Mayor Briley Announces Three Tools To Help Local Businesses Prosper In Honor Of Small Business Week
Thomas Mulgrew, 615-862-6461
Today, Mayor David Briley announced three tools to support local businesses: the Nashville Business Portal, The Navigator and KivaNashville. The Mayor shined a light on the tools at the start of Small Business Week, which runs May 5-11.
“Nashville has more than 19,000 businesses, and over 80 percent of them have fewer than 20 employees – so it’s critical we give them the support they need to grow and thrive,” said Mayor Briley. “These tools offer a variety of resources and expertise to make starting and expanding a business easier in our city. They also add to our ability to attract businesses to Nashville. It is my goal for Nashville to be the best place in the country to start and grow a business.”
Nashville Business Portal
The Nashville Business Portal is an online tool that curates the essential information that business owners and entrepreneurs need to successfully open or grow a business in Nashville. The Portal is a one-stop resource designed specifically to help small business owners navigate the complexity of opening and running a business and connecting them to free and low-cost business support services.
The Nashville Business Portal includes:
- A user-driven journey map, which explains the steps to starting, operating and expanding a business in Nashville
- Starter kits for popular business types such as food trucks, freelancers and manufacturers
- A resource directory to easily access nonprofit, government and educational organizations that support local businesses
The Nashville Business Portal was developed by the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development with input from Bloomberg Associates, an international philanthropic consultancy, and support from multiple nonprofit organizations, local chambers of commerce and small business stakeholders. The Portal will add content on a monthly basis in response to user feedback.
Metro Nashville – with support from the Kaufmann Foundation – has developed a navigation services initiative that helps any business at any stage access local resources to help them prosper. Led by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, The Navigator began as a pilot last year and saw great success.
“We believe the key to the future success of Nashville is to support businesses that are started and grown here,” said Nashville Entrepreneur Center CEO Michael Brody-Waite. “There are more than 250 resources in the city to help entrepreneurs and business owners. Through this initiative, we are working closely with more than 30 partners to provide business owners with easy access to the tools and resources they need for success.”
The Navigator leverages the incredible resources available to Nashville small business owners and entrepreneurs, guiding them through how to access this network and finding the right resource for them.
The goal is to help over 10,000 businesses to use The Navigator over the next five years.
KivaNashville is a crowdlending program established in partnership with kiva.org, a long-standing international microfinance organization. The program provides an opportunity for existing businesses to obtain low-cost capital through loans from the community and the greater Kiva network. Businesses can obtain a zero-interest loan in the amount of $500 to $10,000 through the model.
Further, a grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will provide the remaining 50% of loans for women- and minority-owned businesses in Nashville’s Promise Zone.
Small businesses are encouraged to apply, and business owners and other individuals are encouraged to become lenders themselves by making loans of $25 or more.
These tools will help Metro continue to support small businesses across Nashville and make it easier for business owners and entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.