On June 2, 2020, Governor Bill Lee announced the use of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to assist Tennessee small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Governor Lee has directed the Tennessee Department of Revenue to issue business relief payments through the Tennessee Business Relief Program to small businesses for costs incurred as a result of mandatory business closures.

As of last week, only 40-45% of eligible businesses had submitted their certification form to receive their grant from the state. We want to do everything we can do to help Blount County business owners get these grant dollars that they are entitled to. 

On August 3, Governor Bill Lee released his official proclamation calling for a special session to address three specific legislative issues, most notably is liability protections for businesses. Now that lawmakers are scheduled to return to Nashville today for deliberations on the issue, contacts and advocacy efforts in support of the legislation are badly needed.

Please contact your house and senate member and ask them to vote YES on liability protections. CLICK HERE to take action now or CLICK HERE to view a legislative directory and reach your elected officials by phone.
The SBA released frequently asked questions on Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness. The FAQs address loan-forgiveness applications, payroll and nonpayroll costs, owner-employee compensation, reductions in the forgiveness amount, and more. Read more (PDF).
If you're interested in an economy tracking information chart from the national, state and local levels, view and interact with this website.
The Tennessee Department of Education launched Best for All Central: Tennessee’s Hub for Learning and Teaching, a new online tool designed to provide school leaders, educators, and families an extensive collection of high-quality, optional resources to support teaching and learning, as well as features for locating specific resources quickly and easily.
Best for All Central will serve as Tennessee's online hub for best-in-class instructional and professional development materials for the coming academic year and beyond—all designed to be easily accessible, searchable and free. The department launched this tool a top priority to support Tennessee’s districts, educators, and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Best for All Central can be accessed at

Last chance to sign up for the August 13 virtual conference.

The Summit is an opportunity to network with and engage business leaders from across East Tennessee. Imagine many of the things you enjoy at in-person conferences: engaging speakers, practical seminars, expanding your business network with professionals outside of your area, vendor booths (and swag!). 

Now imagine all those things in a virtual platform. The Summit is our response to a changing world. Most in-person large conferences are projected to be postponed until late 2021. The lack of large scale networking and educational opportunities has added to the weight many businesses are feeling during this time. Join hundreds of other professionals from the East Tennessee Region for our area’s first virtual conference and trade show.

As a Blount Chamber member, you can receive a $100 discount
for vendor registration.
Use Code: blountsummit2020
Learn more about the Blount Chamber and the many opportunities that go along with being a member. Learn how to make the most of the benefits afforded to you by joining our webinar Tuesday, August 11, 2020 10-11:30 a.m.

Register in advance for this meeting

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

R E M E M B E R !
Your membership is a corporate membership. Please encourage co-workers to get involved, educated, network and promote your company via Blount Chamber events and opportunities.
The Blount Chamber is hosting AM Connect on Friday, August 14 at 8:15 a.m., sponsored by Ullrich Print Plus.

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

Housekeeping Items:
  • Keep microphone muted when you aren’t speaking
  • Raise your hand (virtually) for a turn
  • Chat is available for questions
  • Look into the camera instead of looking at yourself talking on the screen 

Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Join us August 28 at 8:30 a.m. for a virtual Federal Legislative Briefing with Congressman Tim Burchett.

Register in advance for this meeting: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 160th installment visiting with Dr. Richard Slawsky of Advanced Dermatology of East Tennessee, P.C., which provides treatment for medical and surgical dermatology issues.

Describe what you do.
I have been a provider of dermatologic services to Blount County for the past 20 years. It has been my objective over the years to bring to those in need the most up-to-date and accurate dermatologic care. My practice has, and always will focus on the needs of our patients first. I practice medicine with the understanding that patients visit us to address their problem or concern. I try to solve their issue using the most current information available, again keeping the best interest of the patient in mind, I will also provide them with avenues other than us to accomplish that if appropriate. We have always held the belief that your time is as valuable as ours. We do not overbook appointments so you are seen by me at your scheduled time. My staff members are led with these values and are willing and able to help with any concern. From issues with insurance, pharmacy or medical questions, we will try our very best to be an excellent source for you.
What is your background?
I am a board certified dermatologist with the American Academy of Dermatology. I went to medical school in Syracuse, N.Y., served my country in the USAF for five years as a flight surgeon. After completing my military service, I completed a dermatology residency at Geisinger Medical Center in Penn. Our practice administrator has Master's degrees in both nursing and healthcare management. She has been with the practice for the past 20 years.

Who is your mentor?
I would have to say it was the director of my dermatology residency. Dr. Fred Miller. He not only taught me dermatology skills but most importantly the skills of being a caring doctor. He led by example of how patients are people first and that you must treat them with respect and dignity.

Describe your customers?
I treat people of any age who have a issue with their skin. Our patients are individuals that want to be seen by a doctor with specialized training. They value one-on-one service, accuracy, punctuality and professionalism.
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
I love the personal aspect of caring for each and every patient. Even with all the constrains being placed on the practice of medicine recently. I enjoy helping people with their problems, curing their illness or helping them be less frightened by what they are experiencing.
Please complete the 2020 Census and we ask that your family and friends do the same by September 30. Blount County has a response rate of 67.8% which is below the 71.6% response rate in 2010.

The process is simple and can be completed online.

There are 12 easy questions and no citizenship questions.
Why is this important?
The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade.
The August 21 edition of soft skills classes offered by the Blount County Public Library is quickly approaching.

This Zoom Webinar session is entitled "Empowering and Motivating Employees." Here, you will learn to empower employees and enable better performance. Learn strategies to help employees be their best.

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.

August 12 from 9-10:30 a.m.
Do you feel prepared to lead your team in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity?
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is hosting a myriad of online training webinars to assist you in all facets of your businesses. Take advantage of training opportunities with the SBDC at no cost.

Get the Facts on PPP and EIDL
Hear from SBA every Monday and Friday at noon ET until December 21. Find out what is a myth and what is a truth on SBA loans for small businesses.

August 11 from 3-4 p.m.

August 11 from 9-10:30 a.m.

August 11 from 3-5 p.m.

August 12 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

August 13 from 9:30-11 a.m.

August 13 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

August 13 from 3-5 p.m.
Virtual Monthly Contracting Training for August
SBA Government Contracting Management and Technical Assistance Online Training: Learn the fundamentals of government contracting. For more information and to register for August trainings, click here.

SBA Virtual Events Navigating the National Crisis Series: Virtual training courses to help you navigate the COVID-19 national crisis and provide you strategies and tactics for managing contract changes, maximizing remote work effectiveness, staying afloat, identifying new opportunities, managing cashflow in a crisis, and growing your businesses in a down market in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and U.S. National Emergency. For more information and to register, click here.

SBA Virtual Training on 8(a) Business Development and Government Contracting:  Connect to online training for every phase of the 8(a) Business Development Program. For more information and to register for August trainings, click here.

SBA Cybersecurity Online Training: Protect your business and compliance requirements through these webinars. For more information and to register for August trainings, click here.
33rd Annual Tax Conference - Virtual Workshop  
August 24 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET
4 hours of CPE and CLE are approved

Success in 90 Seminars
Creating the Resilient Firm of the Future
Sept. 2 at 8:30 a.m. | REGISTER HERE
In this session we will discuss business continuity and pandemic planning and the steps that your company can take now to protect your employees, make informed business decisions for returning to the workplace, working with clients and ensuring organizational resiliency and profitability. Presented by Kathryn Scourby, CBCP of KNS Consulting.
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.
The full guidance offered by the state can be found here as well as printable guidelines.
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:
Here's a great way to offer Member-to-Member deals using your chamber member account. Check the deals.

Members can post Coupons and Discounts to this page at no charge. Click Here
Topping the Billboard Top 100 this week in 1965 was "I'm Henery the Eighth, I Am" by Herman's Hermits. It became the group's second number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, dethroning "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." The song is one of the shortest (in length) number one singles in the U.S. of all time.