PICAYUNE ITEM | Mississippi 30 Day Fund offering assistance to small businesses

As the COVID-19 crisis threatened hundreds of small business across Mississippi, Ocean Springs residents Marie and Brian Sanderson decided they couldn’t just stand by and watch small business in their state and community go under.

Marie and Brian Sanderson established the Mississippi 30 Day Fund to provide forgivable loans of up to $3,000 to any small business that employs three to 30 people, is based in Mississippi, has been operating for at least one year and is owned and operated by a Mississippi resident.

The funds dispersed by the Mississippi 30 Day Fund do not need to be paid back. Rather, the recipients are asked to “pay it forward” if possible by putting money back into the fund to help another Mississippi business in need.

The organization is nonprofit so every dollar donated to the fund is dispersed back into a Mississippi business. Everyone working with the Mississippi 30 Day Fund is a volunteer.

“We had witnessed friends and community businesses struggling to get by,” Marie Sanderson said. “We felt compelled to do something.”

Marie and Brian Sanderson are longtime Mississippi residents. Marie Sanderson said they knew they wanted to raise a family in Mississippi because of the values that Mississippians have.

She said they were inspired to start the Mississippi 30 Day Fund by the Virginia 30 Day Fund after they heard about it around a month ago, which provides the same assistance to small businesses in Virginia.

“Small businesses are the fabric of our towns and communities,” Marie Sanderson said. “We wanted to help protect them.”

Marie Sanderson acknowledged the state and federal programs that were created to help small business in Mississippi. The fund’s website describes the fund as a complement to the already existing programs.

“We are proud of our leadership,” Marie Sanderson said in regards to the already established state and federal programs.

The Mississippi 30 Day Fund has only been active for about a week, but Marie Sanderson said roughly 15 businesses have already been helped and decisions are continuing to be made everyday.

“We are overwhelmed by the need that exists, and we are touched by the gratitude,” Marie Sanderson said. “We are touched by the response on the giving side and the thankfulness of those being funded.”

Marie Sanderson said the fund will be active for as long as it continues to receive donations and support from the community.

“We always knew Mississippians were charitable,” Marie Sanderson said. “Seeing the appreciation has made every hour we have put into this worth it.”

For more information about how to apply for the Mississippi 30 Day Fund or become a donor to the fund, visit ms30dayfund.com.

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