CARES Act grants now available for minority-owned businesses

    (Photo: Nashville.gov)

    Government-sponsored business grants are now available through the CARES Act for minority entrepreneurs and will be awarded through a first-come-first-serve basis. 

    The Metropolitan Council of Nashville & Davidson County adopted Resolution RS2020-516 to distribute $2 million in CARES Act Funds to aid small businesses in Davidson County, according to Pathway Lending

    About 30 percent of funds will be distributed by immigrant-advocacy groups to minority-businesses owners in an effort to help the immigrant community, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. 

    “One of the main priorities for the committee and the council was to make sure our minority and immigrant communities were not left behind. Specifically with the small business relief, we asked that 30% be allocated to minority owned business,” said Councilwoman Sandra Sepulveda from District 30. “We wanted to make sure there was a fair playing field, because this virus does not discriminate and neither should we.”

    Metro Nashville Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda (D30)
    Metro Nashville Councilmember Sandra Sepulveda (D30)

    Business owners can receive up to $10,000 and must fulfill several requirements, such as having a business in Davidson County that has been in operation for at least a year. Businesses must have a minimum of $35,000 and a maximum of $1 million in annual gross  receipts, as shown in tax returns filed with the state or federal government.

    Since the grants are an effort to aid the community, certain restrictions have been added, such as requiring businesses to register as owned by minorities. Businesses that have violated COVID-19 ordinances are disqualified from applying. 

     “We believed that [restrictions] were important because we all need to be helping the community…and not give the money to businesses that are risking the health of our people,” said Sepulveda.

    Legal immigration status is not required to apply, according to Sepulveda. 

    Although organizations will be distributing the grants, the COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee will determine how the grants will be distributed and allocated, according to Pathway Lending. 

    Applications are available through the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Conexión Americas (in Spanish), the Nashville Businesses Incubation Center, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and Pathway Lending

    The application in Spanish is available through Conexión Americas

    The deadline for applying is Nov. 15, but the application will close once the funds have been disbursed.