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Nissan Canton plant lays off 4,000 workers to slow coronavirus spread

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Since March 20, when Nissan ceased production in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the company said it continued paying the employees it sent home their full salary.

This week, Nissan temporarily laid off all employees at its Canton plant, about 4,000, who have stopped working during the pandemic. The company plans to start production again on April 27, but still hasn’t determined the safest way to bring back employees, whether all at once or staggered over time.

“Obviously safety is the most important thing, especially if the virus hasn’t started to flatten out in terms of new cases,” said Nissan spokesperson Lloryn Love-Carter. “When you have that many people in a plant, we don’t want to be a reason for the cases to grow.”

Nissan’s approach diverges from some other large companies that have continued plant operations in Mississippi, such as Ingalls Shipbuilding, which employs 11,500 in Pascagoula and has reported 13 COVID-19 cases among its employees. Ingalls, like other employers, has conducted deep cleaning and sanitizing to contain the spread of the virus.

Nissan encourages its workers to file for unemployment, which comes with a maximum weekly benefit of $235 in Mississippi.

Federal legislation passed over a week ago boosts that amount by $600, but Mississippi Department of Employment Security spokesperson Dianne Bell said Monday the state still doesn’t know when it will kick in.

The increase, which will make it easier for jobless workers to support their families during this time, played into Nissan’s decision to layoff workers.

“The enhanced benefits through the CARES Act, that gave us some solace in terms of making that decision,” Love-Carter said.

During the last week in March, a historic 31,000 Mississippians filed for unemployment as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in shuttered businesses and cancelled events. Nissan’s layoffs could result in another rush of claims for an agency already struggling to keep up with the influx.

The Nissan plant in Canton, opened in 2003 after receiving generous tax incentives from the state, $1.3 billion in the first decade, is touted as one of Mississippi’s greatest economic achievements. Once employing over 6,000 workers, recent sales declines resulted in layoffs at the Canton plant. Now the plant employs about 5,250 — which includes an unspoken number of temporary workers that don’t receive the same benefits as Nissan employees.

About 1,250 current employees are administrative, managerial, or maintenance workers who can continue working even through production has stopped, including some working from home.

While the plant currently plans to resume operations in three weeks and eventually hire back all employees, Love-Carter said the company will “continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”


This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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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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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KeyWay Coin Laundry adding second location

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Photo courtesy of KeyWay Coin Laundry.

Speculation has been running rampant on social media as to what is being built on Iowa Boulevard across from C-Spire.

The Vicksburg Daily News has confirmed that KeyWay Coin Laundry is adding a second Vicksburg location on that site.

KeyWay is owned by Vicksburg native Key Ramsey along with his two sons Chaz and Chandler. They have been in business 12 years since opening their first location in Brookhaven, Mississippi. They now have 20 locations throughout the state from Vicksburg to Meridian and down to the Gulf Coast.

The company purchased the former Wendy’s building at 2500 Clay St. several years ago and recently made some improvements in that location by painting and adding new dryers.

The Clay Street location has been recently updated (photo courtesy of KeyWay Coin Laundry).

Key Ramsey is a 1978 graduate of St. Aloysius and a 1982 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi.

Ramsey said he is hopeful that the Iowa Boulevard location will be open in early spring as construction is expected to take around 120 days. This new location will be similar in design to the company’s Yazoo City location.

For more information on the company visit Keywaylaundry.com.

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