Originally posted in The Tennessee Tribune, April 25, 2022
Nashville, Tenn. (TN Tribune) – Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC) held its In 23rd Annual Membership Meeting Tuesday, April 19. Members had the opportunity to engage (in person since early 2020), not only in dialogue but in learning about the challenges faced by our small business community and the impact of Covid-19. With Hispanic owned business surpassing the 1,500 mark in Nashville, the topic and proactive initiative was definitely long due. The NAHCC has made it a priority and a top agenda to facilitate access to capital and resources to our HBE members and small business community at large.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper gave a very encouraging address to attendees to our sold out event that counted with the participation of representatives of Nashville’s vibrant Hispanic entrepreneurship community which learned about the Mayor’s plan for increased small business participation in funding opportunities.
Nashville Entrepreneur Center‘s CEO Jane Allen welcomed attendees, followed by Mayor John Cooper and Economic, and Community Development Director Courtney Pogue.
Partnership efforts the NAHCC will undertake this year include, working with Meharry in vaccine up take outreach to Hispanic-owned businesses as well as serving as one of several “Business Support Organizations” to Metro Government to provide individual technical assistance to businesses applying for the Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund (NSBRF), and conduct marketing and outreach to small businesses for participation in the NSBRF. The NSBRF is being administered and managed by Pathway Lending (“Pathway”) on behalf of Metro.
The Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund (NSBRF) amounts to $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support and sustain small businesses in Nashville and Davidson County. Pathway Lending, as the program administrator, will provide grants up to $35,000 to small businesses and micro-enterprises under the $9.0 million grant component of the NSBRF and another $9.0 million of the NSBRF will be administered by Pathway Lending for the Nashville Opportunity Fund (NOF) loan program. Funding for both the loan and grant program will assist businesses that create and retain jobs in Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. For this opportunity, a small business is defined as having 50 or fewer employees and revenues less than $1,000,000 annually. A micro-enterprise has five or fewer employees, including the owner.
Lastly, “NAHCC/NPL Means Business” joint business partnership program, with the Nashville Public Library, to provide guidance to Hispanic entrepreneurs through a seven-week workshop based around Who Owns the Ice House: Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur by Clifton Taulbert and Gary Schoeniger.