Tennessee government officials and leaders who wish to increase minority-owned businesses in Tennessee have put considerable effort into creating grant programs for minorities whose members may wish to open a business but who lack the necessary capitol. The grant programs allow the potential business owners to create and implement a business plan with the security of needed financial backing.
Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program
The Tennessee Treasury Department created Tennessee's Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program (SMOB) through the Acts of 2004, Public Charter 830. The charter provides loans and grants for program services such as technical assistance, advice and assistance with the buraucracy of establishing a business in Tennessee. SMOB encourages the growth and development of small and minority-owned businesses in Tennessee. The Assistance program gives assistance to the small or minority business owner as she prepares to start or expand her business. The program places emphasis on helping the new business owner to plan and finance the new business.
Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program Tennessee Treasury Department 1000 Riverfront Parkway Chattanooga, TN. 37402 866-918-7360 treasury.tn.gov
The Women's Financial Fund
The Women's Financial Fund awards grants of between $100 to $5000 to help women start a new business or solidify an existing businessess in Tennessee. The Women's Financial Fund invites all business types to apply for the grant. Women may also use these grants to expand already-running businesses. The Tennessee Small Business Development Center administers these grants. Women with U.S. residency over the age of 18 may apply. The applicant must have made at least a $15 application fee/donation to the Women's Financial Fund for eligibility for the grant. The grant administrators will award the grant on the basis of the quality of the application materials and the business plan. The woman's past credit history will not enter into consideration when awarding the grant.
The Women's Financial Fund Tennessee Small Business Development Center 615 Memorial Blvd., Third Floor Murfressboro, TN 37132 615-849-9999 womensbusinessgrants.com
Rural Business Opportunity Grant
Rural Indian Tribes in Tennessee may apply for a Rural Business Opportunity Grant to assist members of the tribe with economic development planning, business development, technical assistance and training. The tribe leadership may choose to use the grant for development of export markets, business training and business based technical assistance for the tribe's members. The Tennessee tribal leadership may apply for the grant by contacting the Rural Development agency located in the branch of the United States Department of Agriculture nearest to the tribal lands or contacting the Rural Development State Center.
Rural Business Opportunity Grant Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture 3322 W. End Ave. Suite 300 Nashville, TN 37203-1084 rurdev.usda.gov