Gov. Lee announces $200M relief program for small businesses
Governor Bill Lee announced a new relief program for Tennessee businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tennessee Business Relief Program will direct nearly $200 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds directly to small businesses that qualify.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created immense economic pain across our state and especially among small businesses that faced temporary closure,” said Gov. Lee. “As we responsibly steward our federal stimulus money we have worked to quickly prioritize our small businesses and I thank the work of the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group for their partnership in this.”
The amounts awarded to each business will be based on the annual gross sales of the business.
“While the COVID-19 crisis started as a public health crisis, the economic crisis it triggered is in some ways even more devastating. The burden the virus has placed on small businesses has been substantial,” said Lt. Gov. McNally (R-Oak Ridge). “Jobs have been lost. Savings accounts have been drained. Credit has been stretched. Small businesses need this relief more than anyone. I was proud to be a part of formulating this plan along with my fellow Financial Accountability group members, particularly Sen. Bo Watson and Sen. Raumesh Akbari. I am hopeful this program will soon be expanded to include non-profits, trade groups and chambers of commerce. These organizations are critical to our economic revival and I look forward to seeing them included in the next phase. Our recovery from this economic disruption will be a slow process. But without small business, it doesn’t happen at all. I am grateful for this opportunity to put our most at-risk businesses on a path to stability and prosperity.”
Nearly 28,000 Tennessee businesses are expected to qualify.
The following types of small businesses are eligible:
Tattoo parlors, spas, and other personal care services
Gyms and fitness centers
Hotels and other travel accommodations
Theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers and similar facilities
Museums, zoos, and other similar attractions
Bowling centers and arcades
Amusement, sports and recreational industries
Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events
Agents and managers of artists, athletes, and entertainers
Independent artists, writers, and performers
The following small businesses are eligible if their sales were reduced by at least 25%, as shown on their April sales tax returns (filed in May):
Home furnishing stores
Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores
Sporting goods, hobby, and musical instrument stores
Office supply, stationery and gift stores
Used merchandise stores
Other miscellaneous stores