Simmons offers legislative update

By SARITA SIMMONS,

We passed Senate Bill 2772 to create a $300 million relief package for small businesses forced to shut down because of COVID-19.

The bill which now goes to the governor for approval, will in the first 21 days send $2,000 checks to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that were affected and did not receive assistance from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. That portion costs $60 million and includes payments to barbers, certain restaurants, beauticians and others.

After the initial 21-day period, $240 million will be made available in grants ranging from $1,500 to $25,000 to all applicants who meet criteria established by the Mississippi Development Authority, who will accept applications. Some payments may be reduced depending on the level of assistance businesses have received from the Paycheck Protection Program

Minority and women owned businesses will draw from a $40 million set aside.

·         Applicants must have filed income taxes in 2018 or 2019 and plan to file for 2020.

·         Businesses that qualify are those forced to shut down or voluntarily closed due to coronavirus. The business must have been formed before March 1, 2020.

·         Mississippi Development Authority will be assisted by the state Department of Revenue and Department of Finance and Administration in dispersing the funds.

·         It lists eligible expenses due to interruption of business may consist only of mortgage interest, rent, payroll and utilities, or other COVID-19-related expenses allowed by law, each for no more than a two-month period,” according to the bill. Lost profits are not covered or reimbursed.

This is the first expenditure made from $1.25 billion in federal CARES Act COVID-19 relief money Mississippi received to assist with coronavirus recovery.

Please call me if I can assist you with information for filing to receive COVID-19 money if you qualify. I can be reached at 601-359-3237

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