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KOSBE to share recovery strategies for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

From staff reports • May 6, 2020 at 8:00 AM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship (KOSBE) announced Tuesday it can help small businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic in three ways.

• Help small businesses document their economic injury and explore all of their financing options (including whether they are eligible for SBA disaster loan programs).

• Help business owners understand SBA disaster loan applications and processes so business owners are fully prepared to submit their requests quickly and with ease.

• Help business owners brainstorm ideas and develop a plan for recovery and resiliency for their specific business.

Since April 1, nearly 1,000 small businesses have participated in KOSBE-sponsored online training via webinars. Last month, KOSBE offered a loan webinar weekly to cover SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Beginning this week, KOSBE will host a weekly webinar on Thursdays at 4 p.m. for business owners to exchange best practices, real stories and the newest sector specific guidelines they are following for reopening. To register for any upcoming events, go to www.kosbe.org/events. To receive KOSBE services during the COVID-19 pandemic, schedule an appointment time using the request appointment feature at the top right hand corner of the web page.

KOSBE Executive Director Aundrea Wilcox made the following comment in response to The Tennessee Pledge, a plan to help Tennesseans return to work in a safe environment, restore their livelihoods and reboot our state’s economy:

“We want to do whatever we can to help restore all aspects of the disaster’s impact on our local business community,” Wilcox said. “The impact of the pandemic is five to 10 times worse than 9/11 on the economy. Now that most business owners have answers to their questions about SBA’s financial assistance programs, they can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Accordingly, we are moving beyond supporting the PPP and EIDL and turning our attention towards restarting, which will be largely based on consumer confidence. Consumers and employees need assurances that doing business is clean and safe. In addition, small businesses don’t want to be sued by employees and customers because they have been given the green light to reopen but they are woefully unprepared. I hope the upcoming Recover Together webinar series will provide many business owners with innovative ideas to help keep us all safe and improve operational efficiencies. I think it’s best if business owners hear from their peers directly, and not just our team, which is why we have chosen a panel discussion format. Each week, we will invite new panelists representing new sectors that correspond with the governor’s reopening plan.”

For additional information about programs to support long-term recovery or questions about how KOSBE can assist small businesses with short- and long-term financing and business counseling, please e-mail info@kosbe.org.

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