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. If you missed a daily update, refer to our listing page .

In today's email there is information about:
  • Upcoming Business Relief Fund
  • Teleconference regarding COVID-19 HR issues
  • Child care payment assistance and family financial aid
  • Updated unemployment instructions
  • Join our Facebook groups for jobs and food service
  • Three new member to member resources
BUSINESS RELIEF FUND COMING
The Blount Partnership has collaborated with the  First Horizon Foundation ,   CBBC Bank S.D. Professionals   and  Gallaher & Associates  to provide relief funds to qualifying businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Application process begins March 30 with funds distributed beginning April 6.

This fund provides disaster relief financial grants to small businesses in Blount County that have developed, or are developing, innovative solutions to overcome catastrophic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you wish to donate to the Blount Partnership Business Relief Fund, please DONATE HERE or contact  Bruce Kerr  at 865-983-2241 to make other arrangements. Thank you for your assistance.
NAVIGATING DIFFICULT HR DECISIONS
Join the Tennessee Chamber HR Committee Thursday, March 26 at 2 p.m. ET for a discussion, providing information and updates impacting the business community due to COVID-19.

Moderated by Fred Bissinger and Ed Trent of Wimberly Lawson Wright Daves & Jones, PLLC.

Topics of discussion include:

·    Families First Coronavirus Response Act
·    Fair Labor Standards Act
·    Americans with Disabilities Act
·    Workers Compensation
·    Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
·    Unemployment Compensation
Mark your calendar and join in Thursday, March 26 at
2 p.m. ET

Dial-In Number: 855-309-6568
Passcode: 7831702 # 
CHILD CARE / FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION
The Tennessee Department of Human Services offers several programs and services for TANF Emergency Cash Assistance , child care payment assistance , temporary child care facilities . A church, gym, or non-profit can open an emergency temporary child care facility by registering with the Department of Human Services . Download this PDF with all the details.
Today at 11 a.m., families affected by the  COVID-19  crisis can begin applying for financial assistance from the  Tennessee Department of Human Services .

Emergency cash assistance applications are being accepted online for qualifying families that lost a job as a result of the pandemic state of emergency. LEARN MORE .
UNEMPLOYMENT / LAYOFF PROCEDURES
SHARE WITH EMPLOYEES
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.

Click graphic below for printable version.
SBA LOANS FOR BIZ & NONPROFITS
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  sba.gov/disaster .
 
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov  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.
FACEBOOK GROUPS YOU NEED TO JOIN
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 jbelitz@blountpartnership.com 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. Click the link below to view or offer a product or service to assist the public or business community.

MEMBER TO MEMBER RESOURCES
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.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES?
  • Buy gift cards
  • Order carry-out OR delivery
  • Engage with them and review them positively on social media or the web
  • Order an item and ask for it to be held until you can pick it up
  • Tip generously if you can
  • Check on owners and staff; ask what you can do, if only to listen
Today's New Resources

SIGNAGE
Tip Signs -- Your Local Sign Company is offering 20% off Yard Signs & Banners related to communicating your COVID19 policy to your employees & customers. Also, 10% off all orders with in stock materials.

PERSONAL MEETING SPACE
Luxbury Inn -- Do you or a family member need a quiet space? Let Luxbury Inn help with suites offering spacious lodging space that are complete with full size appliances and strong Wi-Fi.

G SUITE TOOLS
BLOUNT COUNTY LIBRARY ONLINE RESOURCES
Blount County Library -- Click the link to the left and see that t he BCPL offers plenty of reading materials through its Tennessee READS resource which provides digital access to both audiobooks and e-books for children and adults. It also offers many online resources for businesses.

COMMUNICATIONS
AT&T -- AT&T will waive domestic wireless plan overage charges for data, voice or text for residential or small business wireless customers incurred because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic. These fees will be retroactively waived, dating back to March 13 th . We will not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. See expansion of our low cost home broadband service. 

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.

DEVICE REPAIR
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.

IT SERVICES
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 .

GROCERY DELIVERY FOR IMMUNE DEFICIENT & SENIORS
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.

MARKETING & HR
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).

ONLINE ORDERING
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.

PERSONAL MEETING SPACE
Airport Hilton -- Working from home not going as planned or just need a quite space to get work done? The Hilton Knoxville Airport is offering a special Home Office Package during this time where seclusion is key. Please contact the hotel's Sales and Catering Department to inquire. 865-970-4300 option 2.

PEST MANGEMENT
Pest-OPS : Let us help manage mosquitoes for $45/month. We can also take care of your spiders, carpenter bees and wasps at your home and business. Please give Jeff Haun a call at 865-567-7665.

PROFESSIONAL CLEANING
SERVPRO -- Trained to adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitization standards set forth by the CDC. Call 865-982-2332 or email office@servproblountcounty.com

REMOTE WORKFORCE
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 .

Gallaher -- Gallaher is here to assist you with your remote working needs. We offer remote telephony options as well as ways to monitor your business while you are away. Call 865-970-2471 for more information.

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.




SEO & DIGITAL MARKETING
BigWheel -- Your website and social media presence are more important than ever. With so many people stuck at home, your social media and website are more important than ever. BigWheel can help you get in front of new customers, keep current clients engaged, and drive sales online. Get a free SEO audit and digital marketing plan.

SIGNAGE
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.

STAFFING
GemCare -- Gem Care is helping to connect people who have been recently laid off with companies that are experiencing an increase in worker demand. Call us at 865-560-9891 or visit our website