Sun Herald | Coast couple starts 30 Day Fund to help Mississippi small businesses during pandemic

Business owners struggling during the coronavirus pandemic can get immediate financial help from a new nonprofit offering forgivable loans.

Announced Monday, the Mississippi 30-Day Fund will provide up to $3,000 to each approved small business, and it will do so quickly to keep employees working and operations running.

It could normally take months for money from the state to get to small business owners struggling with the coronavirus shutdown and aftermath. With this program the online application process takes minutes and approval will be in about three days, said Brian Sanderson.

He and his wife, Marie Sanderson, who are lifelong Mississippians and live in Ocean Springs, were inspired by 30 Day Funds started in Virginia and Arkansas and launched the MS 30 Day Program.

“The Sandersons have impressively assembled a diverse group of leaders from across the state to help this effort, and we know y’all are going to do a lot of good for a lot of people who are struggling in your home state,” said Pete Snyder, a technology entrepreneur and co-founder of the Virginia 30 Day, the first in the nation.


Business owners should go to and fill out a one-page form, then submit a brief video of up to 3 minutes about the business and its employees.

Approval is designed to occur within three days, and approved businesses can expect an immediate transfer of funds.

To be eligible, a business must:

  • Employ three to 30 people
  • Be based in Mississippi and operating for at least one year
  • Be owned and operated by a Mississippi resident
  • Businesses awarded funds are not required to repay them but are asked to “pay it forward” to other Mississippians in need or by making a contribution to the fund.

MBA candidates at Mississippi State University’s School of Business and law students at University of Mississippi School of Law will review applications for eligibility.


Seeded by the Sandersons and business and philanthropic leaders across the state, the fund is growing as others in Mississippi continue to make contributions to expand the impact.

Those wishing to make a charitable contribution to this 501(c)(3) organization can do so by visiting the website.

“Brian and I met during recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and witnessed how instrumental small businesses are to the economy and character of Mississippi,” Marie Sanderson said. “The response and leadership of the private sector was important then, and we believe it is critical now. The Mississippi 30 Day Fund will harness the generosity of Mississippians.”

Several former Mississippi governors, former members of Congress and notable Mississippians have joined the Honorary Advisory Board and business leaders from throughout Mississippi serve on the advisory board.


Executive Director

  • Julie Grant, Gulfport

Honorary Board

  • Haley Barbour, governor
  • Phil Bryant, governor
  • Gregg Harper, congressman
  • Mary Donnelly Haskell, Miss Mississippi 1977, actress
  • Ray Mabus, governor
  • Ronnie Musgrove, governor
  • Chip Pickering, congressman
  • Ronnie Shows, congressman

Advisory Board

  • William Alias III, Oxford
  • Matt Allen, Jackson
  • Derek Arrington, Hattiesburg
  • Austin Barbour, Jackson
  • John Rodgers Brashier, Indianola
  • Kirby Boteler, Jackson
  • John Chain, Hattiesburg
  • Joe Cloyd, Ocean Springs
  • Philip Coburn, Jackson
  • David Conn, Jackson
  • John Currence, Oxford
  • Gerard Gibert, Madison
  • Jeff Good, Jackson
  • Derek Emerson, Jackson
  • Misty Feder, Ocean Springs
  • Merle Flowers, Olive Branch
  • Brandt Galloway, Columbus
  • Paul Hurst, Jackson
  • Colby Lane, Madison
  • Ricky Mathews, Biloxi
  • Cal Mayo, Oxford
  • Greg McNeely, Clinton
  • Bobby Morgan, Jackson
  • Jenny Nicaud, Pass Christian
  • Perry Parker, Seminary
  • Karen Sock, Biloxi
  • Joey Songy, Madison
  • Robert St. John, Hattiesburg
  • Tanner Swetman, Biloxi
  • Amy Tate, Tupelo
  • Amanda Tollison, Oxford

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