THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER PRESENTED BY:
Join us for a virtual state legislative briefing with Sen. Art Swann and Reps. Jerome Moon and Bob Ramsey on September 21 at 8:30 a.m.


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Department of Revenue announced a new digital eligibility tool for small business owners to determine if their business may be eligible for a Tennessee Business Relief Program payment.

More than 40,000 small business owners across 60 different industries qualify for the Tennessee Business Relief Program. Eligible businesses have until September 25, 2020 to confirm their information with the Department of Revenue in order to receive a relief payment between $2,500 and $30,000 in no-cost funds from the state.

The eligibility tool can be found at businessrelief.tn.gov.
IN-PERSON RIBBON CUTTING
TactionRX ribbon cutting September 22 at 10 a.m. at the Blount Partnership, 201 S. Washington St., Maryville
TactionRX Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening Ceremony
Held at
Blount Partnership
201 S. Washington St.
Maryville, TN
September 22 at 10 a.m.
ANOTHER HEALTHY RIBBON CUTTING
Maryville Nutrition
1782 W. Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Suite 1782
Maryville, TN 37801
September 25 at 10 a.m.

VIRTUAL NETWORKING TRAINING
Sept. 22 from 3-4:30 p.m. | REGISTER HERE

Raeus Jae Cannon asks audiences:
• How would your life and business improve if you could stop making cold calls?
Are you prepared to steer more prospects into your funnel?
• What are you doing to accelerate and improve existing relationships?
• Would you profit from relationships that drive business to your door?

Raeus is highly energetic and enthusiastic as she asks you to "read the signs" on the networking highway. Enjoy learning common sense driving tips and techniques you can use before you leave and continue to use for years to come.
VIRTUAL SECURITY IN A CRISIS
Sept. 23 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. | REGISTER HERE
 
During this unprecedented time providing security to protect our assets can be challenging. Join us on September 23rd at 8:30 a.m. as trained Crisis Manager, retired FBI agent Ricky Hill and owner of A&A Investigations and Consulting Group shares a process he developed to protect personnel and system infrastructure.

This training will show you how to:
  • Identify your risk
  • Develop protection planning, response planning, business recovery planning and continuity planning
NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEEK
As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration is hosting all virtual events September 22-24, 2020. This year’s National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover, contributing to a stronger economy.
The National Small Business Week event schedule includes three days recognizing America’s outstanding entrepreneurs, shining a spotlight on the nation’s 30 million small businesses across the country.

September 22, 1 p.m. ET – “Pride in America’s Small Businesses
 
September 23 & 24, 9 a.m. ET– “Preparing for a Stronger Tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation
 
DO YOU ENJOY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY?
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The Blount Partnership’s Information Technology Workforce Advisory Committee invites your IT representatives to join their committee. This committee meets 1-2 times in the Fall and 1-2 times in the Spring at 4 p.m., typically on a Wednesday via zoom or in the boardroom at Blount Partnership.

This committee is made up of high school and post-secondary educators and IT industry representatives. The committee discusses current IT education and ensures it meets the needs and standards of today’s IT employers. The committee also receives information on workforce events, apprenticeship opportunities and IT-related hiring events.

If you or someone in your company could volunteer to be part of this committee, we would love to have you. It next meets at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23. RSVP and register for the zoom by contacting Jessica Belitz at jbelitz@blountpartnership.com.
MEET A NEW CHAMBER MEMBER
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So, here we go with our 163rd installment visiting with CORE Benefits & Investments which is a full-service financial services firm.

Describe what your business does.
We are in business to help our clients – our friends – build, retain, and protect their family and business. Whether helping business owners with their risk management and retirement plan needs, or advising families on their investments and insurance needs, CORE has positioned itself as the only firm our clients need to accomplish their goals.

How did you get started in this business?
In 2007, Neal Clark, Michael Collins, and Randy Davis founded the firm to deliver services with an independent mindset and a broad set of resources to offer. The founding partners believed that in order to provide great service and advice, CORE must be free of the restrictions that many companies face by offering their proprietary products. This independence was harvested in the many years of experience each partner gained working in the financial and insurance industries prior to starting CORE.

What is your background?
Owners and employees have been properly educated and tested through rigorous education and exams. Many years of cumulative experience from all employees lends to our ability to run our business.

Who is your mentor?
We have been guided and supported by many financial advisors over the years, as well as successful business owners within our community; especially local CPA’s we’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Describe your customers.
We work with business owners, families, and individuals. They have one thing in common: we enjoy working with all of them.

What environments impact the business?
The economic, legal and political environments have the biggest impact on our business. The economy weighs heavy on our business, as well as in the markets which the legal and political environments affect regulations on our business.

Name three things you wish you knew when you started.
 1) We wish we knew how hard it is to gain new clients. We would have worked smarter in the beginning. We’ve learned since then and continue to work smarter and harder throughout our careers. 
2) We wish we would have been more involved in community activities, which is why we’ve begun our CORECares Initiatives to give back to the community. 
3) We wish we would have started our independent business sooner.

What do you enjoy about the business?
We love the independence that this business provides. We all enjoy coming to work…it’s not a job, it’s fun!
BEST CORNY DAD JOKES
  • "How do you get a squirrel to like you? Act like a nut."
  • "Why don't eggs tell jokes? They'd crack each other up."
  • "I don't trust stairs. They're always up to something."
  • "What do you call someone with no body and no nose? Nobody knows."
  • "Did you hear the rumor about butter? Well, I'm not going to spread it!"
  • "Why couldn't the bicycle stand up by itself? It was two tired."
  • "Dad, can you put my shoes on?" "No, I don't think they'll fit me."
  • "Why can't a nose be 12 inches long? Because then it would be a foot."
NEED ASSISTANCE IN
HR, MARKETING OR ACCOUNTING?
Have you experienced supply chain disruptions, staffing challenges, a decrease in business or a business closure as a result specifically due to COVID-19

Through the CARES Act the TSBDC has received funding to hire industry professionals to provide consulting at no cost for our clients. If you need assistance in the areas of accounting, marketing and human resources contact our center!

Let our consultants help navigate the complexities of business ownership during a Pandemic.  


With barriers brought on by COVID-19, we believe small businesses still need that human connection to help identify pools of opportunity. With the simple press of a button, you can find yourself meeting virtually with a consultant who wants to help you and your business succeed on every level.
Do You Need Help Rethinking Business Strategy?

The TSBDC is here to provide business counseling and training assistance at no charge.

Small businesses, like yours, are the backbone of Tennessee’s economy, and we know many of you are hurting right now due to the many challenges brought on by COVID-19.

We can help you explore your options and the issues you’re facing.

Get free one-on-one consultations from experts in Accounting, HR and Marketing.

We're here to help small businesses in East Tennessee grow and succeed.

Visit our website to Request Free Advising 
SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY
If you've ever wanted to Share your Chamber testimony about how the Blount County Chamber of Commerce has been a benefit to you during the COVID-19 pandemic or has assisted you in general. Please share with us.

We would like to use your quote on social media as a way to thank you for your investment.

COMPLETE THE CENSUS
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 70.8% 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.
GET A GRIP ON CONFLICT
The September 25 edition of soft skills classes offered by the Blount County Public Library is quickly approaching.

This Zoom Webinar session is entitled "Conflict De-escalation and Resolution." Here, you will gain insights into your conflict management style and the styles of your team. Discover your own emotional triggers, explore ways to deal with conflict, and leave with best practices you can apply in professional and personal settings.

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.

WEBINAR CALENDAR
6th Annual Peak Performance Symposium
September 25 from 9 a.m.-noon | REGISTER HERE
The 6th Annual Peak Performance Symposium is a yearly event that is held for manufacturers, by manufacturers, where leading industry professionals speak on a variety of topics relevant in today’s advanced manufacturing environment.

This year's symposium will give insight as to how manufactures are learning to operate while facing these difficult business challenges.
Dale Carnegie Course Free Preview Session
September 23 from 9-11 a.m. | REGISTER HERE
Are you looking for ways to connect more easily with others, influence others to your way of thinking, and better manage your stress?

Virtual Selling: How to Build Relationships Online
September 25 from Noon-1:30 p.m. | REGISTER HERE
Are you looking for ways to make virtual connections, book more meetings, and increase your sales numbers?
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. REGISTER HERE 

September 23 from 2-3 p.m.

September 23 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

September 24 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

September 24 from 9:30-11 a.m.

October 15 from 9:30-11 a.m.

October 20 from 9-10:30 a.m.
Get Your Business on Google Search and Maps
Sept. 30 from 10-11 a.m. | REGISTER HERE

Learn about Google My Business, a free tool for local businesses that want to connect with customers on Google Search and Maps. Get (virtual) hands-on help in creating or updating your business profile or a simple website.

In this live webinar, you will learn how to:
• Create or claim your Business Profile on Google
• Manage your business info across Google Search and Maps
• Use Google My Business to connect with potential customers
• Create a free website using the info from your Business Profile
Power of a Positive Leader
October 7 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. | REGISTER HERE

Join Kevin Waters, CEO of Clear Leader Group for a workshop entitled the “Power of a Positive Leader.”

Discover how self-awareness can help you become a better leader, learn about humble confidence, and uncover what feedback is and what it is not and how to effectively give feedback.
FREE CLASS OPPORTUNITIES
The Roane State Foundation recently received a $75,000 Tennessee Community CARES grant to assist Roane State students impacted by COVID-19 and provide training for local small businesses, entrepreneurs and contractors to help them build their businesses and be more responsive during the pandemic.

Scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis for the following programs:

  • Remote Work Boot Camp – This course prepares individuals to work from home as a result of COVID-19 in their current job and/or to look for employment where they can work from home due to unemployment or other pandemic impacts.


  • Financial Management for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses (Your Business, Your Money) – The purpose of the training is to help current small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as future ones, to gain the skills needed to prepare and implement a business plan, operate a business from a financial perspective and engage with their peers in solving business problems, particularly those related to COVID-19. This course includes Personal Finance, Cash Flow, Legal Structures and Accounting, and Taxes and Starting Your Business. Register at https://registration.xenegrade.com/rscc/searchResults.cfm?couID=19385

  • Roane State “Maker Space Package” – The Maker Space package will allow participants completing four of the Financial Management courses above, or other similarly targeted Roane State curriculum, to have access to Roane State’s Maker’s Space at the Cumberland County Campus. The Maker Space provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with access to tools, software, space and mentors to make virtually anything. Tools include a woodworking shop with a 3D CNC wood router, 3D printers, laser cutter/engraver, vinyl cutter and heat press, and computer design workstations. The tools can be used to produce products and/or “logo” items to market/promote a business.  Contact Bonnie Moedano at 931-456-4910 for more information.
 
This project is funded under a grant contract with the Tennessee Department of Human Services through the TN Community CARES Program. For more information about the above training, please visit https://www.roanestate.edu/ccg. Questions can also be directed to Sonya Parker, Roane State’s Workforce Training Manager, by emailing parkers@roanestate.edu or by calling (865) 481-2031.
WHAT'S HAPPENING?
TENNESSEE PLEDGE
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.
COVID-19 CASES IN BLOUNT COUNTY
Distance
The City of Maryville publishes a daily web page that breaks down all the COVID-19 cases in Blount County.

Bookmark it to make sure you know the facts.
TRACK THE ECONOMY
Credit Card
If you're interested in an economy tracking information chart from the national, state and local levels, view and interact with this website.
BE SURE YOU'RE FOLLOWING US
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
REMEMBER WHEN
Topping the Billboard Top 100 this week in 1990 was "Release Me" by Wilson Phillips.
NEWLETTER SPONSORS