NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Middle Tennessee businesses were really hit with a one-two punch in March. The tornadoes hit, then two days later we learned of the first case of Coronavirus in Tennessee.
Some businesses lost everything in the devastating tornadoes. Others suffered the fallout of the pandemic and the widespread closures that came with it.
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce wants to remind business owners that there is help out there for anyone struggling. While the deadline has passed for business owners to apply for a Small Business Administration disaster loan if they were affected by the tornado, there are new grants being approved at the local, state and federal level every day that are related to the pandemic. Those grants could be just what some businesses need to stay alive.
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce introduced its "Be A Good Neighbor" program during this crisis. Owners can add their business to a list of ones that are open right now, and even find and offer discounts.
For example, BAM! Social Business is offering small businesses impacted by the tornado or COVID-19 up to a $5,000 credit on digital marketing initiatives. Others businesses, like HERE Technologies, advertise an initiative to help local restaurants and other small businesses reach customers with free delivery routing technology.
"Something that I've learned about Nashville is we are a community that helps each other," said Stephanie Coleman, Chief Growth Officer of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. "This is a really great place to own and operate a business because you're going to operate here and know that other people around you, other business owners, want to see you succeed."
As business owners navigate the pandemic, the Chamber of Commerce has come up with ways for people to learn from each other. It launched a series of webinars focusing on key aspects of operating businesses during the pandemic, from learning about employment law to learning about how to keep employees safe in the workplace.
"There are long-term shifts that businesses need to be thinking about to ensure they survive and survive well," said Coleman.
The chamber said the webinars will keep going as long as they are of use to people in Nashville. To check the calendar to find out when you can take part, click here.
What is the rebound?
As Middle Tennessee works to rebound from the impact of the Coronavirus, we want to help. Whether it's getting back to work, making ends meet during this uncertain time, or managing the pressure, we're committed to finding solution. In addition, we want to tell your stories of hope, inspiration, and creativity as Middle Tennessee starts to rebound.
Find more in the sections below
More Safely Back to School storiesHow schools are changing, and what you can do to help your child get the most from their education, in-person or virtual
Getting Back To WorkLearn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends MeetFind help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the PressureFeeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s RightKeep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
Keeping You SafeFrom schools to stores to restaurants, learn what’s being done to keep you safe.