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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $13.6 Million in CARES Act Funding to Capitalize Revolving Loan Funds to Help Small Businesses Across Tennessee Respond to Coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $13.6 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across Tennessee.

“President Trump is working diligently every day to support our nation’s economy following the impacts of COVID-19 through the CARES Act,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These investments will provide small businesses across Tennessee with the necessary capital to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and, in turn, create a stronger and more resilient state economy for the future.”

“These investments come at a crucial time to help Tennessee’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and EDA is pleased to invest these CARES Act funds so that Tennessee businesses have access to capital to respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”

“The CARES Act has been a lifeline for employers and employees, and I’m glad to see President Trump and Secretary Ross continue directing these funds to our communities,” said Phil Roe (TN-01). “I know many business owners in Northeast Tennessee have poured their blood, sweat, and life savings into their business, and this grant will further ensure that our region is on steady footing as we deal with the ongoing economic effects of this virus.”

“I was a proud supporter of the CARES Act and I am grateful to President Donald Trump and Secretary Ross for their continued support of Tennessee small businesses,” said Congressman Chuck Fleishmann (TN-03). “I am happy to see these grants from the CARES Act go into further helping our community recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”

“I’m grateful that this Administration, under the leadership of President Trump, is ensuring that CARES Act funds reach Tennessee’s entrepreneurs and small businesses as they rebound from the painful toll of this pandemic,” said Congressman Mark Green (TN-07). “These investments will provide critical relief to the businesses that provide opportunity to Tennessee’s unemployed. I’m pleased these funds will go to some of those most in need as we work together to reopen America and rebuild the greatest economy in the world.”

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • Upper Cumberland Development District, Cookeville, Tennessee, will receive a $5.6 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren, and White counties.
  • Greater Nashville Regional Council, Nashville, Tennessee, will receive a $2.7 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson counties.
  • South Central Tennessee Development District, Mount Pleasant Tennessee will receive a $1.7 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loan interest loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Perry, and Wayne counties.
  • Southeast Tennessee Development District, Chattanooga, Tennessee, will receive a $1.2 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, Sequatchie, Dade, and Walker counties.
  • First Tennessee Development District, Johnson City, Tennessee will receive a $1.1 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses in Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties to help them respond to and recover from the pandemic.
  • East Tennessee Development District, Alcoa, Tennessee, will receive a $814,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union counties.
  • Southwest Tennessee Development District, Jackson, Tennessee, will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide gap financing and loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses in Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, and McNairy counties.to help them respond to and recover from the pandemic.

These current EDA RLF grantees are some of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA RLF, Economic Development District, University Center, and Tribal grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 7, Secretary Ross announced that EDA is accepting applications for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding opportunities.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit our recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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