Friday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced the launch of the “Back to Business Mississippi” grant program website to help small businesses receive financial support quickly to recover from the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19.
Since establishing the program just over a week ago, Reeves has been working with the Mississippi Development Authority to administer the grants to small businesses as quickly as possible.
“We are working to quickly get out funds from the CARES Act to small businesses. We are launching a website today, backtobusinessms.org, which outlines eligibility requirements and paperwork to compile to get access to this grant program,” Reeves said Friday at his daily news conference. “The team at MDA is reviewing the competitive bids to administer these funds—those were due today—and should have all the details out by the evening. Then they can put out the application as soon as next week if all goes according to plans.”
Features of the website include email signup to receive notifications when applications are open and an FAQ section.
Businesses in Mississippi with 50 or fewer employees will be able to apply to the grant program for help recovering from the pandemic, including operating expenses and salaries.
Reeves also announced that additional social distancing measures implemented to limit transmission in counties identified at a higher risk will be extended until June 8.
“We continue to see more and more cases across the state, and it is a reminder that this is not over,” Reeves said. “A flat curve does not mean a community free of transmission—it means we are spreading it out over more time. The risk is still very real. Today, I am extending the executive order that puts stricter health rules in place for counties with the greatest risk.”
Consulting with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and other state health experts, Reeves issued a new executive order extending the social distancing guidelines until Monday, June 8, at 8 a.m. for Holmes, Jasper, Neshoba and Lauderdale counties, which remain at an increased risk for transmission within their communities. Wayne County has also been identified as a region at higher risk for transmission and is now under the same additional restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Having seen a positive impact under these additional guidelines, Attala, Leake, Scott, and Newton counties are now at lower rates of transmission and can relax these social distancing measures.
Governor Reeves announced the grant program website and latest executive order at his daily press briefing Friday, which you can view live on our Facebook page.
View the PDF version of Executive Order No. 1493 here.