Business Grants and Loans in Tennessee: Funding for Your Tennessee Business

Thinking of starting a business in Tennessee? With no personal income tax and an educated workforce, this is a great state to establish a new company. If you’re opening a business, or you already own one in the state, check out the funding options below. These grants and loans are only available to Tennessee businesses. Check them out below.

Department or Agency: Knoxville Chamber of Commerce together with Pathway Lending

Loan or Grant title: 865 Opportunity Fund

The 865 Opportunity Fund provides loans to Tennessee small businesses looking to grow or expand. Small businesses, especially those led by women and underserved minorities, in designated counties, are encouraged to apply. Available uses are broad and include working capital, equipment, real estate, emergency repairs, inventory, marketing, and more. See the fund overview for details and eligibility requirements. Loan awards range from $5,000 to $50,000, but the program does consider larger amounts as well. The program favors businesses that have been in operation for more than one year and have at least one year of positive business revenue.

Department or Agency: InvestTN

Loan or Grant title: InvestTN Regional Seed Fund

InvestTN Regional Seed Fund supports pre-seed and seed-state startups in Tennessee, serving all 95 counties. Investments vary in size from $25,000 at the low end to $250,000 at the upper end, with target rounds of $100,000 to $750,000.

Department or Agency: LaunchTN

Loan or Grant title: LaunchTN Commercialization Microgrants

LaunchTN Commercialization Microgrants are designed to give assistance to Tennessee startups that are at the beginning stages of developing technology to later bring to market. Microgrants can be used for grant writing assistance or technical expertise that helps advance the organization toward commercialization. See the webpage linked above for complete eligibility requirements, which include a mandatory referral process. Awards range from $4,000 to $6,000 depending on the proposed use.

Department or Agency: The State of Tennessee, Pathway Lending, and Member Banks of the Tennessee Bankers Association

Loan or Grant title: The Tennessee Rural Opportunity Fund

The Tennessee Rural Opportunity Fund provides loans and lines of credit to help small, disadvantaged, or start-up businesses in rural Tennessee find funding. The Fund is designed to help those who may not qualify for other programs due to poor credit, inconsistent income history, or those identified as start-up businesses. The fund is open to rural businesses in Tennessee and offers loans and revolving credit from $5,000 to $5,000,000. Interested applicants should learn more here and contact Pathway Lending.

Department or Agency: Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund and Pathway Lending

 Loan or Grant title: The Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund

The Nashville Small Business Recovery Fund is a loan program for small businesses in Davidson County, Tennessee. Approved applicants can receive low-interest loans between $10,000 and $200,000. Eligible businesses have been in business in Davison County since at least September 30, 2019. Interested applicants should reach out to Pathway Lending to sign up for an information session.

Department or Agency: Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) 

Loan or Grant title: Performance Grant

The Tennessee Valley Authority Performance Grant program invests in businesses developing or expanding in the TVA region. Award monies are paid to companies, with funding amounts based on an organization’s anticipated five-year economic development impact. Interested parties should reach out to TVA directly via their website.  

Department or Agency: Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

 Loan or Grant title: Loan Funds

The Tennessee Valley Authority Loan Funds are designed to boost job creation and capital investment. The program fills funding gaps or lowers interest costs for projects, with the goal of improving rates of success. Loans max out at $3,000,000 and are primarily determined by job creation and capital investment. For more information, reach out to TVA directly

Department or Agency: Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

Loan or Grant title: Incentives and Grants

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development exists to support Tennessee businesses, recruit businesses to the state, and foster a thriving environment for economic growth and vitality. The department offers numerous grants and incentive programs to support businesses, with bonus premiums offered for projects in counties deemed “at-risk” or “distressed.” There are several programs for job training, economic development, and other purposes. To request more information, visit the webpage and click “request more info.”

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