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Vice President focuses on small businesses as she visits Mississippi on Friday

The Mayor of Greenville, Mississippi applauds the Biden administration’s recovery efforts as he looks forward to showing Vice President Kamala Harris where more investment is needed.
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 9:24 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) – The vice president visited Greenville, Mississippi Friday to highlight the administration’s commitment to small business owners.

“We look forward to welcoming her and moving her around our city,” said Greenville Mayor Errick D. Simmons, “... We look forward to having her look at our small businesses. And look, you know, we don’t want to cover anything. We want to make sure that she rides on some good streets and that she rides down some bad streets because we want to show that the investment is needed.”

Simmons said he applauds the efforts by the Biden administration including the infrastructure law that provides funding for things such as expanded broadband internet, bridges, and roads.

A White House official told the Washington News Bureau the vice president would be joined by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

The vice president visited one small business, Joycee’s Fabrics and Sewing Center, during the trip. The White House claimed she heard from community members about the importance of having access to capital to launch a business and the role lenders play in providing that capital.

“Rural America and small America is the backbone of America,” said Simmons, “... The investment is needed in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. You see the critical terms like equity and inclusion regarding disadvantaged areas. When you look at Mississippi, you can see she is a spotty when it comes to broadband. You can see that all of the bridges and roads are in need of repair to fix our aging infrastructure system. So, historic investments in the bipartisan infrastructure law are wonderful investments that will create decades of good paying jobs”

Natalie Madeira Cofield with the Small Business Administration (SBA) said the American Rescue Plan has also provided recovery funding.

She said the SBA is committed to helping business owners access the recovery assistance and build back stronger after the pandemic.

“Businesses that have technological integration fared far better during the COVID-19 pandemic then those who did not. So, I would encourage folks to establish what would be considered COVID proof businesses where you can meet your customer in person and you can meet them online,” said Madeira Cofield.

Vice President Harris also visited Howard University last month to announce the expansion of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s pilot program, the White House said, which targets “access to capital for underserved entrepreneurs.”

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) declined a White House invitation to attend the vice president’s visit to Greenville, due to previously scheduled events in Tate and DeSoto counties. Her office said in a statement, “Senator Hyde-Smith is, of course, confident that because we’re ‘The Hospitality State,’ the Vice President will enjoy Greenville, the Delta, and Mississippi.”

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