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Mississippi Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
On April 20, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security announced assistance for Mississippians who are unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This program will hopefully expedite the unemployment process for those that are self-employed and independent contractors. To read more about applying for benefits and your eligibility vist mdes.ms.gov.
If you have filed and been denied for regular unemployment since off work due to COVID-19, you DO NOT have to file a new claim with this new program.  You will be notified of your potential PUA eligibility and any action needed on your part. You should continue to file your weekly certifications.
If you have not already applied, you can apply for unemployment online here: https://mdes.ms.gov/unemployment-claims/covid19/pandemic-unemployment-assistance-pua/
If you have questions or need further assistance regarding your account or your unemployment insurance claim, please contact the Mississippi Department of Employment Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-833-919-0334
  • Please be sure to use the correct Social Security Number. Using an incorrect number will greatly delay the claims process. 
  • If you have made a claim in the past, you will need your password/pin used previously. If you do not have this info, please email MDES at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Applications may be denied at first, as the self-employed and independent contractors are generally not eligible for benefits. However, your application will be reviewed under to new guidelines.
  • Because you are applying as an independent contractor, you should list yourself as the employer, not your brokerage. 

Click Here To: Learn More About Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

PPP and SBA Loans Updates (5/14/20):
New Guidance on PPP Loan Safe Harbor

The Treasury Department released new guidance pertaining to how the government will review PPP loan borrowers' good-faith certifications of loan necessity.

SBA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, has determined that the following safe harbor will apply to SBA's review of PPP loans with respect to this issue: Any borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2 million will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith. SBA has determined that this safe harbor is appropriate because borrowers with loans below this threshold are generally less likely to have had access to adequate sources of liquidity in the current economic environment than borrowers that obtained larger loans. This safe harbor will also promote economic certainty as PPP borrowers with more limited resources endeavor to retain and rehire employees. In addition, given the large volume of PPP loans, this approach will enable SBA to conserve its finite audit resources and focus its reviews on larger loans, where the compliance effort may yield higher returns.

Borrowers that receive loans in excess of $2 million may also be deemed to have made the necessary certification in good faith, based on their individual circumstances in light of the language of the certification and SBA guidance (as will likely be determined under an audit).

NAR will continue to pursue more detailed guidance for loans over $2 million including details on the audit process and what "individual circumstances" will result in a good faith certification.

SBA and Treasury Release Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application

The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application.

The Treasury Department and the SBA have released the documents that PPP loan borrowers will need to fill out and provide to their lenders when applying for forgiveness, which you can find here.  Of the four documents posted, all borrowers will need to fill out and provide their lenders with two of them: the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form and the PPP Schedule A.  The documents include detailed instructions for borrowers to use, delineate the eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses the loans can be used for, and walk borrowers through step-by-step how to calculate their forgiveness/show that they have met the program's requirements. 

The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:

  • Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
  • Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
  • Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
  • Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined

The PPP was created by the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to eligible small businesses to keep American workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The documents released today will help small businesses seek forgiveness at the conclusion of the eight week covered period, which begins with the disbursement of their loans.

Click here to view the application and instructions


How to Secure Your Business Through the CARES Act

Hear directly from quick-acting REALTORS®, with businesses of varying structure and size, who successfully obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Business Loans or Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Learn how to navigate the Small Business Administration website, which forms to have on-hand when applying, and tips for finding a lender in your area. Don’t wait—funding is limited. Watch video here.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law on March 27, 2020, provides relief to families, small businesses, and individuals who are self-employed and independent contractors. A key provision in the law creates a temporary “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” (PUA) program that extends unemployment benefits to those not traditionally eligible, including self-employed individuals. Provided below are a number of Q&As to address frequent questions about the program, who is eligible and how to apply, and updates from Advisories issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to state workforce agencies implementing the program.

See and share the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Benefits flyer to find out how to obtain and remain eligible for PUA benefits.

See and share the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Benefits checklist to learn more about eligibility for self-employed individuals or independent contractors. 

See and share the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Benefits flowchart to learn more about the unemployment benefits for 1099 workers.

View Your Guide to PUA Benefits to find out how to apply.

Check out this interactive map of the US to learn about the status of the program in your state.

VIDEO: PUA & YOU: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Guide for REALTORS®

Click Here for SBA Cares Act FAQs - Updated 5/18/20


Other Resources and Links:


Gulf Coast Association
, Inc.

141 DeBuys Rd
Gulfport, MS 39507
Phone: 896-3122