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.

In today's email there is information about:
  • Upcoming Small Business Administration disaster loan assistance
  • Unemployment information for employers to share with employees
  • New job opportunity Facebook group to post open positions
  • Funding for child day care
  • Facebook group for social distancing dining options
  • Member to Member resources
Gov. Bill Lee announced he has submitted a request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Once the declaration is made, all Tennessee small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 will be eligible to apply for disaster loan assistance of up to $2 million per applicant.

The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable or other bills that can’t be paid due to the disaster’s impact. Interest rates for the loans are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations.

The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

Additional information about Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, along with instructions on where to apply, will be announced once the declaration has been received.

For more details and how to apply, go here .
The Blount Partnership is dedicated to helping the members in our community stay strong during this time. We want to encourage employers to post hiring positions to this page so that the community can keep thriving.

We created a public Facebook group to assist those looking to hire with an additional outlet.

Please do the following:
(1) JOIN as your business page AND as an individual.
(2) SHARE with other businesses and individuals so they can join (membership is NOT required to join or post for this group!)
(3) POST your hiring positions with descriptions and links to applications.
Help us help and support our community when they need us most!
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 cornavirus outbreak, the Blount Partnership has compiled a list of resources for businesses to plan for and respond to the virus. This includes SBA assistance information, CDC printable materials, information about handling layoffs, grants and avoiding scams. LEARN MORE .

The Blount Partnership is here to assist and provide resources your business may need when it comes to your workforce requirements. If your company expects or is experiencing layoffs or work furloughs, or needs employees to fill open positions, please email Jessica Belitz at or call 865.273.1214.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TNDOLWD) released a website with guidance for business's operations that are affected due to COVID-19. The department has provided resources for mass layoff and unemployment claim information.

These PDFs below provide step-by-step instructions for employers and employees regarding layoffs and unemployment benefits to expedite payment to employees.

Tennessee will provide millions of dollars in more funding for day care and those who have lost their job because of COVID-19, Gov. Bill Lee announced Tuesday.

Within the next week, Tennessee will distribute $10 million in grants to child care services to help keep up with the greater need for child care amid school closings. The state also will guarantee that facilities receiving performance-based subsidies from the state will continue even if their businesses decline temporarily because of the virus. FULL STORY

As CDC recommendations change on a seemingly daily basis, the Blount Partnership has developed a takeout restaurant listing featuring our Blount Chamber dining establishments.

We've also created a public Facebook group page . The goal is to offer another way for area restaurants and service providers to promote their menus, takeout & delivery specials and ANY other information they'd like to share with the public.

Because of the unprecedented circumstances we are all navigating, the chamber has chosen to encourage ANY business to join/post.

Please do the following:
(1) JOIN as your business page AND as an individual.
(2) SHARE with other businesses and individuals so they can join (membership is NOT required to join or post for this group!)
(3) POST your business' NEW or existing take-out/delivery services, menu specials, precautions you are taking for the safety of customers, etc.

Help us help and support our businesses when they need us most.

Reinhart Food Service -- If your restaurant isn’t taking online orders, here’s a great resource that can answer questions and get you started on the path to offering your customers another outlet to connect with you.
Listed below are resources offered by our Blount Chamber members that may be beneficial during these trying times. Please review and share with another business operator if you think it may be helpful.

Send us your resources and we'll continue to communicate those out to our membership.
SD Professionals -- Offering companies with travel-related brands a resource on addressing travel safety concerns with a comprehensive checklist .

AT&T -- Tools for businesses & individuals to stay connected, including distance learning and work from home

Spectrum Enterprise -- Offering existing fiber clients the ability to upgrade their current bandwidth on a month to month basis, as many companies will need increased speeds to allow employees to work from home or to host video conferencing.

Epic Nine -- Free virtual (phone or video conferencing) one hour BaseCamp consultation to help businesses identify and implement marketing strategy.

Express Strategic Services -- Information regarding online presence, website refresh, employee communication, disaster planning. Free 1 hour strategy business/marketing session (done by phone or video conferencing).

Epic Nine -- Keep Your Pants On! How to work remotely and succeed. Learn how using valuable apps can help your team remain connected and productive while working remotely .

C-Spire -- Make your business remote-work ready. Equip your team to work from home or on the go with powerful resources like Office 365 and UC-One from C Spire Business - perfect for business of all sizes.

Creekside Cyber Systems -- Offering 19% off of many services for all who need assistance with IT until April 30. Mention the promo code COVID2020 when you speak to a representative at 865.217.6073 .
The Blount Partnership polled our member pharmacies and clinics to gauge what services they currently offer. All local pharmacies are offering delivery and have a drive thru service. Please consider these options while we social distance.

Broadband access is more important than ever as many Tennesseans have been instructed to stay home from work and school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the quarantine, several broadband providers are temporarily offering free internet service, waiving disconnect and late fees, providing access to Wi-Fi hot spots and other measures to help people at home access the services they need.

Accessibility is critical to meet our needs for education, telemedicine, telecommuting and overall quality of life.

Below you will find examples of how providers are ensuring continuity of service to our communities during this time of need.