Local businesses stocking up during Coronavirus pandemic
Some local businesses have been hit hard while others are actually in a unique position to help supply South Mississippi’s demands.
The essentials are rolling in here on a daily basis at Gulf Coast Business Furniture and Supply Company in Gulfport. John Rea with Gulf Coast Business Furniture and Supply Company said, “We do currently have plenty of toilet paper, paper towels, some disinfectant.”
Good news for locals like Brent Byers who rounded up plenty of toilet paper after he and his mother were unable to find any at national retailers in South Mississippi.
Supplies are replenishing here daily, but some supplies are getting hard and harder to get a hold of. “I just got off the phone with a supplier that had a bit of bad news. Again, the feds have stepped in, taking a lot of the orders on disinfectant wipes, and filling needs for emergency management. We were told our order that we were expecting on disinfectant wipes won’t be coming in on March 24th, but that they’ve been pushed back.”
Despite some setbacks, this sharp-minded business man does see the silver lining for his nearly 30-year-old business, but he also knows all too well some of his fellow local business owners are feeling the pinch right now and says if there was ever a time to buy local, it’s now. “Most of the local community and business owners, we do go out and sponsor their baseball teams, or we go out and have giveaways every year. We do a lot for the homeless, too, in the area. We continue to try to give back to the local community every chance we get. Again, the Amazons of the world are not in touch with those needs.”
But some help is available, with up to $2 million in low-interest federal assistance disaster loans available for businesses hit hard by the Coronavirus. Adele Lyons with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce said, “The Small Business Administration has some information out about some loans they’ll be offering, low interest loans that are available. We’re going to be pushing that on our Facebook. The Small Business Administration here locally can also answer some of those questions.”
Rea, like all of us, is hoping that we’ll all be able to weather this storm together as a community, like we have in the past here in South Mississippi.
If you’d like more information on the SBA Loans available in our area call the Gulfport Branch Office at 228-863-4449 or visit their website at www.sba.gov/ms.