Come join us for the Chamber Social sponsored by Tom Hatcher Charity on Thursday, June 25 at 3:45 p.m. at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville) as we welcome our newest Members! All members are invited to network with new and existing members, meet the Chamber Board of Directors and learn how the Chamber can help promote business. 

Chamber Socials are open to anyone associated with a Chamber member business. Participation is not reserved to the representative(s) listed on the Chamber membership.

We will follow the event and large gathering guidelines set forth by the Tennessee Pledge .
Our first virtual ribbon cutting was held with Ullrich Print Plus powered by Proforma . This family-run biz can handle all your printing needs from swag to posters to PPE with your logo.

After years in Knox County, they made the move to Blount. So welcome them when you can.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:
  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form. 

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period. These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan.

Click  here  to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.
Click  here  to view the Full Forgiveness Application.
Maryville College will honor its outgoing president,  Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart , and First Lady Mary Bogart during the week of June 22-26.

Initiatives planned to honor the Bogarts include a collection of cards and letters from well-wishers and a retrospective of the Bogart tenure shared on social media the week of June 22.

Cards and letters should be mailed to: Maryville College, Office of the President, 502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., Maryville, TN 37804, and sent to the attention of  Suzette Donovan , assistant to the president. 

The social media tribute, which will be posted across the College’s various official social media channels, will include a virtual reveal of the presidential portrait commissioned by the Board of Directors. Created by Maryville College Professor of Art  Dr. Carl Gombert , Bogart’s portrait soon will be hung alongside 10 other presidential paintings on display inside Thaw Hall’s Lamar Memorial Library.

Parade planned for June 26
The week-long recognition will culminate in a drive-by thank-you parade on Circle Drive from 4:30 until 5:30 p.m. on Fri., June 26. The Bogarts will be seated in a tent in front of Anderson Hall.
The Tennessee Safe Harbor and Recovery Act received overwhelming bipartisan support when it passed the Senate and House respectively last week. Moving to Friday’s final legislative day, House and Senate versions would only need to have reconciliations made before final passage. Retroactive provisions dating to March 5 continued to be a significant priority for Senate leaders and for the Tennessee Chamber. As one of the final items to be considered, the two chambers could not agree on a compromise and the Senate version of the legislation ultimately fell 4 votes short to receive an adequate number of votes to pass in the House.

In summary, the Legislature could not find common ground to provide safe harbor protections to Tennessee businesses. 
Less than two weeks after releasing additional details and a, the Federal Reserve released more key updates to the terms of the Main Street Lending Program on June 8.

By covering a wider range of loan amounts, expanding loan terms and extending repayment periods, the Federal Reserve is hoping to broaden the program’s appeal and expand access to a greater number of small- and medium-sized businesses. READ MORE .
To further meet the needs of small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the  Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal  to all eligible Tennessee applicants still experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. 

•  Note: Eligible businesses may apply for both EIDL and  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)  loans.

For additional information or to apply, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at . Local small businesses with questions about EIDL or any other SBA program should email .
SBA Rolls Out Dedicated Tool for Small Businesses to Connect with CDFIs, Small Asset Lenders Participating in PPP
U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza announced the launch of a dedicated online tool for small businesses and non-profits to be matched with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), Farm Credit System lenders, Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

SBA’s  Lender Match  is an additional resource for pandemic-affected small businesses who have not applied for or received an approved  PPP loan  to connect with lenders. The forgivable PPP loan is emergency relief assistance aimed at sustaining businesses and keeping employees on payroll. Lender Match does not accept Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications.

Lender Match Background
Within two business days after entering their information into the Lender Match platform, a borrower receives an email from lenders who have been matched with them. The borrower can see lenders’ requests for them to begin an application. Borrowers are then able to begin the application process directly from the email they receive.

Lender Match was on pause due to CARES Act implementation priorities and loan volume. It is now being reinstated for CDFIs and other Small Asset Lenders. Leads will only be forwarded to CDFIs and Lenders with < $10b in assets until the PPP program ends on June 30, 2020, at which time Lender Match will be open to all participating SBA Lenders. Lender Match not only connects borrowers with accessing PPP loans, but also other SBA lending products, such as 7(a), 504, Microloans, and Community Advantage loans which are currently offering  debt relief .
SBA Tools for Small Business Exporters and Global Supply Chains
June 23 @ 11 a.m. ET

As we continue to confront the COVID-19 crisis, the Tennessee Manufacturers Association (TMA) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are teaming up to make sure that Tennessee manufacturers are aware of SBA resources at their disposal.

The webinar will highlight the Debt Relief component of the CARES Act and implications for SBA export finance products and other resources available to Tennessee manufacturers.

Personal and Professional Development Opportunities with Pellissippi State
Pellissippi State’s Business and Community Services is offering several opportunities to focus on personal and professional development this summer. In addition, many lifelong learning and professional training classes are now being offered virtually.
Free Online Courses
Focus on your personal and professional development with 10 free, self-paced online courses through our partnership with Ed2Go. The 10 selected courses are available at no cost through June 30, 2020. Learn more and register online  Ed2Go .
Summer Lifelong Learning Classes
Expand your mind this summer! We have a variety of classes where you can learn to paint like Bob Ross, get comfortable using a 3D printer, plan for retirement and even improve your Microsoft Word and Excel skills. Several lifelong learning and professional training classes are now also being offered virtually. Virtual classes will be designated on the registration page.
Visit our website  to register and to view the summer catalog and full listing of all our classes.
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 23 from noon-2 p.m.

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

June 30 from 9-10 a.m.
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 156th installment visiting with Mini Storage Depot Property Manager Bethany Carpenter.

Describe your business.
We provide climate and non-climate controlled storage options in additional to moving and storage merchandise available for purchase. We rent on a month to month basis for short and long term needs. Our facility has multiple sizes available, 24/7 gated access, fully paved and well-lit lot and is currently offering great move in specials. Our company has a passion for community outreach and service.

How did you get started?
After a few years as a stay at home mom, I became interested in getting back into property management but desired a change of pace from residential management. An opportunity at this brand new facility opened up and it has been a wonderful place to be each day to help customers who need storage.

What is your background?
I worked at a non-profit youth ministry and at a residential property management company before being a stay at home mom and all of those jobs taught me teamwork, leadership, computer skills, creativity, patience, a respect for efficiency and quality, and the importance of productivity to my sense of worth.

Who is your mentor?
I have been fortunate to have superior bosses and supervisors who have been friends as well as my leaders. Each season has had a different person as I have lived in various places. My biggest supporter is shared between my parents! My supervisors have always allowed me to be ME (vent when needed and help refocus as needed) and have given wise counsel when I doubted decisions. The book of Proverbs is a daily guide for personal and business decisions.

Describe your customers.
Humans! Our customers at Mini Storage Depot are often in season of change and our goal is to keep things simple and professional to help them get on to the next task.

What do you enjoy about running the business?
I actually enjoy working to keep up the appearance and maintenance of the facility. I want my customers to have a great environment for their belongings. (And I want my employer to be happy!) I enjoy the small team atmosphere that allows for independent work some days and collaboration and support on others. Helping customers have a smooth business transaction that leads to positive experiences always makes for a good day.
If you’ve 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
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’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 .

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 2004 was "Burn" by Usher. It t opped various charts around the world, including the  Billboard  Hot 100  for eight non-consecutive weeks; it succeeded "Yeah!" at number one. Both singles gave Usher nineteen consecutive weeks at the top spot, longer than any solo artist of the Hot 100 era.