NASHVILLE SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY FUND

Davidson County Small Business GRANTS AND LOANS

applications open june 29

Conexion Americas and Corner to Corner
Equity Alliance and JUMP
NBIC and Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce

Pathway Lending serves as the administrator for the Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund in Davidson County, Tennessee. Use the instructions detailed here to get acquainted with the loan and grant program, and learn about the requirements for submitting a complete application.

[Updated 6/9/2022]- Metro Council approved $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the federal government to establish the Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund in the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development (RS2022-1356, RS2021-1303).

 

The funding will support Nashville and Davidson County small businesses’ recovery from the pandemic’s impacts and will bolster economic development in Nashville communities recovering from the pandemic and prior economic challenges.

 

Council directed $18 million for Davidson County small businesses impacted by COVID with half ($9 million) going to grants small businesses will not have to repay and half ($9 million) going to low-interest loans recipients will repay at affordable, below-market rates and terms that facilitate ease of repayment.

 

A portion of these funds will cover costs associated with administering the programs.
Mayor John Cooper’s Office of Economic Development engaged Pathway Lending to administer the program in accordance with the Council resolution. Pathway Lending will distribute the funds, build the online grant application portal, and put in place the teams, processes and policies needed to run the program.

 

The Mayor’s Office has also engaged a group of 10 nonprofits that Metro Council approved April 19 along with the allocation of $2 million to disburse across the organizations based on the scale and scope of each nonprofit’s work.


The approved nonprofits include Bordeaux Business Council, Conexión Américas, Corner to Corner, Equity Alliance, Jefferson St. United Merchants Partnership (JUMP), Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Business Incubation Center, Southeast Center For Cooperative Development, and Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce.

FIRST STEP TO FUNDING? SIGN UP NOW FOR AN INFO SESSION 

Sign Up For An Info Session
NSBRF Info Session Dates
NSBRF Info Session Recording

We're here to give your small business and all of those we serve the best chance to benefit from these funding programs!

 

We’re holding information sessions to give applicants the information they need to prepare a successful application, whether you decide to apply for a grant or to apply for a loan.

 

Don’t know which one to apply for yet? Attend an information session where we’ll offer guidance and connect you with support for preparing your application.

NSBRF

GRANT FUNDING

NSBRF

LOAN FUNDING

GRANT APPLICATION GUIDE

This resource takes you through the process of applying for a grant, funding that small businesses do not have to repay.

Grant Application Guide

LOAN APPLICATION PROCESS

Eligible small businesses may submit a loan inquiry form to get started. 

GRANT FAQs

 LOAN FAQs

We will periodically update, clarify or expand the following Frequently Asked Questions on details of the Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund loan and grant programs throughout the application period. Please be sure to check back regularly for the most recent information.

GRANT ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible to receive a grant, a small business or microbusiness applicant must pass an online eligibility check, submit a complete application online with documents showing expenses during the most recent period of COVID impacts to businesses (only digital submissions will be accepted), and meet the following criteria:

QUICK TIP: TAX RETURNHaving your 2021 tax filing or return ready will speed the application process since it satisfies many of the supporting documentation requirements throughout the application, including proof of existence, annual revenue to determine the maximum grant award and can often verify payroll expenses and owner’s compensation, some of the expenses most likely to max out the award amount.

QUICK TIP: EXPENSE DOCUMENTATIONStart with the biggest expenses you can document first- payroll and rent. Any expenses in 2021 are unlikely to have been reimbursed through other COVID recovery funds previously.

QUICK TIP: FOCUS ON 2021 EXPENSESStart with your 2021 expenses as those are unlikely to have been reimbursed through other COVID recovery funds previously.

GRANT ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:Currently active and open for business and must be able to show proof of operations in Nashville/Davidson County prior to 9/30/19;

-Has a physical location and postal address in Davidson County (does not have to be its principal location);

-Employs no more than 50 full-time employees at a time (those working 35+ hours per week; employees, not hires) between 3/1/20 and 3/31/22;

-Has valid registration with State of Tennessee or with Davidson County prior to approval;

-Be a for-profit entity with gross annual revenues no less than $10,000 and that do not exceed $1,000,000;

-Follows all federal, state, and local regulations; and

-Operates locally with independent local owners or majority local ownership (51%); excludes businesses of a chain headquartered outside Davidson County.

Multiple locations in Davidson County will be limited to one combined application.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In the application portal, applicants will complete two pre-application steps – eligibility and third-party authorization – before they can proceed to the application. If applicants need to make changes to these sections after marking them ‘complete,’ they must start a new browser session and complete the pre-application steps again.

DOCUMENTS YOU NEED:Applicants must submit documentation showing proof of business existence on or before 9/30/19, business revenue for the fiscal year ending on/before 12/31/21, and expenses for the covered period March 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022.
For the best and quickest application experience, applicants should gather or prepare the following documents prior to beginning an application:

-Davidson County business license

-State of Tennessee business registration or Certificate of Existence

-2021 tax returns (1040 Schedule C or federal small business tax return forms 1120 or 1065)

-Unexpired government-issued identification with residential address and photograph such as a driver license or passport

-Third-party applicant authorization form completed and signed, if applicable

IS MY BUSINESS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A GRANT?To be eligible to receive a grant, a small business or microbusiness applicant must pass an online eligibility check, submit a complete application online with documents showing COVID-related expenses (only digital submissions will be accepted), and meet the following criteria:

-Currently active and open for business with at least 12 months of continuous operations in Nashville/Davidson County since 9/30/20;

-Has a physical location and postal address in Davidson County (does not have to be its principal location);

-Employs 50 or fewer full-time employees (those working 35+ hours per week) between 7/1/21 and 4/30/22;

-Has valid registration with State of Tennessee and with Davidson County prior to approval;

-Be a for-profit entity with gross annual revenues no less than $10,000 and that do not exceed $1,000,000;

-Follows all federal, state, and local regulations; and

-Operates locally with independent local owners or majority local ownership; excludes businesses of a chain headquartered outside Davidson County.

Multiple locations in Davidson County will be limited to one combined application.

The following businesses are not eligible to receive a grant under this program:

-Businesses with gross annual revenues more than $1,000,000

-All non-profits, churches, and other religious institutions

-Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities

-Landlords and passive real estate businesses, including AirBnB and vacation rentals

-Illegal businesses or enterprises

-Adult entertainment businesses

-Other industry or business types Metro determines should be excluded upon application review

HOW MUCH GRANT FUNDING AM I ELIGBILE TO RECEIVE?Maximum award amounts are set according to a business’s annual gross receipts (for fiscal year ending on or before 12/31/21) as follows:

Award Maximum
$5,000
$10,000
10% of 2021 gross receipts
$35,000

2021 Gross Receipts
$10,000 - $50,000
$50,001 – $100,000
$100,001 - $349,999
$350,000 - $1,000,000

Award amounts will be based on the value of expenses businesses incurred during the covered period July 1, 2021 through April 30, 2022 and not previously reimbursed by other federal, state, or local recovery programs. To reach the maximum grant amount for the business’s revenue, eligible expenses must equal or exceed the maximum award amount. Amounts and calculations are subject to change by Metro Nashville.

Eligible expenses include:
payroll;
utilities;
insurance;
rent or mortgage payments for commercial property in Nashville/Davidson County (excludes prepayments);
heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC);
personal protection equipment (PPE) for worker and consumer health and safety;
machinery or equipment to operate the business;
supplies and materials required for compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols;
and others as approved by Metro Nashville.

To show eligible expenses the business incurred July 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022, applicants must submit fiscal year 2021 tax returns, such as 1040 Schedule C or other federal small business tax return forms (1120, 1065). Or, they may submit State of Tennessee Franchise & Excise tax form for fiscal year 2021; internally prepared financial statements for 2021 such as income statements generated by QuickBooks or other bookkeeping software (excludes hand-prepared or Excel documents); or payroll records, receipts, lease agreement or rent/mortgage payment statement.

Example Scenario: The owner of a bake shop with $250,000 in gross receipts would be eligible for an award up to $25,000. To max out the grant and recoup $25,000 in COVID-related expenses, the owner must submit documentation showing $25,000 in covered expenses like payroll. If the owner employs five people and can show $25,000 or more in payroll expenses, the business will get the maximum grant award. Or, in the case of a smaller payroll less than $25,000, the business owner could reach $25,000 by adding rent receipts and/or machinery or equipment costs for needs such accepting online orders or dishwasher purchase.

HOW DO I SHOW PROOF OF EXISTENCE FOR MY BUSINESS?Applicants must be currently active and open for business and must be able to show proof of operations in Nashville/Davidson County prior to 9/30/19 and furnish supporting documents that include the State or Federal tax return for 2021 and business license or Secretary of State registration or Certificate of Existence.

HOW DO I DOCUMENT MY BUSINESS'S 2021 REVENUE?To show 2021 revenue, applicants must submit fiscal year 2021 tax returns such as 1040 Schedule C or federal small business tax return forms 1120 or 1065. Or, they may submit State of Tennessee Franchise & Excise tax form for fiscal year 2021; 1040 Schedule C or federal small business tax return forms 1120 or 1065; internally prepared financial statements for 2021 such as income statements generated by QuickBooks or other bookkeeping software (excludes hand-prepared or Excel documents); or statements exported from PayPal, Venmo, cash apps or other payment, delivery and service apps that support revenues received.

WHAT IS THE "COVERED" PERIOD?The covered period runs July 1, 2021 through April 30, 2022 and refers to the dates during which a business’s COVID-related losses or expenses count towards the award amount up to the maximum allowed for that business’s revenue.

To reach the maximum grant amount for the business’s revenue, eligible expenses must equal or exceed the maximum award amount and cannot be previously reimbursed by other federal, state, or local recovery programs.

Eligible expenses include, as listed above:

payroll;
utilities;
insurance;
rent or mortgage payments for commercial property in Nashville/Davidson County (excludes prepayments);
heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC);

personal protection equipment (PPE) for worker and consumer health and safety;

machinery or equipment to operate the business;
supplies and materials required for compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols; and

others as approved by Metro Nashville.

IF I OWN MORE THAN ONE BUSINESS, CAN I APPLY FOR MORE THAN ONE GRANT?Yes. The businesses must be distinct and separate entities with unique tax ID numbers.

IF I RECEIVED A PPP, EDIL OR CARES LOAN CAN MY BUSINESS QUALIFY FOR THE PROGRAM?Yes. The owner must legally attest the COVID-related expenses it incurred for the purposes of this grant request have not been previously reimbursed or covered by these other programs. Fund administrators may audit related documents and request supporting documentation.

IF I RECEIVED OTHER GRANT FUNDING FROM METRO NASHVILLE WILL MY BUSINESS QUALFY FOR THE PROGRAM?Yes. The owner must legally attest the COVID-related expenses it incurred for the purposes of this grant request have not been previously reimbursed or covered by these other programs. Fund administrators may audit related documents and request supporting documentation.

CAN MY BUSINESS GET BOTH A GRANT AND A LOAN THROUGH NSBRF?No, not at this time.

HOW OLD DOES MY BUSINESS HAVE TO BE TO QUALIFY?Applicants must be currently active and open for business and must be able to show proof of operations in Nashville/Davidson County prior to 9/30/19.

IF I AM A LOCAL FRANCHISER WILL MY BUSINESS QUALIFY?Yes, as long as the franchise is majority-owned and operated locally. Businesses that belong to a chain headquartered outside Davidson County do not qualify.

I AM A SOLE PROPRIETOR AND NOT SURE IF I HAVE THE RIGHT DOCUMENTS TO SHOW PROOF OF EXISTENCE FOR MY BUSINESS...... MY CLIENTS AY ME, AND I USE MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER FOR TAX PURPOSES. I DO NOT WORK UNDER A BUSINESS NAME, SO, I HAVE NOT REGISTERED MY BUSINESS WITHT THE STATE, AND I DON'T HAVE A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT OR OTHER DOCUMENTS WITH A BUSNESS NAME. DOES THIS MAKE ME INELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR A GRANT?

Your business may still be eligible to apply if you take the following additional steps to show proof of existence and complete your application prior to the 7/31/22 deadline:

1. Register with the State of Tennessee Secretary of State

2. Register with Davidson County Clerk

3. Open a business bank account

If your application is successful, you must provide the items listed above to receive funding for the grant awarded.

For help, enroll free in Pathway Lending’s short on-demand course How To File Your LLC In Tennessee and attend online anytime. Or, read Four Most Common Business Legal Structures.

I HAVE NOT FILED FOR MY 2021 TAXES.WHAT OTHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS CAN I SUBMIT?Applicants must show at least 12 months of continuous operations in Nashville/Davidson County since 9/30/20 and furnish supporting documents. Other than tax filings, those include the business license filed with Davidson County or Secretary of State registration or Certificate of Existence
 
Applicants must also furnish supporting documents fort eligible expenses up to the amount of the requested grant award for the covered period July 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022. Those can include fiscal year 2021 tax returns, such as 1040 Schedule C or other federal small business tax return forms (1120, 1065). Or, they may submit internally prepared financial statements for 2021 such as income statements generated by QuickBooks or other bookkeeping software (excludes hand-prepared or Excel documents); or individual receipts, a copy of the lease agreement, rent or mortgage payment statements, or bank statements. For owner’s compensation, applicants should submit tax returns or filings such as the Franchise tax 2021 State of Tennessee Franchise & Excise tax form. 

Tax filings are the preferred document since they validate proof of existence and revenue for your business’s fiscal year 2021 ending on/before 12/31/21. All covered income must be reported and claimed for tax purposes.

IF MY COMPANY IS IN ACTIVE BANKRUPTCY, AM I ELIGIBLE?Yes, provided your business continues to operate within the legal structure of the bankruptcy process as verified by bankruptcy filings, documents and other means of business verification.

WILL THERE BE CONSIDERATION FOR WOMAN-OWNED BUSINESSES?Metro Nashville designed the grant program to assign priority by zip code and Census tract to North Nashville and distressed areas in Metro Nashville.

I HAVE A LOAN WITH PATHWAY LENDING. DO I STILL HAVE TO APPLY FOR A GRANT, OR WILL PATHWAY USE MY INFORMATION ON FILE TO AWARD A GRANT?Client borrowers with Pathway Lending may only apply for a grant through this program and must do so through the application portal following the same process as all other applicants. While Pathway Lending borrowers are not eligible to apply for a loan with this program, they may apply for other Pathway loan products.

SUBMITTING YOUR GRANT APPLICATION

HOW DO I APPLY?We strongly encourage applicants to take the following steps to prepare before visiting the application portal:

1. Download and review the application guide at pathwaylending.org/nsbrf;

2. Attend an information session online or in person, offered in English or in Spanish. Find and sign up for a session at pathwaylending.org/nsbrf;

3. Gather required documents and business information; and

4.If you haven’t already, register your business with the Davidson County Clerk or the Secretary of State.

When applicants are ready, they can visit www.pathwaylending.org/nsbrf and look for a link to the application portal. Once you click “apply” you will leave Pathway Lending’s site and redirect to the application portal SMApply. After creating an account, applicants will proceed to the portal where they’ll complete two pre-application portions – eligibility and third-party authorization – before starting the application. For applicants who have all the needed documents ready, we estimate no more than an hour to complete the application. 

For the best application portal experience, we recommend applicants use a desktop or laptop computer rather than a mobile or a handheld device (iPhone, Android, etc). We can only accept digital applications submitted through the application portal and will not be able to accept paper applications. 

Applicants who need access to a computer or Internet may apply from a workstation at Pathway Lending (201 Venture Circle 37228) during business hours (M-F, 9A-5P) or can schedule an appointment by calling (615) 425-7171 or emailing Nashville@Pathwaylending.org.

DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION MYSELF? OR CAN SOMEONE HELP ME OR COMPLETE IT ON MY BEHALF?We encourage applicants to complete the application on their own. Applicants who are unable to do so or who need translation services can request assistance via email to nashville@pathwaylending.org or from nonprofit partners named here.

In many cases, service providers other than Pathway Lending or nonprofit program partners may assist with the application process in exchange for a fee. Often, these providers offer a valuable service for a reasonable fee. We encourage applicants to be cautious in choosing a provider, especially those that seek an excessive fee or suggest wrongly they can guarantee an award.

Service providers completing an application on behalf of a business must verify a formal, written agreement is in place and provide the details of that agreement, including the fee. In all cases, grant awards will go directly to the applicant’s business bank account.

WILL IDENTIFICATION BE REQUIRED FOR A GRANT AWARD?Yes. In order to receive funding, awardees must provide unexpired government-issued identification with residential address and photograph such as a driver license or passport.

If these are not available, contact Pathway Lending directly (nashville@pathwaylending.org or 615-425-7171) or seek assistance from a nonprofit you trust for additional options.

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESS? WHAT PERCENTAGE OF MINORITY BUSINESS OWNERSHIP QUALIFIES?While this grant program assigns priority based on zip code or Census tract, not demographic characteristics, we will collect demographic data in the application for reporting purposes. For those purposes, we define "minority" to mean a person who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and who is:

-African American: A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.

-Hispanic American: A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

-Native American: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America.

-Asian American: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands.

CAN YOU HELP ME COMPLETE MY APPLICATION?We encourage applicants to complete the application on their own. Applicants who are unable to do so or who need translation services can request assistance by email to nashville@pathwaylending.org or from nonprofit partners named here.

Pathway Lending can help applicants with the application process, but for help preparing supporting documents, applicants should consult nonprofit program partners.

Applicants who need access to a computer or Internet may apply from a workstation at Pathway Lending (201 Venture Circle 37228) by appointment only (email nashville@pathwaylending.org to make an appointment).

We can only accept digital applications submitted through the application portal and will not be able to accept paper applications.

DOES MY APPLICATION GUARANTEE I WILL RECEIVE A GRANT?No. We will process applications in the order we receive them and award grants on a first-come-first-served basis as long as funds are available. Applications must be received prior to July 31, 2022.

WHAT IF I MAKE AN ERROR ON MY APPLICATION? CAN I MAKE CHANGES?Yes. If applicants need to make changes to pre-application portions – eligibility and third- party authorization – they must start a new browser session and begin a new entry.

If applicants need to make changes to the application, they can make changes at any point before clicking “submit.” Applicants who need to make changes after submitting the application should contact Pathway Lending (nashville@pathwaylending.org or 615-425-7171).

WHAT IF I UPLOADED THE WRONG DOCUMENT?If you have submitted the wrong document, contact Pathway Lending (nashville@pathwaylending.org or 615-425-7171), and we will provide a secure link where you can submit updated documents.  Please do NOT send sensitive personal and business information by email.

CAN I PROVIDE A STATEMENT OF INCOME & EXPENSES (P&L) AS PROOF OF MY EXPENSES?To show eligible expenses the business incurred July 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022, applicants must submit fiscal year 2021 tax returns, such as 1040 Schedule C or other federal small business tax return forms (1120, 1065). Or, they may submit State of Tennessee Franchise & Excise tax form for fiscal year 2021; internally prepared financial statements for 2021 such as income statements generated by QuickBooks or other bookkeeping software (excludes hand-prepared or Excel documents); or payroll records, receipts, lease agreement or rent/mortgage payment statement.

IF MY APPLICATION WAS DECLINED, CAN I SUBMIT A NEW APPLICATION?Applicants may complete and submit a new application in cases where applications were declined for the following reasons:

-Supporting documentation was missing or incomplete

-Applicant missed deadlines to supply updated information or supporting documents

HOW WILL I KNOW IF MY GRANT APPLICATION IS APPROVED OR DECLINED?Applicants will receive email notification from the application portal. We encourage applicants to add noreply@smapply.net to their lists of safe senders to keep these email notifications routing to their inboxes and not SPAM or junk folders.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DETERMINE MY APPLICATION IS INCOMPLETE OR MISSING CORRECT INFORMATION?We notify the application contact by email when the submitted application is incomplete or missing correct information and allow 24 hours from sending the notification – or the next business day – to reply with the requested items. Applicants should take care to submit updated information or documents in the proper format outlined in the request.

WILL THERE BE VIRTUAL INFORMATION SESSIONS THAT PROVIDE SMALL BUSINESSES WITH INFORMATION......NEEDED IN ORDER TO APPLY FOR THE UPCOMING GRANTS OR LOANS AVAILABLE TO DAVIDSON COUNTY RESIDENTS?

Yes, partners will continue expanding the schedule of information sessions to continue throughout the program's duration to include additional in-person and virtual sessions.

We will also publish an online recorded version of the information session to the program website this week at pathwaylending.org/nashville.

The best way to stay up to date on those options is to keep an eye on the program site and dates listed in the sign-up form.

GRANT FUNDS

HOW WILL GRANTS BE DISTRIBUTED?Pathway Lending will send funds in the amount of the grant award via ACH directly to the applicant’s business bank account. Once applicants receive notice of their awards, they can expect funds to arrive in seven to 10 business days. Recipients will also receive a 1099 for these grant funds for tax reporting purposes. 

HOW MUCH GRANT FUNDING AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE?Maximum award amounts are set according to a business’s annual gross receipts as follows:

Award Maximum
$5,000
$10,000
10% of 2021 gross receipts
$35,000

2021 Gross Receipts
$10,000 - $50,000
$50,001 – $100,000
$100,001 - $349,999
$350,000 - $1,000,000

Award amounts will be based on the value of COVID-related losses and expenses businesses incurred during the covered period July 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022 and not previously reimbursed by other federal, state, or local recovery programs. To reach the maximum grant amount for the business’s revenue, eligible expenses must equal or exceed the maximum award amount. Amounts and calculations are subject to change by Metro Nashville.

Eligible expenses include:
payroll;
utilities;
insurance;
rent or mortgage payments for commercial property in Nashville/Davidson County (excludes prepayments);
heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC);

personal protection equipment (PPE) for worker and consumer health and safety;

machinery or equipment to operate the business;
supplies and materials required for compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols; and

others as approved by Metro Nashville.

To show eligible expenses the business incurred July 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022, applicants must submit fiscal year 2021 tax returns, such as 1040 Schedule C or other federal small business tax return forms (1120, 1065). Or, they may submit State of Tennessee Franchise & Excise tax form for fiscal year 2021; internally prepared financial statements for 2021 such as income statements generated by QuickBooks or other bookkeeping software (excludes hand-prepared or Excel documents); or payroll records, receipts, lease agreement or rent/mortgage payment statement.

Example Scenario: The owner of a bake shop with $250,000 in gross receipts would be eligible for an award up to $25,000. To max out the grant and recoup $25,000 in COVID-related expenses, the owner must submit documentation showing $25,000 in covered expenses like payroll. If the owner employs five people and can show $25,000 or more in payroll expenses, the business will get the maximum grant award. Or, in the case of a smaller payroll less than $25,000, the business owner could reach $25,000 by adding rent receipts and/or machinery or equipment costs for needs such accepting online orders or dishwasher purchase.

WHAT IF MY GRANT AWARD IS LESS THAN I REQUESTED?Grant award amounts depend on the value of eligible expenses and supporting documents applicants submit. For questions or to provide additional documents, contact Pathway Lending (nashville@pathwaylending.org or 615-425-7171). Applicants can monitor their application progress and award amounts through the application portal. 

HOW CAN THE GRANT FUNDS BE USED?The grants can be used to fund business operations and are intended to allow businesses to recoup funds for eligible expenses incurred during the most recent period when COVID impacted operations. Grant awardees may not use the grant proceeds to repay or pay down any portion of a loan obtained through a federal COVID-19 relief package.

CAN NSBRF GRANTS COVER PAYROLL EXPENSES FOR EMPLOYEES (OR OWNER'S COMPENSATION)?Yes. The grants can be used to fund business operations and are intended to allow businesses to recoup funds for eligible expenses incurred during the most recent period when COVID impacted operations.

ARE THERE ANY REPAYMENT REQUREMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PROGRAM?No. Grant awardees keep the proceeds and do not need to repay them.

Pathway Lending also administers a loan program as part of NSBRF. Unlike a grant, loan funds are borrowed and must be repaid.

LOAN ELIGIBILITY

LOAN ELIGIBILITY CRITERIATo be eligible to apply for a loan with the NSBRF program, a small business or microbusiness applicant must meet the following criteria:

Has not received a grant from the Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund;

Currently active and open for business and must be able to show proof of operations in Nashville/Davidson County prior to 9/30/19;

Has a physical location and postal address in Davidson County (does not have to be its principal location);

Employs no more than 50 full-time employees at a time (those working 35+ hours per week; employees, not hires) between 3/1/20 and 3/31/22;

Has valid registration with State of Tennessee or with Davidson County prior to approval;

Be a for-profit entity with gross annual revenues no less than $10,000 and that do not exceed $1,000,000;

Follows all federal, state, and local regulations;

Operates locally with independent local owners or majority local ownership (not less than 51%); excludes businesses of a chain headquartered outside Davidson County;

Has a minimum credit score of 600 – credit scores less than 600 will not be considered as a matter of keeping consistent policy; and

Can provide tax returns for calendar years 2021 and 2020, a personal financial statement for the loan applicant, and a debt schedule for the business

DOCUMENTS YOU WILL NEEDApplicants must submit documentation showing proof of business existence on or before 9/30/19 and business revenue for the fiscal years ending on/before 12/31/20 and 12/31/21.

For the best and quickest application experience, applicants should gather or prepare the following documents prior to beginning a loan application:

2020 and 2021 tax returns (1040 Schedule C or federal small business tax return forms 1120 or 1065)

Personal financial statement listing all personal assets and liabilities for the individual applying for the business loan

Completed Loan Inquiry Form on Pathway website

Completed online Loan Application (link from Pathway Lending loan officer), including uploading a debt schedule for the business

Upon approval:
Unexpired government-issued identification with residential address and photograph, such as a driver license or passport, for each signer and guarantor

Voided check or full statement and wiring instructions for bank account in the name of the business

Evidence of current General Liability, Business Personal Property and/or Building Coverage naming Pathway Lending as additional insured, loss payee and or mortgagee

At closing:
Davidson County business license

Or State of Tennessee Certificate of Existence

Executed Organizational Documents (Operating Agreement, Bylaws, Partnership Agreements) to include name of the Borrowing Entity, names of Officers/Members or Partners and any signing/pledging requirements)

IS MY BUSINESS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR A LOAN?To be eligible to apply for a loan with the NSBRF program, a small business or microbusiness applicant must meet the following criteria:

-Has not received a grant from the Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund;

-Currently active and open for business and must be able to show proof of operations in Nashville/Davidson County prior to 9/30/19;

-Has a physical location and postal address in Davidson County (does not have to be its principal location);

-Employs no more than 50 full-time employees at a time (those working 35+ hours per week; employees, not hires) between 3/1/20 and 3/31/22;

-Has valid registration with State of Tennessee and with Davidson County prior to approval;

-Be a for-profit entity with gross annual revenues no less than $10,000 and that do not exceed $1,000,000;

-Follows all federal, state, and local regulations;

-Operates locally with independent local owners or majority local ownership; excludes businesses of a chain headquartered outside Davidson County;

-Has a minimum credit score of 600 – credit scores less than 600 will not be considered as a matter of keeping consistent policy; and

-Can provide tax returns for calendar years 2021 and 2020, a personal financial statement for the loan applicant, and a debt schedule for the business.

The following businesses are not eligible to receive a loan under this program:

-Businesses with gross annual revenues more than $1,000,000 for 2021

-All non-profits, churches, and other religious institutions

-Businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities

-Landlords and passive real estate businesses, including AirBnB and vacation rentals

-Illegal businesses or enterprises

-Adult entertainment businesses

-Cannabis-based businesses

-Other industry or business types Metro determines should be excluded upon application review

HOW MUCH LOAN FUNDING AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE?A business may borrow up to 20% of 2021 gross receipts:

Maximum Loan Amount
$2,000 - $10,000
$10,001 - $20,000
$20,000 - $70,000
$70,000 - $200,000

2021 Gross Receipts
$25,000 - $50,000
$50,001 – $100,000
$100,001 - $349,999
$350,000 - $1,000,000

 
Loan amounts will be based on a business’s 2021 annual revenue and other measures of its ability to make monthly loan payments and to repay the loan, including credit score.

HOW DO I SHOW PROOF OF EXISTENCE FOR MY BUSINESS?Applicants must show proof of operations in Nashville/Davidson County prior to 9/30/19 and furnish supporting documents that include State or Federal tax return for 2021, or business license, or Secretary of State Certificate of Existence.

HOW DO I DOCUMENT MY BUSINESS'S 2021 REVENUE?To show 2021 revenue, applicants must submit fiscal year 2021 tax returns such as 1040 Schedule C or federal small business tax return forms 1120 or 1065.

IF I RECEIVED A PPP, EIDL OR CARES LOAN CAN MY BUSINESS STILL APPLY FOR A LOAN?Yes.

CAN MY BUSINESS GET BOTH A GRANT AND A LOAN THROUGH NSBRF?No, not at this time.

HOW OLD DOES MY BUSINESS HAVE TO BE TO QUALIFY?Applicants must show proof of operations in Nashville/Davidson County prior to 9/30/19.

IF I AM A LOCAL FRANCHISER WILL MY BUSINESS QUALIFY?Yes, as long as the franchise is independently- or majority-owned and operated locally. Businesses that belong to a chain headquartered outside Davidson County do not qualify.

WILL THERE BE CONSIDERATION FOR WOMAN-OWNED BUSINESSES?Metro Nashville designed the grant program to assign priority by zip code and Census tract to North Nashville and distressed areas in Metro Nashville.

LOAN BASICS

WHAT ARE THE RATES AND TERMS?Under the NSBRF program, a small business or microbusiness borrower will pay a fixed rate of 2% interest on the loan amount and will repay the loan in monthly payments over a period (term) of 5 years (60 months). For a $10,000 loan that means the borrower will make 60 monthly payments of $175.28

WHAT ARE THE CLOSING COSTS?When borrowers close on the loan – the time when they formally agree to borrow and repay the loan at the agreed-upon time and amount and sign related documents – they will pay a flat fee that is a minimum of $350 or 1.5% of the loan amount. The fee covers the costs related to closing (e.g. fees related to reviewing and filing documents). If the borrower elects, Pathway Lending will draw the fee from the loan amount before sending the remaining funds to the business. For a $10,000 loan, the borrower will pay $350 on closing day and see $9,650 in remaining loan funds, and for a $200,000 loan, the borrower will pay $3,000 on closing day and see $197,000 in remaining loan funds. Or, the borrower can receive the full loan amount and cover the closing costs on closing day via ACH wire transfer.

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS I CAN USE LOAN FUNDS?We encourage prospective applicants with a financing or growth opportunity to carefully consider if the loan option may be right for their businesses. Borrowers can use NSBRF loans to purchase equipment or to fund working capital such as purchasing inventory, upgrading technology, etc. Lines of credit are not available with this program.

HOW CAN I MAKE SURE I CAN MAKE MY MONTHLY LOAN PAYMENTS?Borrowers should generate at least enough monthly cash flow to cover their monthly loan payments. Ideally, borrowers will generate cash flow above that and have cash reserves as well. We recommend borrowers estimate the monthly payments for the loan amount they plan to request. Borrowers can request up to 20% of annual revenue at 2% fixed interest over a 5-year period.

Borrowers who need help with this calculation may choose to look for a widely available, free online business loan calculator. Or they may seek help from a nonprofit technical assistance partner contracted by Metro – these partners are listed on the program information website at pathwaylending.org.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A BUSINESS DOESN'T QUALIFY FOR THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE LOAN IT REQUESTED?A business that doesn’t qualify for the loan amount it requests may qualify for a lesser loan amount.

WHAT ARE SOME REASONS WHY A BUSINESS MAY NOT QUALIFY FOR A LOAN FROM THIS PROGRAM?Businesses that don’t meet basic program eligibility criteria listed above may not qualify for a loan from this program, including time in business, credit score, or ability to provide required documents.

HOW CAN LOAN APPLICANTS FIND OUT WHAT THEIR CREDIT SCORES ARE?A number of online resources offer free credit reports such as annualcreditreport.com.

HOW DO I DECIDE IF A GRANT OR A LOAN FROM THIS PROGRAM IS BETTER FOR MY BUSINESS?We recommend businesses make this determination based on how much funding they need to for their businesses, i.e. what funding amount would help their businesses stay or get back on track.

The grant and loan programs differ on the maximum amount a business can request and the repayment requirement. A business’s annual revenue determines the maximum grant award or maximum loan amount it can request. Whereas grants require no repayment, the loans offer higher maximum funding amounts the business must repay at 2% fixed interest.

In making the grant-vs-loan decision, we offer the following guidance:

First consider if the business’s 2021 gross receipts exceed $25,000. If not,  the grant program might be an option since the loan amount the business would qualify to borrow would be less than or equal to the lowest max grant award of $5,000.

Next, consider if the business can supply two years of tax returns and if the applicant has a credit score of 600 or better since these are additional eligibility requirements for the loan program.

Finally, determine if the business’s eligible expenses for March 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022 total more than the maximum grant amount that corresponds to the business’s revenue range; consider if the business has a growth opportunity or financing need; and estimate if the business will generate enough cash to cover a monthly loan payment.

I'VE NEVER BORROWED A LOAN FOR MY BUSINESS BEFORE. WHAT SHOULD I KEEP IN MIND?Borrowing funds can offer a growing small business significant benefits, from smoothing cashflow or enabling equipment purchase that add capacity to investing in real estate or adding technology to streamline operations.

With those benefits borrowers should expect monthly loan payments and other costs, and the loan application process will require becoming familiar with the financial aspects or your business as well as why and how the business can use a loan.

Knowing why you want a loan and how you’re going to spend it will help you determine if the monthly payment and loan costs are worth it to the business.

We recommend first-time borrowers start by reading the other FAQs and eligibility requirements in this section and checking their credit scores. We also recommend estimating the monthly payment, total interest and total loan cost at 2% fixed interest for 5 years with the higher of $350 or 1.5% of the loan amount due at closing. You’ll see specific amounts for the example of a $10,000 loan above.

We also recommend borrowers estimate how much they’ll need, by compiling estimates for example, and determine how much they can afford. Attending an Information Session will show applicants a brief tutorial and template that show how to project the impact of monthly loan payments on cash flow and revenue.

Finally, prospective borrowers can connect with a nonprofit technical assistance partner contracted by Metro by visiting the program information website at pathwaylending.org/Nashville. They can also read profiles describing how other small businesses have used loans from Pathway Lending at pathwaylending.org.

SUBMITTING YOUR LOAN APPLICATION

HOW DO I APPLY?We strongly encourage applicants to take the following steps to prepare before visiting the program website:

1. Attend an information session online or in person, offered in English or in Spanish. Find and sign up for a session at pathwaylending.org/nashville;

2. Decide if you want to apply for a grant or a loan;

3. Gather required documents and business information; and

4. If you haven’t already, register your business with the Davidson County Clerk and the Secretary of State.

If you have decided to apply for a loan, visit www.pathwaylending.org/nashville and look under Loan Program for a link to the loan inquiry form under “Get Started.” You will navigate to another page on the website and complete the Loan Inquiry Form. Once the form is completed, you will receive an email from your assigned loan officer outlining next steps and a link to complete your loan application form.

Applicants who need access to a computer or Internet may apply from a workstation at Pathway Lending (201 Venture Circle 37228) during business hours (M-F, 9A-5P) or can schedule an appointment by calling (615) 425-7171 or emailing Nashville@Pathwaylending.org.

DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION MYSELF? OR CAN SOMEONE HELP ME COMPLETE IT OR COMPLETE IT ON MY BEHALF?We encourage applicants to complete the application on their own. 

Applicants who are unable to do so or who need translation services may seek help from a nonprofit technical assistance partner contracted by Metro – these partners are listed on the program information website at pathwaylending.org/nashville.

Applicants who request technical assistance providers complete the loan inquiry and application on their behalf must complete and sign third party application form.

Applicants who need access to a computer or Internet may apply from a workstation at Pathway Lending (201 Venture Circle 37228) during business hours (M-F, 9A-5P) or by appointment.

We can only accept digital applications submitted through the online loan inquiry and application forms and will not be able to accept paper applications nor supporting documentation.

WILL IDENTIFICATION BE REQUIRED FOR A LOAN?Yes. In order to receive funding, awardees must provide unexpired government-issued identification with residential address and photograph such as a driver license or passport after approval and prior to closing as required by regulations.

DOES MY APPLICATION GUARANTEE I WILL RECEIVE A LOAN?No. The loan application is only the first step in a detailed and thorough underwriting process that determines if Pathway Lending will extend a loan and for how much. Some borrowers may qualify for loan amounts less than they request and may receive an offer from Pathway Lending for the lesser amount while others may be declined. Pathway Lending is committed to continue working with applicants whose loan requests are declined to develop and grow their business and access capital.

WHAT IF I MAKE AN EROR ON MY APPLICATION? CAN I MAKE CHANGES?A lender will be in close contact with applicants while they complete their loan applications, and applicants can make changes at any point until they click ‘submit’ by logging into the loan application portal using the credentials they create. Once the applicant clicks ‘submit,’ Pathway locks the application for underwriting but confirms it’s ready before then.

IF MY LOAN APPLICATION WAS DECLINED, CAN I SUMBIT A NEW APPLICATION?Any business can apply for a loan with Pathway Lending at any time with complete and accurate information. Some borrowers may qualify for loan amounts less than they request and may receive an offer from Pathway Lending for the lesser amount while others may be declined. Pathway Lending is committed to continue working with applicants whose loan requests are declined to develop and grow their business and access capital.

LOAN FUNDS

HOW WILL LOANS BE DISBURSED?Pathway Lending will wire loan funds (less the closing fee of the higher of $350 or 1.5% of the loan amount, if elected) to the appropriate account in the name of the business using the wiring instructions the borrow provides at closing business checking account.

HOW MUCH LOAN FUNDING CAN I REQUEST?A business may borrow up to 20% of 2021 gross receipts:

Maximum Loan Amount
$2,000 - $10,000
$10,001 - $20,000
$20,000 - $70,000
$70,000 - $200,000

2021 Gross Receipts
$25,000 - $50,000
$50,001 – $100,000
$100,001 - $349,999
$350,000 - $1,000,000

Loan amounts will be based on a business’s 2021 annual revenue and other measures of its ability to make monthly loan payments and to repay the loan, including credit score.

CAN I APPLY FOR A NEW LOAN WITH THIS PROGRAM AND USE THE FUNDS TO PAY OFF MY CURRENT DEBT?All Davidson County small businesses that meet eligibility criteria for the loan program or the grant program may apply for funds with the program for which they qualify. Eligible businesses may not receive funding from both the loan and the grant programs. 

Eligible businesses that apply for a loan may use the funds for purposes outlined above, including to purchase equipment and fund working capital. It is the intent of the program to connect area businesses with capital they can use to pursue opportunities to grow their businesses, not to refinance debt.

CAN MY BUSINESS REFINANCE AN EXISTING LOAN WITH PATHWAY LENDING THROUGH THIS PROGRAM?Eligible businesses that apply for a loan may use the funds for purposes outlined above, including to purchase equipment and fund working capital. It is the intent of the program to connect area businesses with capital they can use to pursue opportunities to grow their businesses, not to refinance debt.

CAN I CONSOLIDATE OR REFINANCE DEBT WITH A NSBRF LOAN?Eligible businesses that apply for a loan may use the funds for purposes outlined above, including to purchase equipment and fund working capital. It is the intent of the program to connect area businesses with capital they can use to pursue opportunities to grow their businesses, not to refinance debt.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES IN ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GRANT AND LOAN PROGRAMS?The loan program specifies additional eligibility requirements:

the business owner must have a minimum credit score of 600;

must supply tax returns for calendar years 2021 and 2020, a personal financial statement for the loan applicant, and a debt schedule for the business; and

business must demonstrate it does or can generate sufficient cash flow to cover monthly loan payments.

All loans made under this program require a personal guaranty by anyone that owns 20% or more of the business.

HOW LONG WILL PATHWAY LENDING OFFER NSBRF LOANS? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PATHWAY LENDING HAS EXHAUSTED THE $9 MILLION ALLOCATION FOR THE LOAN PROGRAM?Pathway Lending will offer NSBRF loans to eligible Davidson County small business borrowers until it has fully committed the $9 million for the loan program inclusive of loan funds and costs to administer the program. Once funds have been deployed, Pathway Lending will continue to make credit facilities available to small businesses in Davidson County. Rates and terms may vary.

ONCE PATHWAY APPROVES A NSBRF LOAN, WHEN WILL THE BUSINESS OWNER RECEIVE THE FUNDS?Approved borrowers can expect a period of 10 to 14 business days to close and fund loans, provided they have furnished all requested and required documentation to Pathway Lending.

WHAT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CAN BORROWERS SEEK FOR HELP WITH THEIR LOAN APPLICATION?Pathway Lending will offer Information Sessions, available online and in person in English or Spanish, prior to the opening of applications and throughout the application process. These sessions will introduce prospective borrowers to the loan application process and guidance to decide if a loan is right for their businesses, including a brief tutorial and template that show how to project the impact of monthly loan payments on cash flow and revenue.

Applicants will also be able to access a range of technical assistance from nonprofit partners Metro has contracted to support the rollout of the Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund grant and loan programs. These partners are listed on the program information website at pathwaylending.org.

APPLY FOR A GRANT

START LOAN INQUIRY

SIGN UP FOR AN INFO SESSION



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