OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) – The cookies at The Greenhouse on Porter in Ocean Springs are just as tasty as they’ve been since it opened more than five years ago, and the coffee is just as satisfying.
The big thing that co-owner Jessie Zenor was missing: people.
Even now eating inside is not an option.
“We don’t have the community we once had anymore,” she said. “We have a different community – and that’s wonderful too – but we just want people to come back.”
It’s unclear when that will happen, and Zenor is preparing for the long haul.
“Really, we’re looking at that more, and we’re just trying to adapt to the situation and learn to work within the structure that we have now,” she said.
His company is among the first to receive money from the Mississippi 30 Day Fund which was launched by Marie and Brian Sanderson in June. With business down 50% from a year ago, that’s a big deal.
“For us, it’s really about making sure our people get paid. It was able to give us space to breathe and understand that we have a little more time,” said Zenor.
So far, the program has provided assistance to 41 state enterprises with funds of over $138,000.
The number of grants depends on donations, and now the fund has partnered with Sanderson Farms.
“We were delighted that Sanderson Farms agreed to partner with us to sponsor some businesses,” said Marie Sanderson. “And we hope to have further announcements in the coming days regarding other partnerships.”
The Sandersons, unrelated to the Sanderson Farms family, said this program will continue as long as it can be sustained, and that could be a long time.
“While the virus will hopefully subside soon, who knows what the next few years will bring in terms of threats to small businesses,” Brian Sanderson said.
Applications are constantly being taken and go through a multi-step process.
For more information on how to apply, who can apply and how to donate, go to www.ms30dayfund.com.
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