In 2017, Mississippi’s small businesses employed 437,200 people, or 46.5% of the private workforce

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced the Revitalizing Small and Local Businesses Act, which would create a new competitive grant program through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for nonprofits, business districts, and Main Street organizations that provide assistance to small businesses in urban and rural communities.

The legislation would authorize $250 million for this new program over the next five years to fund community-based initiatives to help small businesses identify resources and develop skills to retain and create jobs.

“The coronavirus pandemic hit small businesses in local communities across the country,” Senator Wicker said. “This legislation would support economic development on Main Streets in small towns across America and in Mississippi. It would also empower rural, low-income, and minority-owned businesses through direct funding and technical assistance.”

“Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on many small businesses, particularly those in low-income, rural, and minority communities. As we work to build back better, we cannot leave main street behind. The Revitalizing Small and Local Businesses Act would provide funding to organizations that support our small businesses, leveraging their expertise and knowledge of local neighborhoods to help entrepreneurs thrive,” Senator Alex Padilla said.

Many state and national business leaders such as David L. Jackson, the Executive Director of Delta Housing Development Corporation, and Brantley Snipes, the Executive Director of Main Street Greenwood, have praised this bill saying how beneficial it will be for small businesses across the country.

“We truly thank Senator Wicker for his support by introducing the Revitalizing Small and Local Businesses Act and appreciate the bipartisan efforts to invest in local initiatives that spur inclusive economic growth,” said David L. Jackson. “We believe that the legislation will help streamline access to EDA resources and expand support for Mississippi’s small businesses and business districts. Our small rural communities will greatly benefit from these investments.”

The Revitalizing Small and Local Businesses Act will give organizations like ours the ability to expand our outreach and provide more assistance to entrepreneurs,” said Brantley Snipes. “Our small businesses are the lifeblood of the Greenwood community, and this legislation will help us fill the gaps in the support they need.”

You can view the full bill here.