Last week, the Federal Government passed a $2 trillion relief bill, but we know that it will be some time before Chattanoogans see any of these dollars — and additional relief packages are going to be required. In the meantime, the City of Chattanooga is going to do whatever we can to help the workers and small businesses that power our city.

COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS STABILIZATION FUND

This is why today, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke announced the COVID-19 Small Business Stabilization Fund (CSBSF). This fund will provide short-term working capital to businesses that are facing sudden and severe revenue shortfalls because of our recent executive orders.The City has committed $2.5 million to set up grant and loan programs that can help businesses in different ways — short-term rental assistance, continued payroll for displaced workers, or larger business expansion needs. 

These programs include:

  • COVID-19 Mitigation Grants, which are $5,000 grants available to small businesses renting their spaces to help with things like expenses, rent or payroll assistance. 
  • COVID-19 Bridge Loans, which are loans of $10,000, $15,000 or $25,000 that are designed to help small businesses, specifically those directly impacted by state and local executive orders, with employee retention and working capital. 
  • COVID-19 HUD 108 Loans, which are loans greater than $25,000 that helps businesses in low-income census tracts or incentivizes business owners to hire and retain employees whose area median income is at or below 80 percent. 

Over the next two weeks, the Chattanooga City Council and the Industrial Development Board will vote to authorize the dollars for these grants and loans. Mayor Berke is grateful for their partnership and help during this challenging time. 

Applications for the grant and loans will open up once funding has been approved. If you have questions in the meantime click here, fill out the interest form, and someone from the Office of Economic Development will get in touch with you soon. 

COVID-19 JOINT TASK FORCE

Additionally, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger also announced the COVID-19 Joint Task Force. 

This Task Force will be led by Rae Young Bond, CEO/Executive Director at Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, who will bring together medical and health professionals, leading physicians. This group will provide weekly important updates and offer recommendations that will inform, coordinate, and strengthen the City and County’s response efforts to COVID-19. In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic like this one, it’s never been more important that we listen to experts.

TASK FORCE MEMBERS: 

Dr. Kelly Arnold – Founder & Clinical Director, Clinica Medicos 

Becky Barnes – Hamilton County Health Department Administrator 

Dr. Matt Gibson – President & CEO, Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation  

Dr. Timothy Grant – Chief Medical Officer, Parkridge Health System  

Dr. Martina Suttles Harris – Director of Nursing Program, Chattanooga State Community College

Dr. Gregory Heath – Guerry Professor of Public Health, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 

Dr. Keith Helton – CEO, One to One Health

Dr. William Jackson – President & CEO, Erlanger Health System

Dr. Robert Magill – Chief of Staff, Parkridge Health System

Angel Moore Esq. – Vice President of Population Health & CEO, Erlanger Community Health Center 

Tom Ozburn – President & CEO, Parkridge Health System

Janelle Reilly – CEO, CHI Memorial Hospital  

Dr. Colleen Schmitt – President, Galen Medical Group

Dr. James Sizemore – Chief of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, UTCOM Chattanooga and Medical Director, Infection Prevention, Erlanger Health System

Dr. Christopher Young -Vice Chief of Staff, Erlanger Health System  

We will help as many people as we can, as quickly as we can, while we continue to ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation in slowing the spread of the virus. The most important thing any of you can do right now is to stay home, practice good social distancing, and take extra hygiene and sanitation precautions. The more we do those things now, the sooner all of this will be over.