Metro creates small business recovery fund for Nashville

Posted at 4:19 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 07:27:35-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Council approved a $20 million plan to help small businesses bounce back from the pandemic.

The funding focused on businesses in North Nashville and other distressed areas in Metro.

The plan was presented at the council meeting under the guidance of Courtney Pogue, director of economic and community development.

Small business owners say this could go a long way.

"I think it’ll help tremendously the small businesses around especially small African American business," Greg Johnson, owner of Get Chopped in Bordeaux.

Johnson has been cutting hair for 12 years. It was last December when he moved his barbershop Get Chopped to its current location in Bordeaux.

"Yeah, I grew up in Bordeaux here. So it feels good to be back out this way."

But being a boss during a pandemic hasn't always been busy for Johnson and many others.

"I applied for one of the COVID relief loans last year, and with everything being so tied up by the time I guess mine came down the pipeline, they said the funds are gone," Johnson said.

The program will also cover technical assistance, marketing and outreach to small businesses in the Metro.

Johnson says he already thinking of ways to split the dollars if he gets approved.

"Mentoring, classes to help people with small businesses make it through tough times. I think they would help a lot," he said.


The $20 million will divide up into three programs: $9 million will facilitate a grant program to provide immediate capital assistance to businesses in need.

  • $2.5 million go toward small businesses in North Nashville/Bordeaux.
  • $3 million go for distressed areas of Davidson County.
  • $3.5 million would be used for businesses throughout the county that meet the guidelines of the program.

An additional $9 million will go to a loan program dubbed the Nashville Opportunity Fund, which will be managed by Pathway Lending. At least $2.5 million will focus on providing loans to businesses in North Nashville/Bordeaux, and the balance of the program funds would be available to all businesses throughout the county that meet the requirements of the program.

Another $2 million will go toward marketing outreach and technical assistance support for small businesses.

Finally, $2 million would go toward the nonprofit community to provide technical assistance, marketing and outreach to small businesses in Nashville and Davidson County.

Mayor John Cooper approved the plan.