Businesses Soldier on Amid Pandemic | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Businesses Soldier on Amid Pandemic

Starting in July, all libraries within the Jackson Hinds Library System have transitioned into exclusively providing curbside services due to COVID-19. File Photo by Trip Burns

Starting in July, all libraries within the Jackson Hinds Library System have transitioned into exclusively providing curbside services due to COVID-19. File Photo by Trip Burns

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, so does Mississippi. Businesses across the capital city and beyond are adapting, reopening or doing whatever they can to help or become better connected with their communities. Plus, services are cropping up to help.

Malco Theaters Reopening

The Malco Renaissance Cinema Grill (1000 Highland Colony Parkway., Suite 13000, Ridgeland) at the Renaissance at Colony Park officially reopened on Friday, Aug. 7, after being closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Malco has put safety procedures into place such as advance, online ticketing and contactless ticket redemption. Malco has also installed hand-sanitizer stations in all buildings and has shut off water fountains.

Theaters with traditional seating 
arrangements require that groups be at least 6 feet apart, with every other row empty. Family members may sit together but must maintain social distancing with other guests. Theaters with recliner seating are 
already distanced between rows.

Face coverings or masks in common areas are mandatory in all locations. Guests may remove coverings when eating, drinking or seated for their movie.

For more information, call 601-521-1171 or visit

Green Bean Cafe

Kenya MomPremier, a Jackson State University alum and mother of two homeschooled sons, recently became the owner of Green Bean Cafe, the first Black-owned coffee shop in Jackson. Green Bean offers pour over coffee, cold pressed juices, tea and pastries.

MomPremier plans to assist other local business owners through a program called Incubator, which gives small business owners access to seed funding, management training, mentorships and up to $10,000 in investment capital. Participants will sell Green Bean's juice cleanser products and get 15% of the amount they sell.

For more information about Green Bean and its Incubator program, visit

Jackson Hinds Library System 
Now Curbside Only

In July, the Jackson Hinds Library System closed its libraries for public usage due to rising COVID-19 cases. All JHLS libraries are currently providing curbside service only.

Library patrons can reserve materials using the Holds system through the card catalogue on the JHLS website or call their local library about materials. Library staff will notify patrons by phone when requested materials are ready for pickup at designated pickup spaces at each library. Book-drops are still available for returning materials.

All digital JHLS services are still available online, including the Summer Reading Program, Imagine Your Story. Summer Reading Grab-and-Go Kits will be available each week through curbside service. JHLS also plans to offer limited faxing and computer services by reservation.

For more information and instructions on curbside service, visit or the JHLS Facebook page.

Connection City ePLEX

A new tenant at the Outlets of Mississippi, Connection City ePLEX, opened in July. The facility is an esports arena with gaming and virtual-reality machines as well as tournaments and leagues for games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty and others.

Connection City ePLEX sits directly across from the Outlets of Mississippi Food Court. The ePLEX has 50 gaming stations and an elevated arena stage for fans. Gamers can play individually by the hour, join leagues or compete in weekly tournaments with cash prizes.

The ePLEX features two VR Studios ATOM units, three wireless HTC Vive pods and two VR game pods. In addition to the games, the facility has three party rooms, as well as the Clutch Bar, which sells energy drinks, sodas, snacks, domestic and imported beer, wine, cocktails and more.

ePLEX staff clean all gaming equipment after every customer usage, a release from the Outlets says. The ePLEX uses CleanBox ultraviolet technology on its VR headgear that is specifically designed for VR venues.

For more information, visit or follow the ePLEX on Facebook.

Dumbo's on Duling

Paul Adair, who formerly worked with Table 100 and The Gathering in the Town of Livingston, partnered with Jessica Quinn, former bar manager for Gold Coast at Cultivation Food Hall in the District at Eastover, and Rashanna Newsome, former executive chef at Aplos in the District, to open Dumbo's on Duling (3100 N. State St., Unit 102) in downtown Jackson.

Dumbo's, which is located inside the former site of CAET restaurant, opened for business on Thursday, June 25. The menu includes items such as fried-chicken sandwiches, country-fried pork chops, bolognese, Muffulettas, Korean fried chicken, pan-roasted duck breast, quarter and more. The restaurant also has a bar with red, white and rose wines, cocktails, craft beers and other options.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays for brunch. For more information, call 601-336-3600 or visit

Back to Business Mississippi

Gov. Tate Reeves in late May announced the launch of the Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program website,, to help small businesses receive financial support quickly to recover from the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19.

After establishing the Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program, Reeves began working with the Mississippi Development Authority to administer the grants to small businesses as quickly as possible.

Businesses in Mississippi with 50 or fewer employees can apply to the grant program for help with recovering from the pandemic, including operating expenses and salaries.

Video Series to Help Small 
Businesses During Pandemic

The Mississippi Small Business Development Center is partnering with Mississippi State University to produce a nine-part video series for local small businesses about navigating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Faculty and staff in MSU's College of Business developed the series, which the Mississippi SBDC funded with money allocated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

The videos cover survival, growth, and sustainability of family businesses during the pandemic and the particular needs of those businesses.

The video series is MSU's College of Business' Family Business Education Initiative, which it established in 2018 to help small businesses sustain and grow.

Production took place at MSU's University Television Center. Jeffrey Ruppwith, director of outreach for the College of Business, served as the host and interviewed business experts from the MSU faculty and local community.

The MSU SBDC also provides counseling, online workshops and a dedicated resource page for Mississippi business owners on the CARES Act's relief programs on its website,

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