The State of Tennessee will issue business relief payments through the Tennessee Business Relief Program to small businesses for costs incurred as a result of mandatory business closures. This program will direct approximately $200 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds directly to small business that qualify. Relief payments will be based on a business' annual gross sales. Payments will range from $2,500 to $30,000. 

The following types of small businesses are eligible under the program:
  • Barber shops
  • Beauty shops
  • Nail salons
  • Tattoo parlors, spas, and other personal care services
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Hotels and other travel accommodations
  • Theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers and similar facilities
  • Museums, zoos, and other similar attractions
  • Amusement parks
  • Bowling centers and arcades
  • Marinas
  • Amusement, sports and recreational industries
  • Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events
  • Agents and managers of artists, athletes, and entertainers
  • Independent artists, writers, and performers

In addition, the following small businesses are eligible if their sales were reduced by at least 25%, as shown on their April sales tax returns (filed in May):

  • Furniture stores
  • Home furnishing stores
  • Clothing stores
  • Shoe stores
  • Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores
  • Sporting goods, hobby, and musical instrument stores
  • Book stores
  • Department stores
  • Office supply, stationery and gift stores
  • Used merchandise stores
  • Other miscellaneous stores
Senate Passes Changes to Small Business PPP Loan Program
The Senate cleared changes to the popular Paycheck Protection Program on Wednesday that will allow small businesses more flexibility in using the rescue loan funds. The bill, which passed the House last week on a 417-1 vote, now heads to President Donald Trump鈥檚 desk for his signature. Read more .

A reminder of what it does:
     Extends the time period in which PPP loan recipients must spend the proceeds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks, giving businesses more time to allocate dollars as necessary to combat the ongoing crisis;
     Grants enhanced flexibility in how PPP loan dollars can be allocated between payroll and non-payroll expenses;
     Removes a reduced-headcount penalty for businesses facing workforce challenges;
Allows businesses participating in the PPP to benefit from payroll tax deferment. 
OSHA has announced that employers will have to record positive COVID-19 cases for OSHA recordkeeping purposes if it is determined that the employee contracted it during normal work activities. This is a reversal from previous enforcement policy and will force businesses to make the difficult determination whether an employee contracted COVID-19 at work. The TN Chamber is leading efforts for liability protections to ensure manufacturers that take necessary steps to stop the spread at their facilities are not needlessly punished or impacted by bad-faith litigation. OSHA鈥檚 new policy went into effect May 26, and you can read more  here  
In addition to our local PPE suppliers, the Blount Chamber is promoting a website in partnership with the Tennessee Chamber and their partner PEAK Performance to offer affordable and quality PPE to any size of business in Tennessee. Obtaining necessary supplies has been a hurdle for a number of smaller employers who want to purchase smaller quantities. In addition, proceeds from the orders are being donated to the Tennessee Association of Business Foundation. We hope you will checkout the PPE Shop if you are in need of crucial supplies for your Tennessee business and share the opportunity with others, as well.
To order PPE please visit PPE Shop online .


Burns Mailing & Printing   has PPE items available. Please give them a call at 865-584-2265 for price and availability.

Ullrich Print Plus  is now in Blount County has all your PPE products including masks, hand sanitizing stations, sneeze guards, floor graphics and signage. Give them a call for the latest details at (865) 523-0931.

Graphic Creations   has an ample supply of personal protection supplies, including cloth masks.

Meiji Corporation has developed  Covid-19 safety equipment  and solutions designed to meet the new needs of businesses. Contact   today to work with our team and develop a plan to meet your individual needs with a fast turnaround! 

Bacon & Co. is offering  multiple face mask options .

SMTXtra is supporting the fight against COVID-19 with a  full array of PPE and sanitization products . Email Paul Pittman for more details
June 11 at 10 a.m.

Pure Magic Car Wash Ribbon Cutting
1708 W. Broadway Ave.
Maryville, TN 37801

Hours of Operation
Mon-Sat -- 7 a.m.-8 p.m. or later
Sun -- 9 a.m.-8 p.m. or later
AM Connect Virtual Networking sponsored by SERVPRO of Blount County
June 12 at 8:15 a.m.
The Blount Chamber is hosting AM Connect on Friday, June 12 at 8:15 a.m., sponsored by  SERVPRO of Blount County .
For those who have never participated in an online meeting, here's some useful tips.
     Please include your name and company name
     Use the option to meet others in a small group setting by participating in our breakout rooms
     Limited to 100 guests

Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
If you鈥檝e been wanting to host a coffee and the waiting list was too long, why not get on the list to sponsor one of our virtual coffee clubs? 

Benefits of attending virtual networking:
  • Meet others that you may not have met at an in-person coffee.
  • Extend your reach outside of driving area.
  • Meet members located outside the county.
  • Multiple opportunities to meet others in smaller group breakout rooms.

Dates for future virtual coffee clubs are: October 9, November 13 and December 11.

If you are interested in sponsoring, contact Jessica Hahn at
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.
Review the schedule for updates in the coming weeks and catch up on past interviews.
June 9 at 2 p.m. -- Visit with Patrick Wilson, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority
Financial Wellness Update
June 10 at 10:15 a.m.

Join The Trust Company for an update on the markets, the impact on your investment accounts and things you should and should not do during this time. There will be an update on how you may be affected by the CARES Act.

REGISTER HERE (Open to anyone with financial questions)
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:

  • June 9 11 a.m. ET - Stress Management
  • Characteristics of Stress Resistant People, impact of change on stress levels, tools to best manage stress. REGISTER HERE
  • June 16 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 HERE
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is hosting a myriad of online training webinars to assist you in all facets of your businesses. Take a gander at the upcoming events for June.

June 9 from 9-11 am..

June 16 from 9-10 a.m.

June 23 from noon-2 p.m.

June 25 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

June 30 from 9-10 a.m.
Constant Contact partners with independent marketing professionals who are both experts in its product and trained presenters. If you're looking for a little extra guidance and support, attend one of their upcoming webinars.

June 8

June 10

June 16

June 19

June 30
Motorists traveling in Blount County should be aware of an upcoming road closure that will have an affect on traffic in Alcoa over the next six months. On Saturday, June 13, Hunt Road will be closed at the Alcoa Highway overpass.

The existing Hunt Road bridge will be demolished and replaced by a new Hunt Road bridge over Alcoa Highway. This roadway is expected to re-open to traffic in December 2020. Signage is in place alerting motorists of the upcoming closure.

The existing bridge will be demolished during nighttime operations June 14-18. Traffic will be detoured around the bridge demolition using existing interchange ramps. That detour will only be in place for the demolition activities.

This detour map attached shows the new traffic pattern following those Hunt Road bridge demolition activities, and will be in place until December 2020. For more information on this project, please visit here .
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 a bit of Emeril Lagassee's "BAM!" in kitchen.
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  Networking Strategically on June 19.
Build a network that is beneficial and strategic. Learn how to avoid networking traps and break out of the mold in order to advance project and professional goals.

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.
As businesses reopen across the state, Tennessee鈥檚 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 .

Updated guidelines for close contact services, exercise facilities and recreation activities now focus on social distancing measures rather than strict capacity limits. In addition, the guidelines for close contact businesses also provide guidance for resuming certain services that require the removal of face-coverings.

ERG also expanded guidance for attractions and large venues to include recommendations for large community events such as fairs and festivals. To protect Tennesseans from the spread of COVID-19, venues should implement measures to encourage social distancing, reduce occupancy and crowd density, encourage the use of cloth face coverings and increase sanitization.

Full guidelines can be found on for:

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 1970 was "Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles. When issued as a single in May 1970, a month after  the Beatles' break-up , it became the group's 20th and last number-one hit.