$18.5M in COVID-19 federal relief funds assists Davidson County residents, small businesses, music venues

Mayor John Cooper

Mayor John Cooper has released an updated summary of $18.5 million in direct awards made to community partners to assist small businesses, independent music venues, and residents in need of rent, mortgage, utility, and food security assistance during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

These allocations have been made in accordance with various Metro Council resolutions and the ‘Our Fair Share’ needs assessment, which was produced in partnership between the Mayor’s Office and The Equity Alliance. The assessment was produced by surveying historically underserved communities in Nashville to ensure that the needs of Black and Brown residents, people experiencing homelessness, and minority-owned small businesses are equitably represented in the consideration of CARES Act distributions.

“As I’ve said before, federal financial assistance for cities or people during this public health crisis has not been adequate to the need,” said Mayor Cooper at this week’s COVID-19 press briefing. “I’m grateful for the work of the COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee in disbursing the available funds in equitable and responsible ways. The COVID-19 crisis and its social and economic upheaval have created enormous need in our community. There is a level of need that cannot be fully addressed by the amount of federal assistance that Nashville, or any other city, has received. As our office works with the committee to consider other vital, timely allocations, we ask for more financial relief from our partners at the state and at the federal level.”

The distributions of federal relief funds by the COVID-19 Financial Oversight Committee and as approved by the Metro Council are as follows:

  • $10 million to the United Way of Greater Nashville, to be disbursed to certain partner agencies for rent, mortgage, and utility relief. Call 2-1-1 to find an agency providing these funds.
  • $2.5 million to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to provide more food to those impacted by COVID-19.
  • $600,000 provided to the Nashville Business Incubation Center for technical support of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • $600,000 provided to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center for technical support of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • $200,000 provided to Conexión Américas for technical support and grants for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • $100,000 provided to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce for technical support of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • $200,000 provided to Pathway Lending for technical support of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • $2 million in grant funds for live music venues. Pathway Lending will administer the fund. The funds can cover a maximum of two months of operating expenses, excluding payroll, to stay in business during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a maximum grant of $100,000 each.
  • $2 million in grant funds for small businesses. All small businesses that receive grants must meet the following criteria:

A complete list of Metro’s current spending and allocations of the $121.1 million of Coronavirus Relief Funds received follow:

  • Metro’s emergency COVID-19 response (estimated costs through 12/30/20): $48.8 million
  • Remote learning support for MNPS students and teachers: $24 million
  • Rent, mortgage, and utility assistance for Davidson County residents: $10 million
  • Small business grants and technical support: $5.7 million
  • Essential Metro services conducted through non-profit organizations: $2.8 million
  • Funding to reduce food insecurity: $2.5 million
  • Total funds spent or allocated to date: $93.8 million

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