The Blount Partnership is committed to leading the Blount County business community through this crisis. Be sure to check out our continually updating Managing Your Business during COVID-19 webpage. If you missed a daily update, refer to our listing page .  
Slamdot is offering  HUGE discounts  on  websites and digital marketing to help businesses get back to work and rebuild quickly.

To learn more and get a  FREE quote , visit , or contact Daniel Monday at  or (865) 238-5602.
Don’t forget to mention the Blount Partnership when reaching out!
The state’s Economic Recovery Group announced it will lift capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail to instead focus on social distancing best practices effective May 22 and issue guidelines to facilitate the safe reopening of larger, non-contact attractions on or after May 22.

The new Large Attractions guidance applies to those businesses that can effectively practice social distancing with strong measures to protect both employees and customers, including racetracks, amusement parks, waterparks, theaters and dinner theaters, auditoriums, large museums and more. Restrictions on social gatherings of more than 10 people remain in place for the time being. Updates to Restaurant Guidance will include a lift on capacity restrictions, allowing for increased service as long as social distancing guidelines are adhered to, including 6 feet between tables. 

An announcement from Gov. Lee is coming this week. Read more .
Do you want to know more about what community and business leaders have been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they see themselves and their organizations dealing with an uncertain future?

Make plans to join Blount Partnership President/CEO Bryan Daniels as he embarks on journey to visit with those leaders to reveal what they've learned. So, join us and bring your questions.

The first three guests are scheduled for this week. Review the schedule for updates in the coming weeks and to catch up on the interviews you may have missed.
May 20 at 1:30 p.m. -- Visit with Dr. Mike Winstead, Maryville City Schools
May 21 at 9:30 a.m. -- Visit with Rebecca Stone, Alcoa City Schools
May 21 at 1:30 p.m. -- Visit with Greg McClain, City of Maryville

The format will be similar to this .
If you received a Paycheck Protection Program loan, receiving forgiveness should be a top priority.

This  PPP Forgiveness Checklist  is a guide based on the current knowledge and not the final rules. But these steps should give you a head start on receiving full loan forgiveness.

Please review the updated   Paycheck Protection Program FAQ   for borrowers and lenders.
As part of the Blount Chamber's 100th anniversary, we need your help to create a community cookbook of your favorite family recipes entitled "A Century of Cooking With Character." To contribute is simple and can be done online in just a few minutes.

Click here for submission instructions .

The deadline for entering recipes is Friday, June 12, 2020, in order to have our cookbooks printed which will be delivered in late summer.

Admit it, we all like to do bit of Emeril Lagassee's "BAM!" in kitchen.
Bring your lawn chair and join us for our Power Connect Networking Lunch on May 26 at 11:30 a.m., with "cibo" from The Italian Apron   food truck  at the Blount Partnership Courtyard.

If you want to order Italian food correctly, watch this clip for proper pronunciation .

Meet, mingle, lunch, connect, nibble, engage and network with other influential professionals.

We will be practicing social distancing and only allowing  20 attendees . You must register online for the event. This is a Dutch Treat lunch.

Event chair Tony Saddy of Get Fit Maryville will lead the event.
As businesses reopen across the state, Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group released guidance for businesses . The Tennessee Pledge guidelines recommend capacity limits, spacing requirements, and frequent sanitization, among others. Larger venues and activities where social distancing is not feasible remain closed.

The full guidance offered by the state can be  found here as well as printable guidelines .

May 18-24
May 18 --  Women in Business (Zoom Meeting)

Save the Date
May 26 --  Power Connect Lunch (Limit 20 participants)

Check out other upcoming webinars and view past ones on our webinar page , including " Respectful Workplace: It Still Matters " presented by Howard Jackson of Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC.
Virtual Small Business Resource Fair 
May 19 at 9 a.m.

The Resource Fair is an online forum for Small Business owners to connect with business experts; addressing a range of topics and concerns that have risen as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Virtual Small Business Resource Fair will provide Small Business owners with the opportunity to interact virtually with experts and professionals from across their organizations and throughout the community.

The virtual event will provide resources for responding to COVID-19 challenges, an overview of available opportunities, and a glimpse of how you can position your company to be stronger on the other side of the crisis.

It Would Not Happen at My Firm: Workplace Violence 
June 3 at 8:30 a.m.

Presented by Kathryn Scourby, CBCP,  KNS Consulting, LLC, This interactive session includes important information to assist you in protecting your firm or business, including discussing the types of workplace violence that can occur and the characteristics and warning signs of potential violence. Additionally, steps that all firms and businesses can take to prevent acts of violence from occurring and discussing what to do if an unwanted intruder enters your office or building will round out this session.

FREE Webinar Series on Organizational Health

Considered an expert in human behavior and organization dynamics, Greg Coker's vision is as a result of reading his books, attending his keynotes/workshops; recipients are moved to achieve higher levels of performance and their organizations better places to work. He is the author of Building Cathedrals: The Power of Purpose and the Soft Skills Field Manual. His third book, Healing the Wounds: Forgiveness & Reconciliation in the Workplace, is due on book shelves later this year.

Each session is a Tuesday, beginning at 11 a.m. ET and will last for 50 minutes.
Series Schedule:
  • Week 1, May 19 11 a.m. ET - Leadership in Adversity
  • The role of the leader during unprecedented times, what our employees are feeling, the power of "WHY", and much more!
  • Week 2, May 26 11 a.m. ET - Maintaining Traction
  • Certain organizations gain "traction" and are successful while other organizations seem to struggle, never making it do the apex. What are these great organizations doing? I provide the six components (Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, Execution).
  • Week 3, June 2 11 a.m. ET - Stress Management
  • Characteristics of Stress Resistant People, impact of change on stress levels, tools to best manage stress.
  • Week 4, June 9 11 a.m. ET - Team Effectiveness during Covid-19
  • The Ideal Team Player, Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Four Disciplines of Execution, Leading Teams, other Team Models.

Register in advance for one, two, three or all four sessions here:
**After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Free soft skills sessions are offered in partnership by the Blount County Public Library, the Adult Education Foundation of Blount County and the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.

All sessions will be conducted via Zoom Meeting.   Click here to download Zoom  . It's FREE!

Registrations are currently being accepted online at     for a class entitled   Empowering and Motivating Employees on  May 29  Empower employees and enable better performance. Learn strategies to help employees be the best they can be..

All participants will earn .5 CEUs per session for participating. They will also receive an email survey two months after workshop participation to assess application of new ideas.
If you have questions about any business related topic about the COVID-19 crisis, please refer to our Managing Your Business During the COVID-19 Outbreak page that is updated daily. There's good information that can point you in the right direction.
Also take advantage of our member-to-member offers . There are a number of resources that you may find beneficial.
If you aren't following us on social media, you must. We are constantly updating information as each day progresses. So, give us a like and stay up-to-date as we move through this crisis.
And follow tourism updates here:
Topping the Billboard Top 100 this week in 1974 was "The Streak" by Ray Stevens. "The Streak" was his second number one on the  Billboard   Hot 100  singles chart in the USA, spending three weeks at the top in May 1974.