On May 4th, the state received $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding to help Mississippians during the coronavirus pandemic.
After some back and forth between Governor Tate Reeves and the Legislature on who has the real authority to spend the funds, they finally came to an agreement to work together.
RELATED: Gov and Legislative Leaders Come To An Agreement
Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, the House and Senate passed SB 2772, a plan that only uses 25% of the CARES Act funding to help small businesses.
“We believe that getting Mississippi’s economy back starts with small business,” Speaker of the House Philip Gunn said.
Phase 1 of SB 2772 divides $60 million between nearly 30,000 businesses that were forced to close due to coronavirus such as hair salons, barbershops, dance studios, gyms, restaurants, etc. That equals around $2,000 per business. These businesses qualify immediately, and they can still go through the application process and get additional funding.
In Phase 2, $240 million will go to businesses that go through the application process. These businesses must have 150 employees or less, be in good standing (paid taxes in 2018 and 2019), and owned by Mississippians.
These funds are not to be used for loss of revenue, but instead, expenses like mortgage, rent, payroll, and utilities, that have incurred over the past 2 months of being shut down.
The state will be required to repay this money if it is misused.
“We are one of the first states in the country to allocate the money. I think that’s a very healthy thing for our state,” Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said. “I am very proud of our senate and house members.”
The Lt. Gov. also pointed out that it only took the legislature 10 days to come up with a plan once the funds were received.
Speaker of the House Philip Gunn said, “The people I want to thank the most are the Senators and House members. A lot of decisions had to be made and the real heroes here are the senate and house members who voted and understand the importance of our small businesses.”
SB 2772 is now in Governor Reeves’ hands.