COVID Resources for individuals, families, and small businesses

There's no denying the economic impact the pandemic has had on individuals, families, and small businesses. From individuals being laid off or losing their jobs altogether, many Tennesseans are struggling to make ends meet right now.


Some small businesses have already had to shut down, while others are struggling to stay afloat and keep their doors open.

Below are resources and details about a number of federal and state relief programs and resources for individuals and small businesses.


These are tough times, but we're all in this together. And, I'm here to help.

Help for individuals:


NEW: During July and August, people filing for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families benefits will not need to do an interview.​


  • To apply, click here.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program allows self-employed or independent contractors to obtain unemployment benefits. Self-employed individuals are not typically eligible for unemployment, but the PUA program provides the necessary funding to pay necessary benefits to Tennesseans who have not been able to work due to COVID-19.  PUA provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to qualifying individuals who are otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable state law, except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work due to COVID-19 related reasons.


The application processes is relatively straightforward. Applicants will need to provide documentation of their earning, history, previous tax filings, and a list of employers or clients who have paid you for providing services.


  • A guide for how to apply for PUA benefits can be found here.

  • To apply for PUA assistance, click here.

Unemployment insurance (UI) is a benefit for workers who lost their job through no fault of their own. Eligible claims may receive up to $275 per week in unemployment benefits.


  • The information needed to apply can be found here.

  • To apply for unemployment, click here.

The Emergency Cash Assistance Program is currently being offered to Tennesseans in need. The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making essential financial resources available to families that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.  To be eligible, families must have been employed as of March 11, 2020 but have since then lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income due to the COVID-19 emergency, include a child under the age of 18 or a pregnant woman, have a valid Social Security Number, must not have resources exceeding $2000, and the gross and/or unearned monthly income may not exceed 85% of the State’s Median Income.

  • For more information on the Emergency Cash Assistance Program, click here.

  • To apply for Emergency Cash Assistance, click here.

To see a list of current job openings posted on the TN.GOV website, click here.


Help for small businesses:


The federal government is offering assistance to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP. The PPP is a type of small business administration loan. The loans will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. PPP loans have an interest rate of 1%. Payments are deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. 


  • More information on PPP loans, including how to apply, can be found here.

NOTE: The deadline to for small businesses to apply for PPP is August 8, 2020

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance loans are an advance that will provide to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. Recipients do not have to be approved for a loan in order to receive the advance, but the amount of the loan advance will be deducted from total loan eligibility. 


Small business owners and qualified agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Agricultural businesses are now eligible as a result of the latest round of funds appropriated by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • More information on Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance loans can be found here.

  • Eligible small businesses and agricultural businesses may apply for the Loan Advance here.