Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced that Tennessee small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis are eligible to apply for loan assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration's new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Businesses can begin applying for these loans with eligible financial institutions beginning Friday, April 3, 2020. The new $349 billion loan program - a major piece of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law by President Donald Trump last Friday - will provide much-needed relief to small businesses and help companies keep their workers employed and sustain operations.
WGNS Interactive Map of Businesses OPEN during the COVID-19 Pandemic - HERE
The PPP is for any small business with fewer than 500 employees, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons, as well as non-profit organizations or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. Health care providers are also eligible to apply for this relief. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA's size standards for those industries.
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Businesses can begin applying for these loans with eligible financial institutions beginning Friday, April 3, 2020.
FAQ's for borrowers
Companies that applied for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are still eligible to apply for forgivable loans through PPP. COVID-19 related loan resources and guidance are available on the SBA's website.
Additional resources for businesses and workers are available on the Tennessee Department of Economic and Development's website.
Up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Tennessee can be found here
Up-to-date information for the larger businesses from TN Chamber:
Up-to-date information by industry and field (i.e. guidance for manufactures, OSHA guidance, industrial disinfectant use, etc.)
Additional resources toward small, innovation, creative startups
These websites offer guidance from health officials, various updates and resources to support small businesses and startups, webinars and other virtual learning opportunities. Check them regularly as they are updates as applicable by the public-private partners as needed.
Launch Tennessee: LaunchTN is a public-private partnership with a vision to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation.
Pathway Lending/Women's and Veteran's Outreach Centers: from lending to providing a wide-range of services, which include in-depth business counseling, classroom training, and peer-to-peer learning to help entrepreneurs start, expand, and successfully manage their businesses.
Additional resources toward the community
Co.Starters' Recovery Guide: a "continuously curating resources to help small businesses regain their footing after disaster"
Retail Strategies: a good guide for retailers and communities that addresses federal small business loans; laws and advocacy; local resources for marketing, getting creative.
Tennessee's ESOs, Entrepreneur Support Organizations, are meeting needs in a variety of ways.
- public-private partners, like Launch Tennessee (includes partners like Bunker Labs, EPICenter, StartCo, theCO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center, CO.LAB, Biz Foundry, KEC, Sync.Space), Pathway: Lending, Women and Veteran's Centers
- resource partners, including SBA (covid19relief.sba.gov), TSBDC, SCORE, PTAC, Center for Profitable Agriculture,
- inhouse programs or grantees through TN Main Streets or Downtowns, a cowork space or one of the many programs like Co.Starters or similar programs for start-ups, mentor-protégé programs, etc.
- among various others resources that can include a chambers of commerce, NFIB.
- See BERO's website for even more resources for Small Businesses here.
- Be informed: get tips and consumer assistance consumer.ftc.gov
- Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs can be reached at (615) 741-4737 or online at tn.gov/consumer.
- For now, the resources that are available statewide are being posted here (including the SBA's Economic Injury and Disaster loans).
- Beginning March 26th, residents of Tennessee whose jobs have been affected by Covid-19 will be able to apply for Emergency Cash Assistance. Applications will be online only. https://www.tn.gov/