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 Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application .

The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities.

The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:
  • Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
  • Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
  • Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
  • Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined
The American Small Business Development Center has launched a website that has federal resources and information to help small businesses recover from COVID-19 impacts. You can view relevant federal agency resources, access the latest news, and search for a Small Business Advisor near you.  LEARN 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 last week's interviews with Dr. Mike Winstead of Maryville City Schools and Greg McClain of City of Maryville.
May 26 at 3 p.m. -- Visit with Dr. Tom Bogart, Maryville College
May 27 at 9 a.m. -- Visit with Rebecca Stone, Alcoa City Schools (rescheduled from May 21)
May 28 at 2 p.m. -- Visit with Teri Brahams, Pellissippi State Community College
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.
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 .

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.

How to Win Sales and Influence People
June 5 at 9 a.m.

• Instill foundational elements of Relationship Selling
• Use methods to build more trusting relationships quickly and authentically
• Learn tools to move beyond the current chaos and immediately drive sales

With the tension rising from our current global situation, customers want a confident sales professional with the right skill set to guide them through the buying process: a sales professional that delivers value,
instills confidence and is willing to go the extra mile to quickly drive results. salespeople need to juggle client's emotions and financial limitations with trust, clarity and confidence.

REGISTER HERE (Enter the password "Blount" to register. No quotes.)
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 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, or all three 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 1999 was "Livin' la Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin which was in the midst of a five-week run atop the chart. La vida loca  is Spanish for "the crazy life." "Livin' la Vida Loca" is generally seen as the song that began the  Latin pop  explosion that followed.