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:
  • SBA Disaster Loans for Business & Nonprofits open
  • Highlights from Phase 3 Relief Legislation
  • Join our Facebook groups for jobs and food service
  • Browse our resources for unemployment and layoffs
  • Use and share our member to member resources
  • Check out some best practices to cope with the outbreak
We cannot stress the urgency enough when applying for a small business loan.
Blount County small businesses and nonprofits are officially eligible for disaster assistance from the Small Business Administration .
Small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million per applicant to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have otherwise been met.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loans are administered and processed through the SBA. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at .
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email  for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
Interest rates for the loans are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations. 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.
Below are helpful links regarding loan application process.
Details of phase three of Congress's COVID-19 relief legislation are being made available and will be considered in the Senate over the weekend. Many expect the legislation will continue to be debated and passed next week. It is expected to be one of the most costly such efforts ever, reportedly topping over $1 trillion. As reported, some early details of the legislation include:
  •  2020 Individual Recovery Rebates
  • Waves the 10% early withdrawal penalty for withdrawals up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts for corona virus related purposes
  • Delay of employer payroll tax – half due by December 31, 2021, half due by December 31, 2022
  • Temporarily increases the amount of business interest expense businesses are allowed to deduct on returns by increasing the reduction from 30% to 50% of the taxable income for 2019 and 2020
  • Technical corrections in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which will result in increased cash flow for some businesses.
  • 208 billion in loans and guaranteed loans to at risk industries - commercial airlines (50 billion), air cargo carriers (8 billion), other eligible businesses (150 billion)
  • Small business loans for any company with less than 500 employees. The cap of that loan is either $10 million or the average of monthly payments. 
(Information compiled by Tennessee Chamber of Commerce)
Please do the following for both jobs and food groups:
(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.

We continue to add to the number of available jobs, so please share and post to this public Facebook group . This page was established to assist those looking to hire with an additional outlet.

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.
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.

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.

Additionally, Reinhart Food Service has available disposables for To-Go / Takeout needs.
Starting Monday, March 23, each American Job Center across Tennessee will begin limiting access to facilities and conduct business through phone and internet. This change will allow state-employed staff to switch their focus from workforce development tasks to claims processing.

The Department will extend customer service hours to 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday to serve additional claimants.

Tennessee American Job Center - Alcoa
Alcoa, TN 37701

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development released a website with guidance for employers and employees affected by 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.

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.
SERVPRO -- Trained to adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitization standards set forth by the CDC. Call 865-982-2332 or email

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).

Allevia Technology -- Produced a video highlighting .four essentials to successfully work from home

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 .

FASTSIGNS -- Offering 20% off several of its signage and banner products to help you communicate whatever you need to employees or clients. Call (865) 558-0180.

Cell Phone Repair (CPR) -- Offering free pick up and delivery repair service on your laptops, tablets and mobile devices. Device will be disinfected upon return.

SCHAS -- SCHAS has created the S.O.S Program to provide grocery delivery services to those who have compromised immune systems or are age 62 or older.
Businesses are looking for ways to keep employees, customers, suppliers and their communities healthy. Expectations are that this global pandemic could last months, and employers need to develop strategies to protect employees and their ability to conduct business for a sustained period. Here is a summary of those best practices. These are not designed to be for every business but an example that could be adopted/modified:  LEARN MORE