Relief program sends $200M to small businesses recovering from COVID-19

Posted at 10:40 AM, Jun 02, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gov. Bill Lee announced a relief program that will allocate $200 million for small businesses recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch the full announcement below:

He made the announcement on Tuesday morning while speaking at Arnold’s Country Kitchen, one of the local businesses that have qualified for financial help. During the annoucement, the governor was joined by Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, and members of the stimulus financial accountability group.

"While the COVID-19 crisis started as a public health crisis, the economic crisis it triggered is in some ways even more devastating. The burden the virus has placed on small businesses has been substantial," said Lt. Gov. McNally. "Jobs have been lost. Savings accounts have been drained. Credit has been stretched. Small businesses need this relief more than anyone."

The funds will come from the federal coronavirus relief bill called the CARES Act.

The amounts given to businesses will be based on the annual gross sales of the business. The governor's office said about 28,000 small businesses statewide are expected to qualify.

A variety of small businesses are eligible for the program, including the following:

  • Barber shops
  • Beauty shops
  • Nail salons
  • Tattoo parlors, spas, and other personal care services
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Hotels and other travel accommodations
  • Theaters, auditoriums, performing arts centers and similar facilities
  • Museums, zoos, and other similar attractions
  • Amusement parks
  • Bowling centers and arcades
  • Marinas
  • Amusement, sports and recreational industries
  • Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events
  • Agents and managers of artists, athletes, and entertainers
  • Independent artists, writers, and performers

The governor's office said other businesses may also be eligible if their sales were reduced by at least 25% per the business' April sales tax returns.

More details can be found on the Tennessee Department of Revenue's websitein the coming days.