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April 13, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Governor’s amended budget recommends restoration of state matching funds for SBIR and STTR grants

If you’ve ever done state government relations work as I did during part of my first career, there are several key milestones during the legislative session. One is the submission of the Governor’s amendment to the budget submitted earlier in the session.

Yesterday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the priorities for his amended budget, and there are no doubt many people who are celebrating. Of particular importance to technology-based start-ups, especially in the primary coverage area of, was the restoration of $3 million to match federal funds awarded to companies under the Small Business Innovation (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

A number of organizations – Launch Tennessee, Life Science Tennessee, Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council, and the Knoxville Chamber – had advocated for restoration of the funds that were eliminated from the FY 21 budget due to concerns about the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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