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February 01, 2023 | Tom Ballard

TN Placemakers Entrepreneurship Fund helps communities support small businesses

Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not, and availability does not mean equitable access. Apply now to help communities provide opportunity through true access for small businesses and entrepreneurs that are and will be a part of your community.

Looking for a way to help small businesses in your community? If so, a program administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development might just be what you are seeking, and the application period is now open. Known as the TN Placemakers Entrepreneurship Fund and organized into two groupings, the initiative is designed to help communities provide opportunity and access for small businesses and entrepreneurs that are or will be a part of the locality.

Group 1:

  • Assess & Plan: Determine gaps in the community and ways to close them, including retail development, tourism, agribusiness, co-working spaces, commercial kitchen incubators, entrepreneurship training services, disaster recovery, etc.
  • Build & Sustain: Purchase furniture, fixtures, and equipment; offset operational costs to reach sustainability (rent utilities, installation of gig service, etc.). This is applied primarily to physical locations, such as commercial kitchens, pop-up shops, co-working spaces, etc.
  • Support & Train: Use for small business and entrepreneurial development activities, including mentor-protégé programs, coding classes, pop-up shops, craft and artisan development, pitch competitions, economic gardening, succession, and disaster planning.

Group 2:

  • Pivot & Recover: Support small businesses and entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 through technical assistance, operating expenses, technology, or microgrant programs.

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