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Hobby Lobby closes all stores and furloughs employees until further notice

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(Photo courtesy Hobby Lobby)

From Hobby Lobby: 

As the country continues efforts to manage and mitigate the devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus, Hobby Lobby will, after careful consideration, close the remainder of its stores, and furlough nearly all store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees, effective Friday, April 3, at 8 p.m. The stores will remain closed until further notice.

In order to allow our furloughed employees to take full advantage of the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Recovery Rebates provided to eligible employees by the federal government, we are ending emergency leave pay and suspending use of Company provided paid time off benefits (PPTO and Vacation) in accordance with the requirements outlined in the CARES Act (subject to State law requirements). However, we will maintain medical, dental, life, and long-term disability benefits for employees while furloughed through at least May 1, 2020, and will pay the cost of employee premiums for these benefits on behalf of employees while furloughed without pay. We encourage furloughed employees to file their claims with their State’s unemployment commissions as soon as possible. Upon return, employees will retain their original dates of hire and any accrued PPTO and Vacation. Our sincere gratitude goes out to our dedicated employees at this difficult time, and we look forward to the day when we can welcome them back, once we are able to reopen.

We know our customers relied on us to provide essential products, including materials to make personal protective equipment, such as face masks, educational supplies for the countless parents who are now educating their children from home, and the thousands of small arts and crafts businesses who rely on us for supplies to make their products. Over the past several weeks, we implemented several best practices to provide a safer shopping environment, including the installation of physical barriers between customers and cashiers, enhanced cleaning, and the enforcement of social distancing measures. We are prepared to reopen our stores in a responsible way when the current situation improves, and look forward to welcoming our valued customers back to our stores. Until then, we pray for those affected by the virus, protection for the health care professionals caring for the sick, economic security for all impacted businesses and employees, and wisdom for our leaders.

Business

Vicksburg inks deal with Viking River Cruises valued at $2.5 million

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The Viking Mississippi (image source: Viking USA)

Although Vicksburg hasn’t seen a riverboat docking in months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it hasn’t stopped the city or the companies running riverboat cruises from planning for the future.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. announced Tuesday that the city had signed an agreement with Viking USA, the parent company of Viking River Cruises. The contract includes $2.5 million in improvements that Viking will make to the waterfront. According to its website, Viking will begin Mississippi River cruises beginning in October 2022.

“This is a big win for Vicksburg’s future at no cost to taxpayers,” Flaggs wrote in a social media post Tuesday.

The agreement states that Viking will build a floating dock to accommodate its boats and a 10-foot wide sidewalk leading to parking and a pedestrian crossing over nearby railroad tracks. It could also include utility tie-ins, benches, pavilions, curbing, striping and signage Viking may want to add.

The city included the pedestrian crossing in its waterfront improvement plan announced in September.

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Business

Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce graduates first Entrepreneur Bootcamp class

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Participants in the first class of the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp graduated from the program the night of Nov. 10 at the Hinds Community College Campus.

For six weeks, 12 participants who are working to start or grow their small businesses learned about entrepreneurship as well as topics such as legal, finance, accounting, marketing and other essential components associated with starting and running a successful business.

The program included speakers from different industries that support small businesses as well as the presence of a business coach from Hinds Community College. Participants used the support system and resources afforded by the bootcamp to develop a business plan, which they can submit to compete for a seed grant of $1,000 to help them with the cost of opening or improving their recently opened small business. Participants competing for the seed grant will submit their plans on or before Dec. 8. They will also present the plan in front of a committee for review and ranking. The entrepreneur who develops the best and most feasible business plan will receive the $1,000 seed grant.

The Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp seed grant is sponsored by the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce, the City of Vicksburg, Hinds Community College, BancorpSouth, Mutual Credit Union, Home Bank, River Hills Bank, Regions, Guaranty Bank and Trustmark.

By proclamation of Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Nov. 16 through 22 is Mississippi’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. See the proclamation below.

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Business

Secretary of state warns of misleading business mailer

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The Mississippi secretary of state’s office urges the business community, especially LLCs, to be cautious of a misleading mailer sent by a private entity called C.F.S.

In the mailer, the company offers to prepare 2021 annual reports for a $75 fee. The mailer may appear to be official government correspondence, but the fine print makes it clear it is not. All business owners should be aware this correspondence is not authorized by the Mississippi secretary of state’s office.

A sample of the mailer is shown below.

(click image to enlarge)

(Click image to enlarge)

As a reminder, domestic LLC owners can file annual reports on the secretary of state’s website at no cost. Annual reports are due by April 15 of each year, and our office sends numerous reminders, via electronic mail and traditional mail, reminding Mississippi LLCs of upcoming filing deadlines and responsibilities.

Businesses may report deceptive or misleading solicitations to our office or the Mississippi attorney general’s office. The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Hotline is 1-800-281-4418.

For more information, please contact the secretary of state’s Business Services Division at [email protected] or 601-359-1633.

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