NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Small businesses across Tennessee will have a new source of help through the COVID-19 pandemic after Governor Bill Lee announced $50 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds for them.
The new Supplemental Employer Recovery Grant program includes support for minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses. It also provides funds for businesses owned by people with disabilities.
Through the program, business owners can apply for reimbursements on expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards are capped at $30,000, but businesses in low-to-moderate income census tracts, Opportunity zones or Promise zones will receive an additional $500 to the maximum allowable expenses.
Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The application window will be open from Oct. 7 - Dec. 29, or until all funds are depleted.
Officials said that 10% of all funds given through the program will be reserved for eligible diversity enterprises and businesses owned by minorities, women, service-disabled veterans and businesses owned by people with disabilities.
Reimbursable expenses will have had to been made between May 1 - Aug. 31, according to officials. Eligible expenses include costs to create social distancing measures, purchasing personal protective equipment, contactless equipment, payroll expenses and mortgage interest.
People can apply for funds online. Anyone who needs help with their application can all officials at 1-833-740-1438, according to a release.
The Tennessee Business Relief Program previously allocated $300 million for more than 40,000 qualifying businesses, officials said.