Upper Cumberland small businesses can take advantage of relief money being offered by Governor Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
Some $100 million has already been distributed to 13,000 businesses across the state. But Department of Revenue Communications Director Kelly Cortesi said more than 8,200 middle Tennessee small businesses have yet to respond.
“There actually isn’t an application process that’s required,” Cortesi said. “And using the information that’s already in our tax system, we’ve proactively reached out to businesses that we think are eligible for this type of aid. If you are a business type that is eligible for this program, check your inbox. It’s likely it’s likely that we’ve sent you an email or we sent you a letter in the mail saying that we think you qualify for this program.”
The program targets small businesses that were forced to shutdown during March and April. Cortesi said that includes Gyms, bars, restaurants, barber and beauty shops, and nail salons. Tattoo parlors, spas, and other personal care services are also eligible. The program provides grants to businesses, Cortesi said, not loans.
“We’ve identified throughout the state roughly 33,000 businesses that are eligible for the aid,” Cortesi said.
Businesses must have gross sales of $10 million or less. Sales must have decreased at least 25 percent as shown on April sales tax returns. Cortesi said the aid moves quickly.
“The certification process, if you have all the information right, you should take about five to 10 minutes,” Cortesi said. “And then, you know, once we confirm that the business is eligible and they are who they say that they are, then we issue the payments.”
Cortesi said business owners should check their email or regular mail from the last several weeks to see if they missed the information. You can also log on to the Tennessee Department of Revenue website to check eligibility.
“We’ve been trying to reach out to those businesses through the information that we have in our system, either an e-mail address or a mailing address if we don’t have an email address,” Cortesi said. “I know that sometimes, you know, especially with everything going on, that people may not think about the Tennessee Department of Revenue and updating their contact information. So another message. If you think that you’re one of these eligible business types and haven’t heard from us, please give us a call.”
To reach the department, call (615) 253-0600.