Skip to Content

Resolution RS2020-516

A resolution proposing recommendations by the COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee for distribution of $3,700,000.00 in CARES Act funds from the COVID-19 Pandemic Fund No. 30099, to provide financial support to small businesses, to be administered by Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Conexión Américas, the Nashville Business Incubation Center, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and Pathway Lending.

WHEREAS, on June 16, 2020, the Metropolitan Council passed Substitute Ordinance BL2020-286, the budget ordinance for the Metropolitan Government for Fiscal Year 2021, which was subsequently signed into law by Mayor John Cooper on June 17, 2020; and

WHEREAS, Substitute Ordinance BL2020-286 established a COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee (“the Committee”) to collect, consider, and recommend appropriate uses of all federal and state funds provided to the Metropolitan Government specifically for COVID-19 relief and recovery, including but not limited to, federal CARES Act funds, and to submit its initial recommendations to the Mayor, the Director of Finance, and the Metropolitan Council not later than August 3, 2020; and

WHEREAS, there are federal requirements for use of CARES Act funds that require that these funds be used or distributed on or before December 30, 2020; and

WHEREAS, Resolution RS2020-478 addressed initial recommendations by the Committee, including the immediate and critical need to provide financial assistance in the form of rent and mortgage payments and utilities payments to benefit individuals in Davidson County who have suffered the most from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, Resolution RS2020-500 addressed recommendations by the Committee to provide food assistance to individuals in Davidson County who have suffered the most from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, the Committee recognizes that Nashville small businesses have been substantially impaired during the pandemic and that these businesses require an immediate short-term source of funding to continue operations; and

WHEREAS, the Committee recognizes that the continued operation of these businesses is immediate and critical, as these businesses are local and support employment for many Nashvillians; and

WHEREAS, the Committee expects that in the future, the State may be able to offer other funding options to these businesses to support them in the long term; and

WHEREAS, the Committee desires to create a network of small business technical assistance to serve small businesses, with a focus on minority and women owned businesses; and

WHEREAS, the Committee will continue to monitor the needs of the small business community as recovery efforts progress; and

WHEREAS, based on the urgency with which these funds must be distributed and the respective subject matter expertise of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Conexión Américas, the Nashville Business Incubation Center, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and Pathway Lending, that these entities are appropriate administrators of these funds; and

WHEREAS, the Committee encourages these entities to work with the chambers of commerce in the Nashville area for their assistance to maximize their outreach in supporting these small business relief efforts; and

WHEREAS, the Committee recognizes that there are pressing needs throughout Davidson County, including the need to replace city resources spent fighting the pandemic, which the Committee intends to address in its subsequent recommendations; and

WHEREAS, it is to the benefit of the citizens of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and
Davidson County that this resolution be approved.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:

Section 1. The Metropolitan Council accepts this resolution as a recommendation of the COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council requests the Mayor’s Office and the Director of Finance to release $100,000.00 in CARES Act funds to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce as soon as possible to be administered in accordance with this Resolution.

Section 3. The Metropolitan Council directs the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce to use these funds to:
1. Aid small and medium-sized businesses in Nashville to find guidance and resources to recover from the pandemic and resulting economic challenges;
2. Aid small and diverse businesses to “tool up” in preparation for the annual Small and Diverse Business forum in February 2021; and
3. Provide information, guidance and resources for small businesses in Southeast Davidson County and downtown – areas which have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 4. The Metropolitan Council directs that membership in the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce shall not be a factor in determining eligibility for providing the above services to businesses seeking such assistance.

Section 5. The Metropolitan Council requests the Mayor’s Office and the Director of Finance to release $200,000.00 in CARES Act funds to Conexión Américas as soon as possible to be administered in accordance with this Resolution.

Section 6. The Metropolitan Council directs Conexión Américas to use these funds to:
1. Support immigrant and refugee microentrepreneurs on the Nolensville Pike Commercial Corridor and in Southeast Nashville through technical assistance; and
2. Provide $150,000.00 in direct grants to small businesses.

Section 7. The Metropolitan Council requests the Mayor’s Office and the Director of Finance to release $600,000.00 in CARES Act funds to the Nashville Business Incubation Center as soon as possible to be administered in accordance with this Resolution.

Section 8. The Metropolitan Council directs the Nashville Business Incubation Center to use these funds to:
1. Provide business development and sustainability services to small businesses in Davidson County that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic;
2. Host workshops on COVID-19 Restaurant Re-Entry, including strategy, protocol, diversifying revenue, lease negotiation and digital marketing; and
3. Provide financial services, e-commerce/website capability, digital strategy development, and legal support to small businesses.

Section 9. The Metropolitan Council requests the Mayor’s Office and the Director of Finance to release $600,000.00 in CARES Act funds to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center as soon as possible to be administered in accordance with this Resolution.

Section 10. The Metropolitan Council directs the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to use these funds to:
1. Provide relevant expert insight through class sessions, workshops, seminars and panel discussions;
2. Provide access to business experts who will meet one-on-one with small business owners for guidance;
3. Provide access to a community of entrepreneurs and supporters who provide legitimate business opportunities, as well as the support and belonging that helps entrepreneurs sustain momentum though difficult work; and
4. Provide accountability through monthly tracking of the entrepreneur’s current performance and future goals so that the right resources can be directed to them.

Section 11. The Metropolitan Council requests the Mayor’s Office and the Director of Finance to release $2,200,000.00 in CARES Act funds to Pathway Lending as soon as possible to be administered in accordance with this Resolution.

Section 12. The Metropolitan Council directs Pathway Lending to use these funds to:
1. Provide business owners with a structured program for developing go forward plans with variable sales levels, delivery channels and capital needs including cashflow and budget projections;
2. Provide business owners with the tools to develop the request for funding that coincides with the business plans developed;
3. Deploy the Small Business Marketing Training and Toolkit to help businesses assess current marketing efforts, address actionable steps in their marketing strategies to increase sales and optimize current marketing assets;
4. Provide one-on-one technical assistance, mentoring and business counseling in areas specific to improving business and personal credit, addressing gaps in financial and operating systems and adapting marketing strategies, adapting business models; and
5. Provide grants of $2,000,000.00 to small businesses, ensuring that $600,000.00 of the total grant fund is set aside for microbusinesses with annual gross receipts of $250,000.00 or less, and, in accordance with the Equity Alliance’s Our Fair Share report, ensuring that a minimum of 30% of the total grant fund is distributed to minority-owned businesses. All small businesses that receive grants must meet the following criteria:
a. In existence for 12 months from the date of application;
b. Minimum annual gross receipts of $35,000.00 as evidenced by tax returns filed with the state;
c. Maximum annual gross receipts of $1,000,000.00 as evidence by tax returns filed with the State; and
d. Eligible grant recipients that have been convicted of a citation, warrant, or administrative penalty for violation of a Metro emergency COVID-19 public health order may be deemed by the Committee to be ineligible to receive funds.
e. Small business with annual gross receipts over $250,000.00 and a maximum of $1,000,000.00 may receive a grant not to exceed $10,000.00. Microbusinesses with annual gross receipts over $35,000.00 and a maximum of $250,000.00 may receive a grant not to exceed $5,000.00.
f. Any eligible grant recipient that receives a grant under the concurrently submitted live music venues resolution proposed by the Committee is ineligible to receive a grant under this Resolution.

Section 13. The Metropolitan Council directs these entities to distribute funds in accordance with the financial requirements of the federal CARES Act and the financial reporting requirements of the Director of Finance.

Section 14. The Metropolitan Council directs these entities to administrate these funds with these reporting requirements:
1. Each entity will collect demographic data on the ownership of each business that receives any financial or non-financial support from this Resolution.
2. Bi-weekly reporting from each entity to the Committee is required. The required information includes but is not limited to the following:
a. Accounting of all allocated funds, including identification of any business benefitted by these funds
b. Balance of funds remaining from the respective allocation
c. Demographics of business ownership for any funds, including but not limited to Age, Race, Sex and Zip Code

Section 15. The Metropolitan Council directs that any funds that have not been disbursed by these entities by November 15, 2020, shall be immediately returned to the Metropolitan Government to be reallocated by the COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee prior to December 30, 2020.

Section 16. This resolution shall take effect from and after its final passage, the welfare of the public requiring it.

Sponsor(s)

Jennifer Gamble, Courtney Johnston

Legislative History

IntroducedSeptember 1, 2020

ReferredBudget and Finance Committee

AdoptedSeptember 1, 2020

ApprovedSeptember 2, 2020

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 09/04/2020 1:54 PM