Small businesses in Nashville who need funding as a result of the coronavirus pandemic may find assistance in the Tennessee Small Business Relief Program. Funded by the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, the program is open to distributing around $83 million to qualified enterprises. This amount is added to the original $200 million fund earmarked to help small businesses cope with the effects of the crisis.
Recently, the state government has announced that the program will be expanded to include additional business activities that were previously not qualified to receive the funds. The cash assistance is not a loan, so they don’t need to be repaid.
If you’re in need of new funding to keep your business afloat, check with your CPA to see if you’re eligible for the program and get help in taking the necessary steps to benefit from it.
Here are some of the things you need to know:
- The original list of intended beneficiaries included barber shops, beauty shops, salons, amusement and recreational businesses, gyms and fitness centers, bars, museums, and zoos. Other specified businesses whose sales were reduced by 25% as of April 2020 may also qualify for the relief. Check here for the original list of eligible businesses for the program.
- In August 2020, the state government announced the inclusion of more businesses who may be eligible for the funding, particularly those in the agriculture and tourism sectors, as well as qualified displaced workers. To be eligible for the funding, the business must be making less than $10 million in gross annual sales, and must be part of an industry affected by the government’s regulations on limiting gatherings and non-essential activities.
The new categories added to the program include caterers, event planners, travel agencies, sightseeing tours, music production, and more. Additional business activities whose sales were reduced by 25% as of May 2020 can also qualify. These include florists, gasoline stations, convenience stores, electronic stores, pharmacies and drug stores, and others. See this page for the complete list of business activities added as potential beneficiaries of the program.
- In addition to the cap on gross sales, only businesses who are registered to pay sales and/or business tax may qualify.
- The Tennessee Department of Revenue has proactively identified businesses that are potentially eligible to receive the funding, and has been sending emails to inform these businesses about their potential eligibility starting August 17, 2020. If you have received a notification email, you need to certify your business information on the TN Department of Revenue website. Relief payments range from $2,500 to $30,000 depending on your business’ gross sales.
- If you have previously applied for funding under the original conditions of the program and was deemed ineligible, you don’t need to re-apply. If your business qualifies under the expanded program, you will also get notified of your eligibility and receive your payment.
- If you think your business is eligible for the program but you have not received a notification, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the department’s Taxpayer Services Division at (615) 253-0600 from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
For more sources of financial assistance for your business, don’t hesitate to contact your CPA and ask for guidance.
More Tennessee Small Businesses to Get Help Under Relief Program, Fox17.com
Tennessee Business Relief Program, TN.gov