By Meg Dickens
The Johnson County Chamber of Commerce has partnered up with the Northeast Tennessee Economic Partnership and other regional Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development offices to create an online directory for small businesses and the community to connect and share their needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Appalachian Highlands Economic Aid Directory (AHEAD) includes information on applying for assistance, donating, and volunteering.
“The COVID-19 Crisis is having a devastating impact on our region’s small businesses. Federal and State support is valued but alone is not enough to protect jobs, preserve businesses, or a sense of community. Your chamber of commerce, industries, and regional media are united in the rescue by raising funds for immediate grants to small businesses,” reads a section from Region AHEAD.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a small business has 50 employees or less in any employment capacity. Small businesses that have greatly suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on the arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services, retail trade, and manufacturing sectors are eligible to apply for Local Business Recovery Fund funding.
Funding through these means covers a plethora of counties in Tennessee and Virginia. Tennessee includes Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington Counties. Virginia includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, and Wise Counties plus Virginia cities, Bristol and Norton.
Region AHEAD delivered its first round of relief checks on May 29. Any business in need should apply as soon as possible at www.regionahead.com. For more information on small business help in COVID-19, visit the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page (@JCTNCC) and Appalachian Highlands Facebook page (@apphighlands).
The Johnson County Chamber of Commerce is an organization created to promote local businesses. The organization is located at 5328 HWY 67 West in Mountain City, Tennessee. For more information on the Chamber, call (423) 727-5800, email [email protected], or visit johnsoncountytnchamber.org.