Governor Lee requests economic injury disaster loan declaration from US Small Business Association

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is requesting Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration for all Tennessee small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19.

Once the declaration is made, those small businesses and nonprofit organizations will be eligible to apply for disaster loan assistance of up to $2 million per applicant.

“For most of my life, I’ve been a small business owner and understand the unique challenges each of you face,” Lee said. “While I am pleased with our progress on targeted relief for small businesses, we know this is just a first step from our federal partners to provide liquidity to our businesses. We are in constant dialogue with our delegation members to ensure that federal aid is responsive to our concerns and needs.”

The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable or other bills that can’t be paid due to the disaster’s impact. Interest rates for the loans are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations.

The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

More than 94 percent of Tennessee’s private sector business establishments have fewer than 50 employees. This represents 151,500 businesses that employ over one million Tennesseans.

Employment has increased 13.6 percent at these establishments over the last five years, placing Tennessee in the nation’s top 10 states for small business growth.

“Small business is the backbone of Tennessee’s economy, and right now they have been faced with unprecedented challenges,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “We will continue to provide the necessary resources, information and support to help our small businesses overcome these obstacles as quickly as possible.”

Additional information about Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, along with instructions on where to apply, will be announced once the declaration has been received.

Small businesses are encouraged to learn more about resources offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration at