Mayor John Cooper Releases Summary of Direct Cares Act Distributions to Community Partners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mayor John Cooper today 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 John 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:

  1. $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. $2.5 million to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to provide more food to those impacted by COVID-19.
  3. $600,000 provided to the Nashville Business Incubation Center for technical support of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  4. $600,000 provided to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center for technical support of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  5. $200,000 provided to Conexión Américas for technical support and grants for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  6. $100,000 provided to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce for technical support of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  7. $200,000 provided to Pathway Lending for technical support of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  8. $2 million in grant funds for live music venues. The fund will be administered by Pathway Lending. The funds can cover a maximum of 2 months of operating expenses, excluding payroll, to stay in business during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a maximum grant of $100,000 each. Eligible grant recipients shall be limited to live music venues that meet the following criteria:
    1. Must be independent, Nashville-owned and primarily used for live music entertainment;
    2. Require concert tickets, admissions, and/or cover charges for entry at least 50% of the time the facility is open to the public;
    3. Venues with other ancillary services, such as alcohol, food, or merchandise, must be subsidiary or dependent upon live music performances; and
    4. Annual receipts for the twelve-month period ended February 29, 2020 cannot exceed $5 million.
  9. $2 million in grant funds for small businesses. All small businesses that receive grants must meet the following criteria:
    1. In existence for 12 months from the date of application;
    2. Minimum annual gross receipts of $35,000 as evidenced by tax returns filed with the state;
    3. Maximum annual gross receipts of $1 million as evidence by tax returns filed with the State;
    4. Eligible grant recipients that have been convicted of a citation, warrant, or administrative penalty for violation of a Metro emergency COVID-19 public health order may be deemed by the Committee to be ineligible to receive funds;
    5. Small businesses with annual gross receipts over $250,000 and a maximum of $1 million may receive a grant not to exceed $10,000.  Microbusinesses with annual gross receipts over $35,000 and a maximum of $250,000 may receive a grant not to exceed $5,000; and
    6. Any eligible grant recipient that receives a grant under the concurrently submitted live music venues resolution proposed by the Committee is ineligible to receive a grant under this Resolution.

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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