development Authority.

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The requirements for the Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program include:

  1. Must be a for-profit corporation, limited liability company, a partnership or a sole proprietorship
  2. Was domestic as of March 1, 2020
  3. Is in good standing with the Mississippi Secretary of State, if applicable
  4. Suffered an interruption of business
  5. Has a controlling interest owned by one or more Mississippi residents, whether individual resident citizens or Mississippi domestic business entities
  6. Filed Mississippi taxes for tax year 2018 or 2019, or, for an eligible business formed on or after January 1, 2020, intends to file Mississippi taxes for tax year 2020, unless exempt under Section 27-7-29, Section 27-13-63 or other applicable provision of law
  7. Has customers or employees coming to its physical premises, conducts business on customer premises, or has an owner who is an active participant in the day-to-day operations of the business
  8. Had no more than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees as of March 1, 2020
  9. Is not a subsidiary of a business with more than 50 FTEs; is not part of a larger business enterprise with more than 50 FTEs and is not owned by a business with more than 50 FTEs
  10. Does not exist for the purpose of advancing partisan political activities, does not directly lobby federal or state officials as provided in Sections 5-8-1 through 5-8-23, and has not employed or otherwise worked with a lobbyist as defined in Section 5-8-3 in any way at any point during 2020
  11. Does not derive income from passive investments without active participation in business operations

Those who are not sure if they meet the requirements can visit the MDA website. Applications from small businesses will start to be accepted soon.

Jon Maynard, the president and CEO of the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation, said he believes that something like this needed to be done in Mississippi for a long time.

“I think the Back to Business Program is a good thing for small businesses,” Maynard said. “Small businesses have really been struggling lately, and our economy took a huge hit. At least this way, we’ll be able to get some cash into our small businesses.”

Businesses wanting to access these funds must apply in order to receive a base payment of $1,500, plus $500 per full-time employee or payment based on itemized expenses. The maximum amount available to each business is $25,000.

 “We’re not out of the woods yet,” Maynard said. “My advice to business owners is to apply for it. If they’re not sure if they can or if they have questions they can call our offices. We’ll be happy to point them in the right direction.”