Petal Gears Up for 2021 Holiday Events

Petal-area residents can look forward to a full day’s worth of holiday activities with the upcoming 2021 Petal Home for the Holidays event, which will showcase a parade, vendors, a Christmas tree lighting and more. Festivities, which are put on by the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce, beginning with a Christmas Market at 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at Hinton Park, behind Petal Civic Center on South Main Street.

“First of all, it’s a community tradition – we know that this is the type of event that makes our community happy to be where they are,” said Valerie Wilson, executive director of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’re very proud of the fact that we can put on events like this in our community, and to keep the spirit of Christmas here in Petal.
“I think (residents) absolutely did a wonderful job shopping in Petal for Shop Petal First. This year, because of COVID, we appreciate being able to get together and have our events right here to enjoy being part of our community.”

The Christmas Market, which will last until 7 p.m., will feature several vendors selling items such as arts and crafts, food and holiday-themed gifts.
The parade will start at 4 p.m. and will follow its usual route from Dirt Cheap on North Main Street to Hinton Park, where Santa Claus will be available for photographs. Awards will be given out, and Mayor Tony Ducker will be on hand to greet parade-goers.

The parade will open up with the parade banner, which will be carried by representatives from the Petal Fire Department and Petal Police Department. So far, approximately 50 float entries have signed up to take part in the parade.“We’ve got everything from golf carts to dirt bikes to large floats, to the Petal High School band,” Wilson said. “We’ll have lots of pageant award winners, and everybody will be represented. “And this year, we have somewhat of a special surprise: for the first time in many, many years, Santa will not be on top of the fire truck. We wanted people, especially the children, to be able to see him better, so he will be at the end of the parade.”

The Grand Marshal for this year’s parade is Max Fullen, the 13-year-old son of Randy Fullen and Elizabeth Dodge who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. Fullen suffered a stroke while in school and had a lengthy stay at Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson. Fullen has gone through several rounds of radiation and chemotherapy since being diagnosed.
“We actually put it out on Facebook, and we had a ton of people that were very good nominees,” Wilson said. “But Max was overwhelming – we had so many people saying that Max would be a great grand marshal, mostly because of the courage he has shown, and the strength he has shown.

“He represents the very best of people, and at this time of the year, that’s what you want your grand marshal to be – somebody that represents the best of us, and that was Max. So we’re thrilled to have him as our grand marshal, and we look forward to giving him a wonderful evening leading the parade.”
Judges for the parade will be Jim Cameron, Caroline Nurkin and Jake Wilson. The event will be followed by the Celebration in the Park and the Festival of Trees, which will feature a tree-lighting ceremony in honor of Christmas.

“The Festival of Trees is various trees that have been put up by businesses and individuals and clubs in Petal,” Wilson said. “They will all be lit at the same time right after the parade. The Petal Arts Council is in charge of the Festival of Trees. “Also during that time, we’ll have live music; the Petal Jazz Band will be playing. Much love will flow through the community.”
Petal’s Christmas festivities date back to at least 1962, when the Petal Merchant’s Association put on the city’s Christmas parade. In 1974 – the year the City of Petal was incorporated – city officials took over handling the parade.

“This has been an event that even the older people in our community – the seniors – remember,” Wilson said. “We want to re-create those same memories for the children in our area now.”
In addition to the chamber activities, Petal High School Indoor Percussion is presenting Breakfast with Santa from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Petal Primary School cafeteria. Tickets are $7 each and are available for purchase at the door, or from any Indoor Percussion student. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cameras for pictures with Santa Claus.
Also, the Cosmopolitan Club of Petal will host “Let’s Jingle & Flamingle” tasting take-out from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in front of Petal Middle School on East Central Avenue.

Story by Haskell Burns

I Can See Clearly Now!

After being stationed in Meridian while serving in the United States Navy for seven years, Dr. Alvaro Moreno moved to Petal to work at Southern Eye Center in Hattiesburg. Moreno stayed at that clinic for seven years before opening his own establishment, Moreno Eye Care, in 2003 at 598 East Central Avenue in Petal.

The business offers comprehensive eye care services and in-demand lenses and frames. The eye doctors perform comprehensive vision examinations and specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of eye diseases, conditions and problems.

Moreno recently took the time for a phone Q&A to talk about his practice and how he has fared in The Friendly City.

Petal Chamber: What made you want to establish your business in Petal?

Moreno: I live there, and my home was there in Petal. I wanted to be more of a part of the community, instead of driving to Hattiesburg to work every day.

Q: How has being in Petal worked out so far?

A: It’s been great; people have been very supportive, and not just Petal people, but people from the surrounding communities. They’ve supported our practice and our growth, and I’m to the point now where my son is in practice with me. He joined the practice last year, so he’s in his second year of being in practice there at the office.

Q: You’ve been a member of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce since you established the business. How has that benefited you, and what advice on joining the chamber would you give to new businesses or anyone considering joining?

A: I think (it’s great) just being part of an organization that’s banding together for the good of the community – and not just the community itself, but for the businesses in the community, to help and support each other. That helps everybody be able to make it through any kind of crisis.

Q: You mentioned that business has been great since coming to Petal. What do you attribute that to?

A: I think, for one, since there wasn’t an optometrist or an eye clinic in Petal, there was some pent-up demand. People didn’t have an option; they had to get in their car and drive to Hattiesburg. As Hattiesburg grew and traffic became more of an issue and people got older, they were looking for somebody to be able to do it in Petal. So I think that helped my growth, just being accessible and being close so people wouldn’t have to go to Hattiesburg to get their eyes taken care of.

Q: What do you see in the future for business in general, and for your business?

A: For business in general in Petal, I’ve always said that we need more business in Petal; we need larger businesses in Petal. The main thing I’ve said since the day I opened up my practice in Petal is that our most valuable resource (clients and customers) is cranking up and driving across the river every day. If you go look at some of the businesses in Hattiesburg, some of their best employees – if you really dig down and look – they’re from Petal, or went to Petal High School. They’re Petal people, and they’re in Hattiesburg. My wish is to one day have it to where everybody who didn’t want to drive to Hattiesburg could find a job and make a living wage in Petal. I’m sure that most of them, if they had a choice, would probably stay in Petal.

 

 

 

 

A Downtown Favorite

In 2007, when Craig Bullock – who also serves as Ward 6 Alderman for the City of Petal – began managing A1 Graphics at 233 North Main Street in Petal, he had no idea that’s what he would make a career out of.  But in 2012, Bullock purchased and became owner of the business, which designs and screenprints T-shirts, and offers embroidery and heat-press on jerseys. Customers can find an array of Petal athletics shirts, as well as school uniforms, at the shop.

A1 Graphics can be reached by phone at (601) 545-7499, or online at a1graphicstees@gmail.com.

Bullock recently took the time for a phone Q&A to talk a little more about his shop and what it means to be a business owner in Petal.

Petal Chamber: Why set up shop in Petal?

Bullock: I never actually knew I’d eventually own it; I just managed it and ran it, and one thing led to another. We came here originally just because we felt like there was a need here for this type of business – there wasn’t anything here like that at the time. So we thought we could open a small retail area for the school district and the city, but also provide bulk orders to companies for the school district and things like that.

Q: Petal is widely known as The Friendly City. As a business owner, has that proven to be true to you so far?

A: Absolutely, yes. In almost 10 years of us owning the business, we’ve just been incredibly blessed, for sure. There’s a lot of support from both the business community, the retail side of things, and the school district. We also have invested a lot off money and time back into the community and the school district as well. They’re super, super supportive of our business.

Q: So it’s safe to say that you’ve seen a lot of growth, in terms of orders and other business?

A: We have. Like any business, it’s had its ups and downs over the years, but we continue to grow and prosper on a year-to-year basis.

Q: You’ve been a member of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce for several years now. How has that benefited you as a business owner, and what advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who may be considering joining the chamber?

A: We do get a lot of support from the chamber. The Shop Petal First program has been very beneficial for us; that’s the key. I’m not really able to attend a whole lot of lunches and stuff, just because it’s so hard for me to break away during the weekdays. I know that those are very valuable as far as networking in the community and all that. We’re very pleased with the chamber’s support, and I know that we do have (executive director Valerie) Wilson and the chamber’s full support in our business.

Story by Haskell Burns.  Photos by Cayla Camp Burns

Downtown Fans

When it came time for Steven Kelly and his wife to anchor their business, only one place came to mind: Petal.

As many have before them, the Kellys found the Friendly City is conducive to the atmosphere where they wanted to live, grow, worship and raise their children. So it was that in 2014, Kelly opened his first Alfa Insurance location at 127 South Main Street in Petal, across from the Petal Library. About nine months ago, the business moved to its current location at 122 South Main Street.

“This town has as much potential as I’ve ever seen to have flourishing businesses,” Kelly said. “It’s small enough to know everybody and to be involved in everything, but it’s big enough to have plenty to do and plenty to see.  “I love the community; it’s great, and I really would not desire to live anywhere else. This is where we enjoy, and this is where we like to be.”

Kelly became a member of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce in 2014. He admits that move was, at the time, a way to get his business’s name out there, as he didn’t know quite what to expect from membership.  “That’s a given, that people will know us by way of the chamber, but what really has helped is the fact that we have known, met, and have had relationships with all different pillars of the community,” he said. “That’s really, really important when it comes to business because you want to know people, and you want to know who owns some of the land and companies around here.

“You also have the ability to be in the know of when activities are coming, and you’re in the know when advertising things come around. If I wasn’t involved in the chamber, I don’t believe that I would’ve been approached about the Petal Duck Derby, which will sponsor a new park for us. I probably never would have been involved in that, and since our child is just a toddler, that means something to us because we want him to grow up with a nice little place in town he can go play.”

Soon, Kelly can see his organization grow from a moderately small agency to one that’s the premier insurance company in Petal. That will rely on marketing, commerce, and the networking he’s been able to do. “The roots were planted there with the chamber and those who are involved in the chamber,” Kelly said. “When you’re in a town this size, people take it seriously, and the (Area Development Partnership) takes it seriously.

“I can’t speak for Hattiesburg or anybody else in the Pine Belt, but I can say that we try to make the commerce as serious as we can make it. Serious about improvements, serious about getting things accomplished. And I’m not just saying that; I really believe it. And (chamber director) Valerie Wilson is an integral part of why it’s successful – she does a fantastic job, and you can’t say enough about how much she cares.”

Story by Haskell Burns

Just a little Ssipp!

Petal’s nickname of The Friendly City extends to its businesses as well, as a resurging downtown and a bustling Evelyn Gandy Parkway can attest to. Downtown, in particular, is home to two ends of the business dynamic, hosting the oldest business in the city with The Petal Shoe Shop & Boardwalk Boutique and one of the youngest, The Ssipp Café.

Chris Puckett opened up The Ssipp Café about a year and a half ago at 128 North Main St. in Petal as part of what he calls a commitment to the community.

“I didn’t want to keep seeing Main Street die, and I didn’t want to see more storage units go up on Main Street,” said Puckett, who also owns Connect Chiropractic in Petal and Hattiesburg. “I’m trying to serve the community a quality cup of coffee and make it affordable and a place that people like to go hang out.”

The Ssipp Café offers a wide variety of classic drinks, such as the Americano, Café Au Lait, Hot Chocolate and Latte. Customers can find frappes, iced lattes, Strawberry Dream, milk, and lemonade on the cold side.  There are also smoothies and specialty drinks like the Crooked Letter, Main Street, Panther and To The Top. Customers also can find drip coffee, teas, kolaches, muffins, soft pretzels, bagels, crepes and merchandise such as shirts and hats.

The Ssipp Café is open from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday. The café is closed on Sundays. For more information, call (769) 223-6995.

Q: Why a coffee shop in Petal?

Puckett: Because there’s not one. We’re really the only one where you can get an espresso, anyway.

Q: How has Petal treated you in the year and a half since you opened?

A: Good. Of course, all businesses take a little while to open, and we didn’t have a big advertising budget, so it’s been word of mouth. Business is growing every day.

Q: What is it like being one of the newest businesses in Petal?

A: Just like any new business, it’s a struggle for finding that market and letting them know that we’re there. We’re going to try to do our best to stay there.

Q: What makes Petal a business-friendly city?

A: My father opened his first business 35 years ago, and I’ve been in business myself for 20 years in Petal. Petal has always treated us good, and the people of Petal are great. They’re supportive of what’s popular, for sure.

Q: What’s next for The Ssipp Café?

A: We’re going to start trying to do some live music and maybe some special events at night, whether it be open mic, karaoke or game night. Especially with the new deck that we have built on there, we’re looking to maybe expand a few nights a week to include those kinds of things.

Story by Haskell Burns, Photos by Cayla Burns

 

 

Downtown Landmark

The Petal Shoe Shop has been around since the 1950s – 1958, to be exact – making it the city’s oldest business.  Owner Hilton Holmes, who also calls himself the “zipper man,” has repaired shoes for as long as he can remember. In fact, he is among only a few shoe repair shops left in this day and age. Hilton doesn’t just repair shoes; he can also make a nice new belt out of that snake you just shot and skinned. He can repair your wife’s purse strap – or the high heel on her favorite Sunday church shoes.

Hilton also sells a wide variety of brand-name workwear, including Carhartt, Wrangler, Justin and anything else that could be considered essential for a Mississippi blue-collared man.The Petal Shoe Shop is located in the heart of the city of Petal, at 122 Highway 42. If you look at a map of the city, you’ll see a distinct cross in the center of the town – that’s where the shop first established its home.

The main business district was built around the intersection of Main Street and Central avenue. Remember that cross I was talking about earlier? This is where the very first businesses in Petal were located. This is where the people of Petal came to eat, socialize, attend a ballgame, watch a movie, pick up their prescription drugs, fuel up their tractors. In general, this was where Petal was born.

In 1995, Hilton’s wife, Jerene Holmes, established the Boardwalk Boutique at the shop, specializing in women’s clothing, boots, jewelry and accessories. Notable brands include Laredo, Ginger Snaps, Arena Bum and Ronnie Salloway.  The shop can be reached by phone at (601) 582-9682, and online shopping is available at www.shopboardwalkboutique.com.

Q: What made you set up shop in Petal?

Jerene Holmes: Hilton is from Tylertown, and his father-in-law at that time was a shoe cobbler, and Hilton worked for him. Finally, it dawned on him that they were too crowded as a shoe shop for three men, because his brother-in-law was working there too. So he asked a sales rep where would be a good place to set up shop; he wanted to move. The rep told him Petal, so Hilton came over here, rented a place – I think it was a cleaners – and he’s been here ever since.

Q: How does it feel to be the oldest business in Petal?

A: I never considered it; I don’t consider myself old. I really don’t think about it because I’m about to maybe go into even another business. That’s all I do, is just want to grow. It makes me proud, maybe. But I don’t think they really known what we’ve done. We had one person tell us that we couldn’t do that – to be in business this long and to be the only person to ever run that business, and that’s what Hilton’s done. He came out of the hospital with a broken hip and came right down here. Sat in a wheelchair right at that door, and if I was gone, he was watching for me.

Q: The Petal Shoe Shop & Boardwalk Boutique was forced to shut down for five weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic. How did you pull through that as a business?

A: Well, for one thing, we don’t waste our money. We’re very frugal with it – we’re not really stingy, we just don’t blow our money. And you’ve got to take care of your business like it was your child, because that business doesn’t know where to go or what to do. You’ve got to guide it.

Q: Where do you see Petal’s business sector in the upcoming years?

A: I think all the towns close by are growing a little bit. And maybe the pandemic has scared people to say, “I better do something, or our town’s going to disappear.” They’ve been crawling, but they’re going to need to start walking now, and not just sit back and wait for somebody else to do it. They need to go out and trade with the businesses that are already here. It’s alright to get something new, but when your baby starts walking, just because they started walking doesn’t mean you don’t want another baby. That baby walked; the next baby’s going to walk. So you’ve got this town that’s already crawled; it needs to walk now. The people need to hold its hand and help it walk, and that’s by trading with them. That’s the main thing – they can’t stay in business if people don’t trade with them. That’s why they’re in business, is to sell.

Story & Photos by Cayla Camp Burns.  Q & A. by Haskell Burns

 

I Cried!

COVID shut down the 2020 Star-Spangled Celebration on the River.  Finally, in January of 2021, it appeared that we might be able to have the 2021 Celebration.  Event planners know that we were already behind schedule planning an event the size and scope of this 4th of July celebration.  But, thanks to our fabulous sponsors and the cities of Petal, Hattiesburg, and the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, we were able to get our plans into fast motion.  Let’s see, check off the list.  Fireworks contract secured, stage production and entertainment secured, sponsors secured, vendors secured, volunteers secured, police and fire protection secured, liability insurance secured, parks prepared, etc.  What are we missing?

There is no securing good weather.  Beginning 10 days in advance, it was evident that weather may be a problem.  On Wednesday, June 30, two days before the celebration, the chance of rain was up to 60%.  On Thursday, it looked worse.  We were up to an 80-90% chance of thunderstorms.  On Friday, it was no better.   The calls asking whether the event would be postponed or canceled were non-stop.   Organizers had predetermined that Forrest County Emergency Management would ultimately decide whether the weather would pose a serious risk to attendees and would make the final call to cancel the event.  At Chain Park and the Petal River Park, organizers, vendors, and volunteers monitored the weather reports on their phones.

By 2:00, the chance of rain was diminishing.  By 4:00, the skies were clearing, and our optimism was soaring.  Finally, Mississippi Moonlight took the Petal stage, and we were off on another fantastic 4th of July celebration.  Maybe, it seemed to be the best SSC because it came so close to not happening at all!  Hundreds of families and friends joined together in Southern fashion for an evening that reminded us all of how much we love this country and the freedoms we enjoy.  Yes, when the first of the fireworks burst in the sky, I cried for joy.  See you next year.

The FAM Jam Remedy

When was the last time you talked with your neighbors? Not just a passing hello, but an actual, heartfelt conversation? If it has been a while, you are not alone. Research shows fewer and fewer people even know the names of the people who live on the same block, let alone choose to socialize or interact with them. Then, we add a global pandemic that forced us to remain distanced from our own family and neighbors. What a year?

But, don’t be distressed!  There is a simple remedy just around the corner.  The Downtown FAM Jam will offer Petal residents, county neighbors, visitors, and friends an opportunity to enjoy live music, great food, artists, and retail vendors in a FAMily friendly environment.  It also offers a lot more than just one evening of fun.

The social benefits of local events are less visible, but they are just as important. It’s fair to say that the FAM Jam fosters community pride, teaches people new things, and strengthens relationships. It keeps our residents in Petal for the evening and introduces guests to our downtown. It’s free advertising for our downtown businesses.

Our request from our guests is simply to leave the area as you found it and respect the property of the businesses and people in the neighborhood.  Have a great time and take lots of photos.  Help us grow the Downtown FAM Jam and allow us to bring more community events to Petal

How Long Can These Low Mortgage Rates Last?

Homebuyers have a unique opportunity to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates, according to Freddie Mac. Before the global pandemic, no one could imagine mortgage rates of less than 3% on 30-year fixed-rate loans. In this new world, rates have trailed below that level for months. Additionally, 15-year loans are also on the decline. Mortgage rates continue to break records and hit new lows.

It’s a great time to be a home buyer, seller, or real estate professional.

 Lowest Rates in History

The most popular loans continue to be 30-year fixed mortgages. In mid-December 2020, rates on 30-year loans hit historic lows for the 15th time in a row. According to Freddie Mac’s data, interest rates for these products hit 2.67% with 0.7 points. Points are paid to lenders and equal 1% of the loan amount. They are added to the interest rate.

Freddie Mac has tracked mortgage rates since 1971 and has never recorded rates this low for this long. Rates had fallen 2.25 percentage points from 4.94% in November 2018. From an even longer perspective, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 8.15% in 2000.

 Low Rates Projected in 2021

Are you planning to buy a home or sell your property in 2021? Low rates are great news for sellers and buyers. COVID-19 is likely to follow us well into 2021, despite vaccines being deployed around the globe. As cases rise in different areas, quarantines and lockdown will continue to mark this unprecedented historical era.

This sobering reality will continue to affect economics worldwide. Businesses must continue to rely on a digital presence to attract consumer attention. CNN reports that 110,000 restaurants closed in 2020. Airlines, cruise lines, and other significant employers teeter on the edge of bankruptcy. In this environment, recovery may happen slowly and painfully.

Mortgage rates typically plummet during economic downturns. With this in mind, can you really expect to see low rates go even lower throughout early 2021? No one knows.

 Mortgage Loan Applications Are on the Rise

The market composite index continues to rise, increasing 1.1% in the week ending December 17, 2020. The index, measured by the Mortgage Bankers Association since 1990, reports total loan applications in the United States. The purchase index was up 2% from the prior week and 26% year over year. Refinance rates are also dropping, and the number of new refinance loan requests was up 105% over the previous year.

With the super-heated housing market showing no signs of slowing, the economic downturn continues to be a boon for those brave enough to stay in the market during the pandemic. Those who still have jobs and a steady income should take advantage of low-interest rates that won’t last forever.

Fortunately, vaccines will eventually get COVID under control, and the economy can get back on track. In the meantime, savvy investors will turn their eyes toward the active real estate market.

 

New Stimulus Bill….What’s in it for Me?

Here’s What Is in The New Stimulus Bill

On Monday, December 21, 2020, the Senate approved a massive emergency economic relief package, government funding, and tax cuts designed to counter the effects of the pandemic and stimulate economic growth. The legislation, introduced as a 5,593-page bill, was passed with a 92 to 6 vote following weeks of intense negotiations.

Efforts to pass economic relief measures in the weeks leading to the presidential election had failed despite numerous attempts. But after the election, a bipartisan group of lawmakers teamed up and successfully negotiated for action to spur economic activity by helping businesses and consumers.

Why was the 5,593-page bill passed?

The spike in COVID cases across the country and strong concern that the economy is weakening informed the need for the federal government to intervene — cushioning households and jump-starting the economy. Nearly a year after the first case of Coronavirus was reported, government-mandated restrictions are still in place across the country. Congress is upbeat that the stimulus bill will protect jobs, businesses, households, and livelihoods.

Just hours after the bill was sent to the White House, the President asked Congress to amend the current bill to afford a greater distribution to qualified Americans.

What is inside the $900 billion stimulus package?

As of now, the $900 billion economic relief stimulus includes:

  • $600 direct payments for qualifying adults and children
  • Economic assistance for struggling small businesses, including more than $284 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans and $15 billion for theaters, cultural institutions, and other venues
  • $300 per week for enhanced Unemployment Insurance benefits
  • $25 billion for rental assistance and an eviction moratorium extension
  • $82 billion for schools and colleges
  • $10 billion to help with childcare assistance
  • $13 billion in increased food assistance and child nutrition benefits
  • $7 billion to bolster broadband access across the country
  • Support for coronavirus vaccine distribution, testing and contract tracing efforts
  • A tax credit “to support employers offering paid sick leave”

The bill extends aid to millions of households and businesses hammered by COVID. The aid is given through stimulus checks, enhanced federal unemployment benefits, and money for small businesses, childcare, and schools. It also covers the funding for free vaccination that will be distributed across states. Additionally, the package will repurpose $429 billion in unused funding provided by the Cares Act for Emergency lending programs run by the Federal Reserve.

Let’s look at the key details of the bill:

Stimulus check

  • The legislation provides a $600 stimulus check for each qualifying American, including children and adults.
  • The size of payment reduces for persons who earned above $75,000 in the 2019 tax year. Anybody who earned above $99,000 in the 2019 tax year will not receive a stimulus check.

Jobless benefits

The legislation extends unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week.

  • The benefits could begin from December 27 and run until March 14.
  • The bill also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance targeting part-time and gig workers who were left out of the state unemployment insurance benefits. However, applicants are now required to provide documentation that proves employment or self-employment within 21 days of applying for the benefits. Anybody extending their benefits before January 31 have 90 days to provide the documentation.

Relief for business

  • The bill provides over 284 billion for the first and second forgivable paycheck protection program loans. It also expands the PPP eligibility for non-profit organizations and news outlets
  • The bill provides $15 billion for the entertainment industry, including music clubs, cultural institutions, movie theatres, and entertainment venues
  • The package includes $20 billion targeted grants through the Economic Injury Disaster programs
  • The legislation provides a tax break for corporate meal expense

School funding

  • The bill extends aid to colleges and schools, which will receive $82 billion. A $22.7 billion will go to colleges and universities and $54.3 billion for elementary and secondary education.
  • The deal also provides a $10 billion package for childcare assistance.

Transportation

  • The bill provides $45 billion for transportation, including $16 billion for an extra round of airline employee and contractor payroll support.
  • Others are $14 billion for transit, $10 billion for highways, $2 billion for airports, and $1 billion for Amtrak.

More information will be coming on how our businesses can take advantage of the new stimulus package.