Local business voices: Help when you need it

Courtesy of the Dispatch and the GTR LINK

The COVID-19 crisis has left many in our community without all or some of their source of income. Federal relief programs under the CARES Act will provide support to individuals and businesses, but these programs are still being delivered and, in some cases, details worked out. Stimulus checks began rolling out this week, but many will continue to wait for help. Yesterday, Governor Tate Reeves announced two programs to provide additional assistance to those in need.

Mississippi Home Help is a program that will allow funds to be distributed to individuals to assist with their mortgages. Homeowners can apply online at mshomesaver.com to submit a request. This program can provide up to six months of mortgage assistance.

The MS Department of Human Services and the MS Department of Health rolled out the MS Childcare Crisis Assistance in Isolation Response Plan. Emergency childcare centers will be opening around the state for essential workers if their traditional childcare operators are not open. Emergency assistance to pay for childcare through this program is available through the state. Details of this program can be found at mdhs.ms.gov/ccair.


If you have not already, now is the time to apply for unemployment benefits. If you haven’t been able to get through, keep trying.
We’ve been communicating with our partners in Jackson to try and implement strategies to reduce the bottleneck and get individuals processed quickly. We’ve heard stories of people submitting their applications online in the early morning hours, getting multiple people to attempt to call the hotline, coworkers helping each other walk through the online application, and other strategies to get it. Keep trying.

Individuals may qualify for benefits if:

■ you have been laid off or your employer has shut down due to COVID-19
■ your hours have been reduced as part of the COVID-19 pandemic; you may be eligible for partial unemployment.
■ you have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, or have been quarantined by a medical professional or government agency because of contact with COVID-19
■ are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19

It is important to file your unemployment claim as soon as possible. The weekly waiting period has been waived, and benefits can be delivered to you as quickly as they are processed, often within 7 days.

If you do not qualify for unemployment, you still qualify for assistance under the CARES Act.

Assistance for filing for unemployment can be accessed anytime via phone at 888-844-3577 or visiting mdes.ms.gov/unemployment-claims/. These claims can be filled out online on a phone, tablet or computer.

Locally, the following offices are available by phone or email to individuals looking for assistance:

Mayhew Job CenterAmoryJobCenter@mdes.ms.gov662-243-1797 or 662-243-1801
West Point Job CenterAmoryJobCenter@mdes.ms.gov662-243-2647 or 662-243-1802
These offices are not open to the public currently and are following shelter in place guidelines.

Remember, following the economic recession in 2008, the Golden Triangle saw one of the most significant periods of new job growth and wealth creation in the region’s history. This isn’t our first rodeo. We are going to recover and get back to work as soon as we can.
Take care and continue to shelter in place.


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