COVID-19 April 24 Update
U.S. Senate Passes Additional Funding for Paycheck Protection Program
- As most of you are aware, the CARES act authorized the Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer $349 billion in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to small businesses across the country to continue meeting payroll, paying rent on office space, covering utilities, among other expenses so they would not have to lay off employees and close their doors.
- The PPP was an immensely popular program, and its funds were depleted by April 16. As a result, many small businesses were left out of the initial program.
- On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed an additional $310 billion of funding for the PPP, to extend a lifeline to those small businesses unable to take advantage of the program the first time around. The House passed this funding bill yesterday, and the president has said he would sign it in into law.
- For purposes of this program, a small business is considered to be one with 500 or fewer employees with some exceptions.
- All types of businesses can apply for a forgivable loan through this program including nonprofits, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals and independent contractors.
- If you are interested in applying for a forgivable loan through the PPP, I encourage you to reach out to the SBA as soon as possible and ask how you can apply.
- This second round of funding will likely be exhausted just as quickly as the first round was so you must act fast.
Coronavirus Relief Fund Update
- The CARES Act established a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The CRF is distributed to States based on the percentage that State’s population bears to the nation’s total population. States that have a percentage of population under 1.25% of the national population will receive the minimum allocation of $1.25 billion.
- Because Mississippi’s population is 0.91% of the national total, we will receive the minimum $1.25 billion allocation.
- Payments from the CRF can only be used to cover expenses that:
- are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);
- were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and
- were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.
- In midst of the coronavirus crisis that has been going on, many people have forgotten that this year – 2020 – is the year of the national census.
- The census is very important for Mississippi for two main reasons:
- our congressional representation in Congress is determined by our population; and
- much of the funding that we receive from the Federal government is based on our population.
- Consequently, it is very critical to the wellbeing of our state and, therefore, very critical to you, that we all participate in the census.
- For these reasons, we want to remind you of the importance of the census and encourage your participation in filling out the census forms.
Covid 19 FAQ page on my website philipgunn.org
- As we have said, the number one area in which we have received questions has been unemployment. In fact, the number of questions has been so great that we felt the need to create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
- I am very proud to announce that my staff has worked very hard to create this FAQ page on my website philipgunn.org that addresses your unemployment questions.
- I encourage you to go to my website if you have any questions pertaining to unemployment. It is very likely that someone else has already asked your question, and you can find the answer there.
- The link is found here: philipgunn.org/covid-19/
Update on number of cases.
- 281 new cases reported yesterday.
- Total cases statewide now number 5,434.
- Unfortunately, we now have 209 deaths.
- 74 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities.
- Comment – It should be noted that, even though the number of new cases seems to be high, this is not surprising because of the increased focus on testing. Remember we were advised that an increased focus on testing would result in the identification of more cases, but we were also advised that this was a good thing because we could identify the cases and isolate them and treat them.
- The good news is that the number of people who are receiving critical care treatment such as ventilators and ICU beds is dropping.
- This means the danger of overwhelming the healthcare system has diminished which is what we have been trying to guard against.
Call if you need help.
- We have had phone calls to our office forwarded to our staff. If you need any help at all, please call us at 601-359-3300.
- We have also set up an email address for you to ask questions or seek help. That address is [email protected].