TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) --The deadline is quickly approaching for small businesses to apply for the Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program.
In May, Governor Tate Reeves passed the program to give small businesses with 50 or fewer employees financial help for the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Steve Vanzant is owner of Vanzant Barbershop Lounge. He said his business took a hit at the start of the pandemic.
“I actually enjoyed staying at home, but it was challenging financially because there wasn’t no money being made, no income was coming in,” Vanzant said.
He said the community is supportive, and business is picking back up again. He added things aren’t entirely back to normal because the shop still has to follow CDC guidelines. However, he’s still very grateful for the grant program.
“For Back to Business to consider giving us a grant and being able to apply that to a business is very fulfilling because a lot of small businesses around the area took a hit being off months at a time,” Vanzant said.
David Rumbarger is president and CEO of Tupelo’s Community Development Foundation -- explained the application process for businesses.
“You can apply two different ways. You can apply for a single-user, which is a thirty-five hundred dollar limit, or you can apply for your actual expenses that you were impugned during the time of shutdown during COVID,” Rumbarger said.
Those expenses can include utilities, rent, and mortgages.
“Minority businesses, women-owned businesses actually have a leg up in this process. They have a special set aside, or an amount that’s directly to them,” Rumbarger said.
“Having the grant and being able to apply it to your business to save it possibly is a great thing,” Vanzant said.
The deadline to apply for the Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program is September 15. You can find the link to the program’s website with application information here.