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Volunteers have made and donated 10,400 masks on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

By BECKY GILLETTE HATTIESBURG: Heather Miller’s day job is budget manager for the offices of the vice president and vice provost, The University of Southern Mississippi (USM). When she began her coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) quarantine in March, she felt overwhelmingly helpless.  “I didn’t know what to do, other than work,” Miller said. “I’m not a medical professional, but I ...

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For small town Mississippi, the pandemic could not have come at a worse time

By NASH NUNNERY Since the arrival of the virus in March and the subsequent shutdown of downtowns, COVID-19 has complicated the task of keeping many of those communities vibrant and reversing a downturn in population and economic stability. An April survey of 149 Mississippi small business owners by Main Street America indicated that 62 percent of those businesses were at ...

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Survey: Small business optimism improving; short recession expected

The National Federation of Independent Business’ most recent survey showed that small business owners are more optimistic after a record-low sentiment three months ago. The Small Business Optimism Index increased 6.2 points in June to 100.6, with eight of the 10 components improving and two declining. Owners anticipate improving sales as the economy continues to reopen with expectations rebounding to ...

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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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Main Street America finds up to 7.5 million small businesses in danger of closing permanently 

62 percent of surveyed small businesses in Mississippi at risk of permanent closure in five months  A new report published by Main Street America, founded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, reveals that nearly 7.5 million small businesses across the country are in danger of closing over the next five months as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Of ...

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Queen’s Reward switching from mead to hand sanitizer

By DENNIS SEID / Daily Journal TUPELO • The newly installed gleaming copper and stainless still brewing at Queen’s Reward Meadery will be making mead brandy one day. But for now, it’ll be making something much more needed – hand sanitizer. “We were going to buy a still anyway – just not this early – but now that we have the ...

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Waveland manufacturer pivots from storefronts to face shields

By LISA MONTI Infinity-AP, the custom storefront fabrication company in Waveland that manufactures custom storefronts for major retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret and the PINK chain of stores, is now manufacturing face shields for medical workers. The production of the face shield – both the bracket that attaches to the head and the shield itself – began ...

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How are businesses getting creative? You tell us

Mississippi businesses are doing as much as possible to stay afloat during these COVID-19 times. In some instances, creativity is helping to keep the cash flowing in. Many restaurants and other businesses going old school with signs out front to lure their traffic. If you have a cool sign or know of a business with a creative sign out front, ...

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Mississippi businesses shift production during pandemic

As the nation hunkers down and people shelter in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, several Mississippi businesses have stayed open, switching gears to make much-needed products. A jeans company is making face guards, a coffeehouse is making loaves of bread and distilleries are making hand sanitizer. They’re hoping to keep their employees working as they help fellow Mississippians battle the ...

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