The resources in this section are for and accessible to DBEs, microenterprises, small businesses and entrepreneurs alike.
- Ctr. for Profitable Agriculture – development and sustainability of value-added agricultural enterprises
- Dept. of Revenue – sales, franchise and excise taxes, workshops
- Governor's Office of Diversity Business Enterprise – registration, certification, contracting (M/W/SDV/SBE)
- Launch Tennessee – entrepreneur centers, INCITE co-investment fund
- Office of Small Business Advocate – assists in resolution of issues concerning small businesses and state agencies
- Pick TN Products, TN Dept. of Agriculture - agribusiness
- Regulatory Boards and Commissions – licensing and regulatory boards
- TN Export – export assistance to small and mid-size businesses
- Tennessee Small Business Development Centers - workshops, business consulting
- TN Smart Start Guide - a small business and startup guide, financing snapshot, overall how-to
- UT Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) – federal, state and local government contracting
- Business USA - business resources portal (startup, expansion, exporting, etc.)
- 8(a) Business Development Program: helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace.
- HUBZone - helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities
- IRS, Small Business Center – tax information and filing
- Office of the National Ombudsman - assists in resolution of issues concerning small businesses and federal agencies
- SCORE (SBA sponsored) – mentors, business counselors
- Small Business Administration - TN – access to capital, contracting programs
Grants…There is a lot of misinformation! When it comes to grants, while it is true that there are a number of federal grants available to assist small business, women-owned, minority-owned and/or veteran-owned businesses, very few of them actually go to individual business owners. Most federal grants are awarded to non-profits, governmental entities or educational institutions to provide services and/or loans to these targeted groups.
The state of Tennessee bases its incentives on job creation and investment within qualified industry sectors, which include manufacturing, warehouse and distribution facilities, data centers, headquarters, and call centers. In order to qualify for state incentives, a company must create 25 qualified jobs over a three-year period and meet a capital investment of at least $500,000. These incentives are provided to qualified companies in the form of tax credits and/or job training reimbursement programs. Most small businesses do not meet the requirements for these types of programs and turn to loans or self-financing as a more viable alternative for financing (see the TN the Smart Start Guide).
For the most part, the grants that go to small business owners generally fall in three areas: value-added agriculture, technology development and commercialization, and vocational rehabilitation (self-employment match grants).
To search for available grants go to www.grants.gov, which is a federal database of grants.