Non-Profit To Provide Immediate Assistance to At-Risk Mississippi Small Businesses

Lifelong Mississippians Marie and Brian Sanderson kicked off efforts today to provide immediate financial assistance to Mississippi-based, small businesses as they face the dire economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. These forgivable loans can be critical to help small businesses avoid closing their doors in these uncertain times. The non-profit Mississippi 30 Day Fund is designed to be quick, easy, and free of red tape, as small business owners work to keep employees on board and operations running in the near term.  Marie, who grew up in Jackson, and Brian, who is a native of Pascagoula, live in Ocean Springs with their three children. They were inspired by the profound success of 30 Day Funds started by colleagues in other states and knew such a project would be incredibly beneficial in Mississippi.

Pete Snyder, a technology entrepreneur and co-founder of the Virginia 30 Day, the first in the nation, said “The Magnolia State holds a special place in our hearts, as both of my wife, Burson’s parents attended Ole Miss and we have a lot of family in Jackson and in and around the Delta. We know the hurt that so many small businesses are feeling out there. That is why we are so thrilled that Marie and Brian Sanderson are bringing this concept to Mississippi.  The Sandersons have impressively assembled a diverse group of leaders from across the state to help this effort, and we know y’all are going to do a lot of good for a lot of people who are struggling in your home state.”

Seeded by the Sandersons and business and philanthropic leaders across the state, the Fund will provide up to $3,000 to each approved, small business. Other, concerned Mississippians continue to make additional contributions, greatly expanding the Fund’s reach and impact at this critical time. Those wishing to make a charitable contribution to this 501(c)(3) organization can do so by visiting the website.

The application process is designed to be quick and easy for qualified, small businesses in Mississippi. Eligible businesses should: (1) Visit ms30dayfund.com; (2) Fill out a one-page form; and (3) Submit a brief video (up to three minutes) about the business and its employees. Approval is designed to occur within three days, and approved businesses can expect an immediate transfer of funds. Eligibility requirements include: (1) Employing three to 30 people; (2) Based in Mississippi and operating for at least one year; and (3) Owned and operated by a Mississippi resident. Businesses awarded funds are not required to repay them but are asked to “pay it forward” to other Mississippians in need or by directing contributions to the Fund.

The Mississippi 30 Day Fund is partnering with Mississippi State University’s School of Business and the University of Mississippi School of Law, whose MBA candidates and law students will make an initial review of applications for eligibility.

“Brian and I met during recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and witnessed how instrumental small businesses are to the economy and character of Mississippi. The response and leadership of the private sector was important then, and we believe it is critical now. The Mississippi 30 Day Fund will harness the generosity of Mississippians,” Marie Sanderson said. “We have witnessed neighbors and friends across the state struggle to keep their small businesses and jobs as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This Fund will be a lifeline to many Mississippians over the coming weeks and will complement the worthy federal and state aid programs,” added Brian Sanderson.

Marie and Brian are joined by many community and business leaders from across Mississippi who serve on the advisory board. Additionally, several former Missisissippi governors, former members of Congress, and notable Mississippians have joined the Honorary Advisory Board and view the Fund as a crucial source of aid for struggling small businesses across the state.

“So many of us have seen firsthand the resilience of Mississippians following times of crisis. Today, we face another challenge as the devastating economic impacts of the Coronavirus begin to take their toll,” commented Former Governor Haley Barbour. “The Mississippi 30 Day Fund is another installment in this state’s ability to weather challenging times and will provide a vital source of support for our state’s small businesses.”

Former Governor Phil Bryant likewise shared his support for the Fund. “The COVID-19 crisis has been severely detrimental to our small business community,” Bryant stated. “Honest, hardworking Mississippians need our help. The Mississippi 30 Day Fund is an exemplary effort to get our small businesses up and running again.”

“In times as difficult as these, Mississippians have always come together, regardless of what may have divided them previously. The 30 Day Fund is but another example of the compassion we Mississippians have for one another. Minorities have been disproportionately impacted by both the health and economic aspects of this pandemic, and I am proud to support this effort which recognizes and will address these disproportionate impacts,” Former Governor Ray Mabus stated.

“The Mississippi 30 Day Fund represents the fabric of this state’s character: Mississippians helping Mississippians,” said Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove. “Our economy is fueled by the small business community, and these entrepreneurs offer a great deal of culture and community to this state. I am honored to be a part of such a crucial cause as we navigate this crisis together.”

 

Founders

Marie & Brian Sanderson, Ocean Springs

Honorary Board

Haley Barbour, Governor

Phil Bryant, Governor

Gregg Harper, Congressman

Mary Donnelly Haskell, Miss Mississippi 1977, Actress

Ray Mabus, Governor

Ronnie Musgrove, Governor

Chip Pickering, Congressman

Ronnie Shows, Congressman

Advisory Board 

William Alias III., Oxford

Matt Allen, Jackson

Derek Arrington, Hattiesburg

Austin Barbour, Jackson

John Rodgers Brashier, Indianola

Kirby Boteler, Jackson

John Chain, Hattiesburg

Joe Cloyd, Ocean Springs

Philip Coburn, Jackson

David Conn, Jackson

John Currence, Oxford

Gerard Gibert, Madison

Jeff Good, Jackson

Derek Emerson, Jackson

Misty Feder, Ocean Springs

Merle Flowers, Olive Branch

Brandt Galloway,  Columbus

Paul Hurst, Jackson

Colby Lane, Madison

Ricky Mathews, Biloxi

Cal Mayo, Oxford

Greg McNeely, Clinton

Bobby Morgan, Jackson

Jenny Nicaud, Pass Christian

Perry Parker, Seminary

Karen Sock, Biloxi

Joey Songy, Madison

Robert St. John, Hattiesburg

Tanner Swetman, Biloxi

Amy Tate, Tupelo

Amanda Tollison, Oxford

For more information, to apply or to donate, visit www.ms30dayfund.com

Press Release

6/8/2020