Mississippi leaders announced an initiative Tuesday aimed at revitalizing the state's economy. And it all starts with small businesses.
"Our goal is to increase employment in Mississippi, to provide an incentive to employers to hire workers," said Stan McMorris of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
During a forum in Jackson, state leaders announced a new program aimed at encouraging small businesses to hire again.
"About 65,000 people each week are filing unemployment," McMorris said. "A number of those are exhausting those benefits and needing employment."
Over $40 million in federal money would pay for varying portions of a worker's salary over six months.
"I think it sounds absolutely fabulous," said Linda Shelton, co-owner/manager, of Interiors Market in Fondren. "Things have been a little slower this summer, but we see people getting back in the groove of shopping. The holiday season coming up does lend itself to the possibility of needing someone."
It's a program that state leaders hope will tame the effects of a recession.
"This is a great incentive to help business, especially small business, begin hiring again," said McMorris.
To qualify for the program, workers must earn within 250 percent of the poverty line and have at least one child who's younger than 18.