$1M given to Gulfport small businesses
By Alex Paton
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1 million grant to the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District of Gulfport. The grant will help to recapitalize an existing Revolving Loan Fund in support of small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“The Department of Commerce and its bureaus have been working diligently to aid communities across the country which have been devastated by natural disasters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This Revolving Loan Fund will provide critical support to businesses throughout Mississippi, empowering local entrepreneurs all over the state.”
According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 168 jobs, retain 59 jobs and spur $4.8 million in private investment.
“Mississippi’s economy is on a good track, and South Mississippi continues to overcome hardships to contribute to our growing economy,” said Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. “These revolving loan funds will support job creation and retention, which will equate to more opportunities for workers and families. I’m pleased the SMPDD will have this capital to continue its economic development work in the 15 counties it serves.”
The fund will help small businesses repair, replace, and rebuild after Hurricane Nate affected various communities in October 2017 and will also support the establishment or expansion of new businesses that meet the demand for products and services to aid disaster recovery efforts.
“This economic development grant is welcome news for the small businesses of the Mississippi Gulf Coast as they continue to recover from hurricanes,” said Senator Roger Wicker. “I commend the work of the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District to support public and private investment that will create jobs and spur growth in our communities.”