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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, April 3, 2020

Mayor Andy Berke launches fund to help small businesses




Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has launched the COVID-19 Small Business Stabilization Fund to provide short-term working capital to businesses facing sudden and severe revenue shortfalls because of recent state and local executive orders.

The city has committed $2.5 million to set up grant and loan programs that can help businesses with short-term rental assistance, continued payroll for displaced workers, or larger business expansion needs.

These programs include:

COVID-19 mitigation grants, which are as much as $5,000 and available to small businesses renting their spaces to help with things like expenses, rent or payroll assistance.

COVID-19 bridge loans: $10,000, $15,000 or $25,000 designed to help small businesses, specifically those impacted by state and local executive orders, with employee retention and working capital.

COVID-19 HUD 108 loans: Loans greater than $25,000 designed to help businesses in low-income census tracts or incentivize business owners to hire and retain employees where median income is at or below 80%.

“While I believe that the steps we’re taking to slow the spread of COVID-19 are the right ones, there’s no doubt that it’s creating some real pain for many of our businesses and families,” Mayor Berke says.

“This is why I’ve created this fund and why I’ve asked, and am grateful, for the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga’s assistance in helping to gain additional support from the private sector in the coming weeks to bolster our small businesses.”

During the next two weeks, the Chattanooga City Council and the Industrial Development Board will vote to authorize the dollars for these grants and loans. Applications for the grant and loans will open up once funding has been approved.

For questions, visit cha.city/covidresources and someone from the Office of Economic Development will help point you in the right direction.

Source: Office of the Mayor