On May 29, Governor 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 Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program just over a week ago, Governor Reeves has been working with the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) 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," said Governor Tate Reeves at the press briefing. "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."
To jumpstart the process of businesses preparing their applications, backtobusinessms.org was launched to outline eligibility requirements and necessary paperwork to compile until the applications go live. Features of the website include email signup to receive notifications when applications are open and a FAQ section as well.
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.
Governor Reeves also announced the 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. 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," said Governor Reeves.
Consulting with Dr. Thomas Dobbs and our state health experts, Governor Reeves issued a new executive order extending the social distancing guidelines until Monday, June 8 at 8:00 AM 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 today, which you can view live on our Facebook page here.
You can view the text version of Executive Order No. 1493 here. A signed version of the executive order will be available on our website at governorreeves.ms.gov/covid-19/.