COVID-19 Resources

Updated August 10, 2020

We will be updating the page daily as new information is available. Please see the links below for additional info on the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus).

Please bookmark this page and continue to visit for updates and recommendations.

EASI is considered an essential business and WILL remain open and operational during this pandemic. We have staff in office and remote workers as well to assure that your needs are being met in this time. 

Mississippi COVID-19 Cases

There are currently 67,649 confirmed cases in Mississippi with 1,912 deaths reported.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to be identified in U.S. states and in Mississippi. This is a rapidly changing situation that is continually being monitored by the CDC and MSDH as more cases in the U.S. are expected.

Mississippians are advised to take health precautions to prevent the possible transmission of disease, and stay in touch for the latest information on the situation in Mississippi.

Source: Mississippi State Department of Health

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

The Paycheck Protection Program will be available from April 3, 2020 to June 30, 2020.

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Overview of the CARES Act

On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law. This legislation included financial stimulus and relief provisions for business, government entities and individuals.

Here is an overview of provisions of the CARES Act which relate to employer obligations

Disaster assistance loans from the SBA

The SBA has created a comprehensive Coronavirus page with all of its resources in one place. You can find that page here.

The SBA announced it would offer disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. These low-interest loans are available to businesses that have sustained “substantial economic injury” due to the spread of the coronavirus. The SBA has also created a three step process for applying for Disaster loans. You can see that here.

These loans can be used to pay off outstanding debts, payroll and any other bills they are unable to pay. However, small businesses that have access to credit are not eligible. Small businesses with no available credit qualify for an interest rate of 3.75%, and nonprofits will have an interest rate of 2.75%.

The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with state governors that submit relief requests. Once a state or territory is approved, these affected businesses will receive more information. You can find a regularly updated list of states where disaster assistance is being offered here.

Even if your state is not yet offering disaster assistance you can begin to prepare to apply by looking over the information required. You can get that information here.

In addition to disaster relief loans, the SBA has a comprehensive list of resources available to small businesses during the crisis. This includes COVID-19 fact sheets; strategies for employees to adhere to; common problems small businesses may face, like supply chain shortfalls; and local assistance information.

In addition to national loan programs, the SBA has extensive satellite offices and organizations to help small businesses during this time. This includes SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers.

Additionally, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has announced relief measures for U.S. exporters and financial institutions that include waivers, deadline extensions, streamlined processing and flexibility for its customers for an initial period of 30 days, with the possibility of more, for the following programs:

  • Working Capital Guarantee Program.
  • Multi-Buyer and Single-Buyer Short-Term Insurance Program.
  • Medium-Term Single-Buyer Insurance Policies Issued to Exporters.

For everything you need to know about applying for a small business loan, see the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Loan Guide.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

In response to the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, outbreak, President Trump has signed into law emergency legislation known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to assist American families and businesses.

The intent of the new law is to provide emergency paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave, as well as additional funding to food assistance and unemployment programs, in response to COVID-19. According to Pew Research, almost a quarter of American workers do not have paid sick leave. Many of these people work for small businesses that employ between 1 and 100 employees. Likewise, the US doesn’t have nationally mandated paid family and medical leave.

Because this is an additional cost for small businesses, the FFCRA also provides some exemptions and tax credits for those who qualify. These benefits and credits are also available to the self-employed and gig workers, although the FFCRA has a few extra requirements for demonstrating that such workers comply with the rules.

Click the link above for more information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Mississippi Department of Health COVID-19 Resource Page

View the Mississippi Department of Health COVID-19 Resource page. Updated daily.

Small Business Relief Resources by State

Download our COVID-19 Loan and Relief Resources for Small Businesses directory.

IRS Pushes 2020 Tax Payment Deadline to July 15

Using its authority under the recent national emergency declaration, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is “automatically” postponing the April 15 Federal income tax return and Federal income tax payment deadline (including payments of tax on self-employment income) for 90 days, without any interest, penalties, and additions to tax for failure-to-file, on behalf of all “Affected Taxpayers.” This means you’ll have until July 15 to submit both your tax return and tax payment, no matter how much you owe the IRS.

Gov. Tate Reeves Signs New Executive Order in Response to COVID-19 Spread

On March 25th, Governor Tate Reeves signed a new executive order to further ramp up the state’s efforts to protect the health of Mississippians during the outbreak of COVID-19.

In a press conference outside the Governor’s Mansion, Governor Reeves announced the new executive order instructing Mississippians on social distancing measures to combat the spread, as well as detailing the full scope of the state’s decisive and quick response since the beginning of the outbreak. 

In this latest executive order, the Governor lays out new guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Mississippians must avoid non-essential gatherings of 10 people or more.
  • Suspending dine-in services at restaurants and bars across the state, instructing them to use drive-thru, take-out, or delivery services to get people food.
  • Mississippians must not visit hospitals, nursing homes, or long-term care facilities.
  • Directing businesses to allow every employee possible to work from home.
  • Defining essential businesses to give clear guidance to partners at the local level and ensure no essential services are closed.

Mississippi workers unable to work due to COVID-19 can now file for unemployment

Mississippi workers that have not been able to work due to coronavirus can now file for unemployment.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security announced Friday that existing unemployment compensation requirements have been adjusted, allowing more people to file for benefits. People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been quarantined by a medical professional or government agency due to coronavirus are among those who can now file for benefits. Also included are people who were laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employers. People who are caring for a family member who has been diagnosed with the virus are also included.

To file an unemployment claim, visit the MDES website or call the MDES Contact Center at 888-844-3577. Online claims can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Please keep in mind that many people are trying to get through so the phone lines and the website may be busy and/or overwhelmed during peak times.

EASI Recommendations for employees to prevent the spread of COVID-19

We recommend that client employees take steps to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases in the work environment. Employees are recommended to: