COVID-19 Update
Mississippi Legislature Creates Small Business Grant Program

Last Wednesday, House and Senate leadership came to an agreement on how to start spending Mississippi’s CARES Act funds. After several days of hearings, the legislature agreed that the first step towards economic recovery was to focus on small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic response. Senate Bill 2772 creates two programs that will be run through the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and will issue a total of $300 million in grants to small businesses.

  1. The first program will provide up to $60 million in $2,000 grants to small businesses that were forced to close in response to the pandemic.
  2. The second will distribute up to $240 million in grants (ranging from $1,500 to $25,000) to aid other small business suffering effects from COVID-19. Priority will be given to those businesses that have not received federal aid from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Businesses that existed prior to March 1, 2020, have 50 employees or less and meet certain other financial criteria are eligible to qualify for these programs. SB 2772 has been sent to Governor Reeves for his signature. The Governor has until Wednesday to make a final decision, but has expressed his desire to get this much needed assistance out to struggling businesses as soon as possible.
Governor Reeves Announces New Interim Director of MDA

Last Friday, Governor Reeves announced that John Rounsaville would take the helm at the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) as Interim Director. This announcement comes on the heels of the legislature’s passage of SB 2772, which would sets up a $300 million grant program, administered by MDA, for small business impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rounsaville has previously worked for Congressman Chip Pickering and Governor Haley Barbour. Most recently, Rounsaville has been serving as the State Director for USDA Rural Development, appointed to that position by President Trump.
NAM Brings Together Business Associations to Fight for Liability Protections

The NAM and the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action is urging Congress to provide commonsense and appropriately tailored liability protections for manufacturers and other essential industries. The NAM brought together nearly 300 national and regional associations to join our call to action. Manufacturers should not be punished for leading our country’s response to COVID-19, operating in good faith and trying to do the right thing.
Safety Guidance Published for Manufacturers

Last week, the CDC and OSHA issued joint manufacturing guidance on keeping workplaces safe and measures that should be taken during our economy’s return to work. We have heard concerns from members about the web of recommendations from DOL and CDC and encouraged the agencies to collaborate and release thorough and comprehensive safety guidance together. The interim guidance details control measures, face coverings, PPE, screening and other important topics for facilities that have remained operational and those coming back online. 
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