Mayor Announces Pending Applications for $18 Million in Federal Aid to Refuel Small Businesses

Mayor John Cooper announced today that applications for $18 million in grants and loans made available through the American Rescue Plan for small businesses in Nashville and Davidson County are now open to applicants. Metro Nashville partners with Loan route to manage the funds. Beginning June 29 at 10 a.m. local time, eligible small businesses can apply for a grant or apply for a loan. Applicants can also sign up for information sessions to review the application requirements and processes, along with guidance to help companies decide between applying for a grant or applying for a low-interest loan.

“Nashville’s economic recovery has been remarkable overall, but it’s vital that our small business community gets the help they need to get back on their feet and thrive,” said Mayor John Cooper. “These grants and loans created under the Biden administration’s US bailout plan will help the engine of our big city — small business — continue to generate jobs and fuel an economy that works for every neighborhood.”

Eligible small business applicants must have a mailing address and physical location in Davidson County, 2021 annual sales of between $10,000 and $1,000,000, no more than 50 full-time employees, and must meet additional criteria.

The Pathway Lending Program website describes full eligibility criteria, as well as FAQs, guides to applying for grants and loans, and a list of nonprofit program partners who provide technical support to help small businesses prepare applications. To date, those nonprofits include Conexión Américas, Corner to Corner, The Equity Alliance, Jefferson St. United Merchants Partnership (JUMP), Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Business Incubation Center, and Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce.

The first round of info sessions, delivered in both English and Spanish, started this week and will continue throughout the application period. Additional sessions this week include:

  • 6:00 PM, 6/29/2022, En Español, Hosted by Conexión Américas (2195 Nolensville Pike)
  • 7:00 PM, 6/29/2022, hosted by Pathway Lending (201 Venture Circle)
  • 5:00 PM, 6/30/2022, hosted by Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce (Plaza Mariachi 3995 Nolensville Pike)

Soon, small businesses will also have access to online recorded information sessions.

As a fund manager, Pathway Lending will process grant and loan applications and distribute grant awards and loans to eligible small businesses with approved applications. The mayor’s office for economic development will oversee the program and make final decisions about the disbursement of the fund. In accordance with the guidelines in the Metro Council resolution, Pathway Lending will allocate the $18 million as follows:

$9 million grant program

  • $2.5 million for North Nashville (37208, 37218, 37228, 37207, 37209)
  • $3.0M for Distressed Areas of Metro Nashville
  • $3.5 million Metro Nashville wide
  • $9 Million Loan Program
  • $2.5 million for North Nashville (37208, 37218, 37228, 37207, 37209)

“These funds will make a significant impact where our community needs it most – reviving businesses in a sustainable and positive way,” said Thomas Sheffield, Pathway Lending’s Nashville Opportunity Fund Director. “This will allow us to exponentially increase support for small businesses in Nashville. We are grateful to the Metro Council and Mayor Cooper for entrusting this vital work to our organization and the other nonprofit community partners involved in this groundbreaking initiative.”

The Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund, established by the Mayor’s Office for Economic and Community Development, was created by Metro Council when it approved $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the federal government for this purpose. Metro Council has pledged $18 million to small businesses in Davidson County, of which $9 million will go to grants and the other half to low-interest loans, and the remaining $2 million to provide technical assistance and outreach support to nonprofits in the United States. region.

About Pathway Lending

Pathway Lending, founded in 1999 and based in Nashville, is a community development financial institution (CDFI) certified by the United States Department of the Treasury. It has grown into a major credit institution in the Southeast, driving meaningful economic growth in communities across the region. In 2021, Pathway Lending provided more than $57.7 million in loans and provided 16,557 hours of technical assistance and education. Learn about our mission and the stories of the entrepreneurs and communities we serve at

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