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MBJ FEATURE

Hotels treading water in Coronavirus tide

By JACK WEATHERLY Hotels across Mississippi and the nation are treading water as they wait for the Coronavirus tide to recede and the economy to fully reopen. Occupancy ranges from single digit percentages to low 20 percentages, according to two lodging associations in Mississippi. Target occupancy rates are 60 to 70 percent “at the very least” said Pat Fontaine, executive ...

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TUESDAY — 234 new Coronavirus cases and 22 new deaths are reported

By ROSS REILY Mississippi’s total of presumptive cases of COVID-19 now stands at 9,908 after the Mississippi Health Department reported 234 newly identified cases on Tuesday. It is the 35th day in the last 37 (28th consecutive) that the single-day total has been more than 100 with 17 days of more than 200 and five days of 300 or more ...

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Banks operating in Mississippi have helped customers receive billions in SBA support

By BECKY GILLETTE The first round of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) provided by the Small Business Administration resulted in 20,784 loans for $2.5 billion to Mississippi businesses and non-profits. SBA Mississippi District Director Janita R. Stewart said that represented an astronomical number of loans. A total equal to 14 years of SBA loans were made in less than 14 days, ...

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Hancock Whitney donates $2.5 million to help the most vulnerable in South Mississippi

By BECKY GILLETTE Many of Hancock’s branches were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, but the bank set up card tables and tents in parking lots to give people access to money in their accounts. They even made millions in loans on Post-It notes. Since then Hancock acquired Whitney Bank. And now Hancock Whitney has stepped up to the plate to help ...

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Analysis: Reeves tries to balance concerns of health, jobs

Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is having to balance his libertarian-leaning instincts with public health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been his job the past several weeks to order some businesses to temporarily close and to restrict people’s face-to-face interactions to try to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus. His statewide “shelter in place” order remains in ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Republican leaders make-up after week-long shootout

Following a week-long hormonal brawl and a legal shootout over who would control $1.25 billion in federal coronavirus funding, Mississippi’s top leaders got together last Thursday saying, aw shucks, we didn’t mean it, we’re best buds.  It started with masked legislators hijacking control of the money from Gov. Tate Reeves. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn ...

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Mississippi businesses received $2.4 billion in first round of SBA PPP funding

By BECKY GILLETTE Mississippi District Director Small Business Administration Janita R. Stewart said here in Mississippi, about 280 in and out-of-state bank and non-bank lending institutions participation in the first round of Payroll Protection Program making 20,784 loans for $2,481,000,606 billion to Mississippi businesses and non-profits. “During round 1 of PPP, an astronomical number worth a total of 14 years ...

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Restaurants take advantage of resumption of dining in

By JACK WEATHERLY Restaurants are taking advantage of the loosening of pandemic restrictions. Gov. Tate Reeves  announced last week he was allowing more people to dine in starting May 7, as long as restaurants do not exceed 50 percent of seating capacity. The idea is to leave room for social distancing, a major part of precautions, along with deep desanitizing ...

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State’s income tax deadline pushed to July 15

The Mississippi Department of Revenue announced today that Mississippi has extended the date due for filing income tax returns and making first quarter and second quarter estimated payments to July 15. This comes after consultation with Gov. Tate Reeves, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hoseman and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. This extension applies to individual income tax returns, corporate ...

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TODD SMITH — Make your Coronavirus news pitch perfect

When pitching story ideas to journalists during the COVID-19 crisis, PR pros should use email, find local news angles and make experts available for video interviews, according to Cision’s “2020 State of the Media Report,” released on April 21. The PR software company’s 11th-annual report, which surveyed more than 3,200 journalists from 15 countries, includes a follow-up section on how ...

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