COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are having significant impact on small businesses and startups in our community. If you are a business owner looking for support during this time, please see below for resources available. This page will continue to be updated as resources become available.

If you are a business owner with questions, concerns, ideas, or resources during these challenging times, please reach out to our team at info@colab.co or by booking a Wayfinding Meeting at the button below.

Schedule Wayfinding

CO.LAB is a member of the Chattanooga Area Small Business Taskforce, a group of resources who have collectively produced the Small Business Resource Dashboard. Click the button below to see a complete list of resources available.

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BUSINESS CRISIS FRAMEWORK

At CO.LAB, we apply this framework—Activities, Tools, and Objectives—to our own operations and in the curriculum of our programs. Given these challenging times for startups and small businesses, we believe this framework can help entrepreneurs respond and succeed.

Activities

BUILD
• Understand potential changes in the market and the impact on your product strategy

MANAGE
• Do deep dive to better the understand the risks in your operations and financials

SELL
• Advance your pipeline and work with partners/customers to get to a quick close

Tools

CONFIDENCE
• Arm yourself with facts and a network of informed supporters
• Be aware of your power, keep daily routines, stay connected with your team
• Take time to find a ‘win’ somewhere in your life, support another community relief effort

KNOWLEDGE
• Understand your core business so that you can simply explain it to others (Know your metrics!)
• Stay up-to-date on the government responses (federal, state, and local)

RELATIONSHIPS
• Let your customers, partners, investors, and lenders know your situation and plan for success

Objectives

CUSTOMERS
• Keep customers engaged by sharing your story
• Enhance your digital presence
• Offer gift cards and pre-sales
• Experiment with online delivery/distribution models

CAPITAL
• Apply for SBA Disaster Loan
• Launch a Kiva Campaign
• Call your banker to discuss financing options
• Call your landlord to discuss lease options

CAPACITY
• People are your most valuable assets. Keep team morale high by being transparent and proactive,
• Understand how demand will impact you need for people, real estate, and equipment

CAPITAL

The funding opportunities below are just a few of many available at this time. Please reach out to our Capital Access Manager, Katie Hendrix, for questions at katie@colab.co.

Small Business Stabilization Fund

The City of Chattanooga has announced the COVID-19 Small Business Stabilization Fund, dedicated to providing short-term working capital to businesses that are facing sudden and severe revenue shortfalls because of recent executive orders. Click on the button below to learn more and apply for one of these opportunities. Please note that the window for applying can close once all funds are allocated, so we recommend you stay up-to-date with the program and have materials for your application ready.

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Kiva

Kiva, a crowdfunding platform that allows entrepreneurs to raise money via lending, has now increased funding capacity to $15,000 with grace periods possible up to 6 months. Term lengths can be up to 36 months depending on borrowed amount. Please reach out to Katie Hendrix at katie@colab.co if you have additional questions about criteria and applying.

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SBA Disaster Loan (EIDL)

Small businesses in Hamilton County can now apply for up to $2 million in disaster loan funding from the Small Business Administration. Please reach out to our Capital Access Manager, Katie Hendrix, at katie@colab.co for more questions about capital opportunities available at this time. Please note that the window for applying can close once all funds are allocated, so we recommend you stay up-to-date with the program and have materials for your application ready.

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SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program from the SBA is a loan program designed to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis. The loan is potentially forgivable. Please reach out to our Capital Access Manager, Katie Hendrix, at katie@colab.co for more questions about capital opportunities available at this time. Please note that the window for applying can close once all funds are allocated, so we recommend you stay up-to-date with the program and have materials for your application ready.

Learn More

Please click the button to access a document that is edited and updated daily by Chattanooga’s resource community with information pertaining to Emergency Funding Programs.

VIEW DOC

EXPERTISE

CO.LAB Office Hours

CO.LAB is continuing to offer free 1:1 Office Hours advising sessions virtually, which includes mentoring from professionals in the following fields: legal, HR, finance, marketing, and software.

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HHM

Our partners at HHM are creating resourceful content for entrepreneurs to utilize during the COVID-19 crisis in the areas of finance and accounting, which includes webinars on topics including CARE Act updates and more.

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CHAMBLISS LAW

Our partners at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel have created and will continue to update a COVID-19 Insight Center page on their website, which includes resourceful content for entrepreneurs that pertains to CARE Act updates and more.

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Chamber Webinars

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has been producing webinar content around a variety of topics relevant to operating business during the COVID-19 crisis. Topics include SBA disaster loans, protecting your business financially, and more.

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Proof Bar and Food Incubator

Our partner, Proof, is continuing to put together a list of resources for restaurant and consumer-packaged food and beverage companies.

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The Chattery

The Chattery is continuing to offer its classes online for those interested in learning about a wide variety of skills and topics. Classes in these upcoming weeks include pivoting your business online, bookkeeping for creatives, and more.

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COMMUNITY

1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a weekly gathering of our entrepreneurial community where each week a founder talks about a company, idea, or project. 1 Million Cups is continuing to meet virtually each Wednesday at 9 a.m.

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Daily Discussions

The Chattanooga Tourism Co. is hosting daily industry-specific discussions to provide a platform for partners to share questions, concerns, and resources. Calls happen each day at 2 p.m. virtually.

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GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

City of Chattanooga

The City of Chattanooga has compiled a list of resources for small business owners on their Department of Economic Development webpage, Empower Chatt. Please visit the webpage for upcoming resources, including the pending COVID-19 Small Business Stabilization Fund (CSBSF).

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State of Tennessee

Please click the button below for resources put together by the state of Tennessee, including unemployment for employers and employees, department of revenue tax updates, and more.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Unum

Our partners at Unum have produced an in-depth guide to working remote that includes information on data protection, physical and mental wellness, staying engaged with your community, and more.

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Kauffman Foundation

Ross Baird of Village Capital partnered with Kauffman Foundation to put together a written guide to navigating and recovering businesses during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

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US Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together an in-depth directory of resources that pertain to operating businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

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