Small Business Relief + Assistance Guide

Updated: Apr 2



We've been working to organize the most up to date and relevant information for small businesses. If you're anything like us (a lot of our staff own or work for other small businesses too!), we know it can be COMPLETELY overwhelming. There is new information coming out daily - new grants, applications, loans - the list goes on. So where do you even start?


For starters, we recommend you check out the incredible guide that Autumn Witt Boyd's firm has put together. The document walks you through how you should be approaching all of these options and the items you should really be looking at before taking the leap.

Autumn Witt Boyd PLLC Firm COVID-19 Crisis Financial Relief Step-by-Step Guide for Small Business Owners


Next, you're going to want to start to consider the loan options that are available. There is still a lot of assistance out there to help you navigate these options, so proceed knowing there are people nearby to help!


FEDERAL LEVEL:


The Small Business Administration has a lot of options are available, with more information here. You will find information regarding the following programs:


We highly recommend reaching out to your local Small Business Development Center, as they can guide you to which programs might be best for you and your company - and also answer any questions you might have during the process.


With the announcement of the CARES Act, we know there are a lot of questions regarding what it will cover and how to apply. A lot of the items covered in the CARES Act are already available in options listed above (paycheck protection program, disaster relief fund, etc.). The US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has a wonderful guide to understanding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. There are links throughout the document to direct you to these different options as well.


STATE / CITY (TENNESSEE, CHATTANOOGA):


The City of Chattanooga will be launching a Small Business Relief Fund: "On Monday, March 30, 2020, Mayor Andy Berke announced that the City of Chattanooga will make approximately $2.5 million available for small business relief. This relief will be provided to small businesses in the form of grants and loans. Grants and loans are based on the availability of funding, pending approval by the Chattanooga City Council and the Industrial Development Board. Initial grants and loans are available to small businesses that had fewer than 50 employees prior to the passage of the Mayor’s executive orders. Priority will be shown to businesses directly impacted by Mayor Berke’s Executive Orders, including restaurants, fitness centers, barbershops, hair salons, tanning salons, etc. The target date for opening initial applications is Tuesday, April 14, 2020."


For more information and to show interest in Chattanooga's COVID 19 Small Business Stabilization Fund, click here.

"These programs include:

  • COVID-19 Mitigation Grants, which are $5,000 grants available to small businesses renting their spaces to help with things like expenses, rent or payroll assistance.

  • COVID-19 Bridge Loans, which are loans of $10,000, $15,000 or $25,000 that are designed to help small businesses, specifically those directly impacted by state and local executive orders, with employee retention and working capital.

  • COVID-19 HUD 108 Loans, which are loans greater than $25,000 that helps businesses in low-income census tracts or incentivizes business owners to hire and retain employees whose area median income is at or below 80 percent."


Please don't forget The Chattanooga Chamber is here for you with resources and news, as well as the SBDC, and Co.Lab (which has office hours available if you have questions for lawyers or accountants).


Next week, Michael Robinson (Partner at Proof) will be taking some calls to assist small businesses. If you're interested in having a one-on-one call, please email us at info@proofincubator.com, subject line: Small Business Call.

OTHER RELIEF FUNDS / GRANTS:


Facebook Small Business Grants Program - Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate. Click here for more information and to sign up for updates!


Visa has partnered with IFundWomen to support women entrepreneurs as they fund, run and grow their businesses. If you are an early-stage founder in the US in need of capital to take your business to the next level, apply for a grant today! Applications are being accepted now through April 7, 2020. Apply here!


FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS OFFERING RELIEF:


Please review this article on Forbes for a list of banks that are offering relief at this time.


Curious to what your current bank may be offering? You can search here to see if they are offering a response program.


FOR BARS AND RESTAURANTS:

Please visit the National Restaurant Association's COVID-19 resources here. There is great information regarding the CARES Act, Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, as well as other webinars and helpful links.


We will be updating this as more resources come available.

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