COVID-19 Updates, Resources for MS Small Businesses

Date: November 16, 2020

Governor Reeves has announced additional counties that have qualified to be under mask mandates under his “Safe Recovery” executive order that is in effect through December 11th.

The following counties are Hinds, Madison, Pontotoc, Tate, Winston, Itawamba, and Montgomery counties. As of now, 22 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are included in this executive order.

Occupancy limits

Governor Reeves has announced additional steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday, Oct. 19, the governor signed an executive order placing a 10% capacity requirement on healthcare facilities statewide. If hospitals can’t maintain 10% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients, they must delay elective procedures.

The governor also announced additional measures for counties that meet the standards established during the summer wave. In these counties, indoor social gatherings should be limited to groups of 10. Outdoor social gatherings should be limited to groups of 50. Face coverings are required while indoors and interacting with the public without social distancing. The counties with additional COVID-19 safety measures are Chickasaw, Claiborne, DeSoto, Forrest, Itawamba, Jackson, Lamar, Lee, and Neshoba. 

A copy of the executive order can be found here.

13 counties face additional social distancing measures (July 10)

Gov. Tate Reeves has announced additional social distancing measures for 13 counties identified as COVID-19 hotspots: Claiborne, Desoto, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Quitman, Rankin, Sunflower, Washington, and Wayne Counties. The measures include wearing masks when at public gatherings or while shopping and limiting the number of people at social gathers to 10 if held inside and 20 if held outside. Click here to read the governor’s executive order.

‘Safe Return’ order extended

Gov. Tate Reeves has extended his Safe Return order an additional week following a sharp increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the state. Governor Reeves signed a new executive order on Monday, June 29, to extend the social distancing guidelines and restrictions under the Safe Return order until 8 a.m. on Monday, July 6. 
Reeves also signed three additional executive orders today, including one that extends unemployment benefits provided to Mississippi workers until the end of July 2020. To learn more, visit

MS to begin accepting grant applications on June 11

Gov. Tate Reeves says applications for the Back to Business Mississippi grant program will go live at noon Central on Thursday, June 11, on the program’s website,

Qualifying businesses with 50 employees or less could receive up to $25,000, depending on their expenses during the pandemic. Eligible expenses under the grant program include mortgage interest, rent, payroll, utilities, and other pandemic-related expenses. Under the CARES Act, the grant cannot cover lost revenue.

Governor Reeves also announced two new executive orders to continue flattening the curve while reopening our state’s economy—one extending the Safe Return order an additional two weeks, and one getting all government employees back to work.

COVID-19 Business Relief Payments

The state legislature recently passed the Mississippi COVID 19 Relief Payment Fund to help employers impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown. While the state Revenue Department is determining which businesses will be eligible to receive a $2,000 payment, it has posted some basic guidelines and answers here.

Reeves announces next stage of reopening

Governor Reeves on May 8 announced the next stage for Mississippi to continue safely reopening the state’s economy while protecting public health. The governor extended his Safer At Home Order for another two weeks until 8 a.m. on Monday, May 25. He also laid out strict social distancing guidelines and sanitation protocols for salons, barbershops, and gyms to begin reopening now to restore the livelihoods of the small business owners and their employees. Click here to learn more.

Governor signs order allowing restaurants to reopen

Governor Reeves on May 4 announced the next phase for Mississippi to begin reopening the state’s economy while continuing to flatten the curve. the guidelines, which got into effect at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 7, include strict social distancing guidelines to begin the process of slowly and safely reopening restaurants and allowing outdoor recreation. Read the full order for details.

Reeves signs ‘safer at home’ order 

On Friday, April 24, Governor Reeves signed an executive order establishing a statewide safer at home order for Mississippi to continue protecting public health while beginning the process to safely reopen the state’s economy. The order lays out Reeves’ plan to reopen Mississippi while continuing to flatten the curve and conserve healthcare resources. Click here to read the order.

NFIB State Director Dawn Starns said, “Our small business members truly appreciate Governor Reeve’s measured approach to protecting the health of Mississippians while beginning the process of restarting the economy.” Read her statement here. 

NFIB MS state director on Y’all Politics livestream

State Director Dawn Starns guested on Y’all Politics’s Facebook livestream today. She talked with Sarah Ulmer about NFIB and about the impact COVID-19 is having on Mississippi’s job creators. Watch it here.

Statewide ‘shelter in place’ order

Gov. Tate Reeves has signed an executive order instructing Mississippians to shelter in place beginning Friday, April 3, to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The order will remain in place until 8 a.m. on Monday, April 20. Learn more about it here. 

Governor lays out new guidelines to slow spread of coronavirus

Governor Reeves on Wednesday, March 25, issued a new executive order saying that, through April 17, Mississippians must avoid non-essential gatherings of 10 or more people; limiting restaurants to take-out, drive-thru, or delivery; and directing businesses to allow employees to work from home, if possible. Click here to read the governor’s executive order and learn more.

Tax deadlines extended

On Monday, March 23, the state Department of Revenue extended the deadline to file and pay the 2019 individual income tax and corporate income tax to May 15, 2020. The first quarter 2020 estimated tax payment is also extended until May 15. Penalty and interest will not accrue on the extension period through May 15. Learn more here.

Public schools closed until April 17

Gov. Tate Reeves said on March 19 that schools in the state will be closed until April 17. Click here to watch the governor’s announcement.

State developments

The State of Mississippi has created a special website with the latest on the coronavirus. Click here to visit

National information

As small businesses grapple with the coronavirus, NFIB is dedicated to being their voice. We are continuing to track the latest from healthcare officials and congress. Click here for the latest information.


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