• City of Kingsport Partners with KOSBE to Rollout New Small Business Assistance Grant Program

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    April 05, 2021
    Kingsport Chamber
    City of Kingsport
    News Release
    Monday, March 29, 2021
    For Immediate Release
    Aundrea Salyer
    Executive Director
    Office:  (423) 392-8801
    Mobile:  (423) 863-6914
    Email:  awilcox@kosbe.org
    City of Kingsport Partners with KOSBE to Rollout New Small Business Assistance Grant Program

    KINGSPORT – In a partnership with the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE), the City of Kingsport will issue grants to qualified small businesses located within the City of Kingsport, to supplement existing federal or state funding already available.  The City has allocated $110,000 from its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to effectively support Kingsport businesses.  KOSBE, a program of the Kingsport Chamber, will work with the City to administer the new program. 
    The maximum grant award is $5,000 per business, to assist with up to six (6) months of qualifying expenses such as rent, utilities, personal protective equipment, space and technology upgrades necessary to reopen and provide social distancing, and sanitation.  
    “This new grant program will provide much-needed economic relief to small businesses who meet HUD’s low-income eligibility - either the owner or employees,” said KOSBE Executive Director Aundrea Salyer.
    To accept applications, the City has established an online platform.  The electronic application will be available starting April 1, 2021.  Once submitted, each application will be reviewed by the City and KOSBE.  Final selections will be made by a confidential ad hoc committee of KOSBE Advisory Council members, who will score applications according to specific criteria.   
    Under this new Small Business Assistance Grant Program:
    • Applicants will be required to submit evidence, testimony or documentation detailing the impact of COVID-19 on their business and how the requested grant funds will assist the business in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Applicants will be required to request counseling through KOSBE, to ensure they are aware of all services provided by the Small Business Development Center.
    • Grant awardees must retain at least one (1) low-income job/position.
    • Grant awardees must enter into a CDBG-CV Grant Agreement with the City prior to issuance of grant funds.  The CDBG-CV Grant Agreement will require the Awardee to return any funds to the City for which awardee may later receive federal funding to avoid Duplication of Benefits (DOB) per HUD policy.
    These funds will provide economic relief to small businesses within Kingsport city limits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic including but not limited to:
    • Tourism related businesses
    • Accommodations (i.e., hotel, motel, bed and breakfast)
    • Restaurants/food service, professional services (i.e., banking, legal, design, real estate)
    • Cultural and educational services
    • Arts
    • Recreation
    • Retail
    • Health practitioners
    • Personal care (i.e., beauty/barbershop, nail salon, dry cleaners)
    The City intends to implement this program quickly to support local businesses. KOSBE will host an online webinar on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at 10 AM EST, to show businesses how to apply and answer questions.  To register, visit: www.kosbe.org/events
    Visit the City of Kingsport and KOSBE websites for additional information. For additional questions related to this new program, email awilcox@kosbe.org