NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — If you are a business owner, make sure you are not leaving money on the table. You can still benefit from the Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund.
The funds are first come first serve. About $1.5 million have been loaned so far, and about $7 million is still left for businesses to apply for according to the distributor, Pathway Lending. Business owners can get between $10,000 to $200,000 in loans with only 2 percent interest.
This fund is thanks to the American Rescue Plan. Last year Metro Council approved for $9 million to go towards grants and another $9 million for loans for small businesses impacted by the pandemic and to help the local economy bounce back.
Businesses were able to start applying last June. Almost 470 grants were approved, but money for the loans is still available.
Some of the qualifications to apply — you have to have a business within Davidson County that was established by September 2019, made less than $1 million in 2021, and have a 600 credit score. You can see more details on qualifications and the application on Pathway Lending's website.
Thomas Sheffield with Pathway Lending says if you have not jumped on this opportunity yet, now is the time to do it.
"Now is like the best time to try to expand or try to buy that piece of equipment or hire somebody new to try to help your business to grow," said Sheffield. "This is 2 percent money so it's really cheap money. And with the fed increasing interest rates what I think was 7 times in 2022 and it's gone all the way up to 8 percent interest, now is a wonderful time to take advantage of this program."
Rhonda Cammon, founder of Perfectly Cordial, said she was able to increase her revenue by $100,000 thanks to the Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund.
Perfectly Cordial is a natural food-based beverage mixer for cocktails and mocktails that are available in grocery and liquor stores across the country.
During the pandemic, Cammon quit her full-time job as a nurse after 20 years and became a full-time entrepreneur.
The only two percent interest loan helped her be able to hire two women of color, allowing her to increase production by 50 percent.
Now she wants to tell other small business owners across Nashville that no one should be ashamed to ask for help to start a business because that's how every business starts.
"Now that may be from a loan, that may be through venture, that may be through angel, that may be through daddy Warbucks somewhere that just dropped off a bag of money. But they had an influx of money that helped them grow and then helped them scale. So if you're hesitant about applying, do not think that 'this is not for me.' This is how a lot of businesses get to the next level," said Cammon.
Cammon said Pathway Lending helped her all the way through the application process, making sure she was in good financial standing before applying.