More help on the way for small business owners as U.S. Chamber of Commerce prepares to launch new grant program

Thirty-five percent of small business owners across the United States say their business cannot survive more than three months in current conditions, according to a report released by the study group WalletHub.

The empty parking lots and local shopping plazas that look more like a scene from a sci-fi movie are common sights and the new normal as the entire nation and South Mississippi stays on lock down to drive down the spread of COVID-19. The virus is far-reaching, killing people, profits, and jobs while driving up the unemployment rate drastically.

According to a WalletHub study release Thursday, Mississippi has the 5th biggest increase in unemployment claims due to the Coronavirus. Leaders with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce say the Payroll Protection Program will help keep many of our small businesses from closing and their employees going. Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Adele Lyons said, “The Payroll Protection Program, which is mainly focused on payroll and bringing people back on to work, we’re hearing from several of our members and businesses that they have gotten their funds. Now they’re ready to start implementing that plan. Again, it’s going to take a little time to get people back on.”

As of Tuesday, small businesses in Mississippi had received 14,209 loans totaling nearly $2 billion to help keep their companies afloat during the pandemic, but there are plenty of things we can do here locally to help out, shop local first, order food to go, purchase gift cards from local shops. “Buying local is super important at this time.”

Additional funding and help is on the way for small businesses and it’s right at the tips of your fingers. On Thursday, The United States Chamber of Commerce announced that on April 20th, it will be launching its Save Small Business Fund program, distributing $5,000 dollar grants to small employers throughout the U.S. Just go to savesmallbusiness.com to apply.

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