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Program Information

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  • Program Purpose and Eligibility
  • What is SMOB?
  • SMOB Suspends Processing of Financial Assistance Requests

Program Purpose and Eligibility

The Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program was created by the Tennessee General Assembly by Chapter 830 of the Tennessee Public Acts of 2004. The Program is designed to support outreach to new, expanding, and existing Qualifying Businesses in Tennessee that do not have reasonable access to capital markets and traditional commercial lending facilities.

A Qualifying Business is a Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, a Limited Liability Partnership, a Limited Liability Corporation, or any other Incorporated entity eligible to do business in Tennessee; and is located in and maintains operations in Tennessee with annual gross receipts of less than $4,000,000. 

Businesses or Organizations that are Ineligible for Program Assistance are:

  • Churches
  • Non-profit Organizations.
  • Insurance Companies.
  • Real Estate Contractors or Developers.
  • Night Clubs or Similar Entertainment-Oriented Businesses.
  • Business that do not create or provide jobs.
  • Businesses not incorporated or located in Tennessee.
  • Businesses that do not meet the lending criteria of the designated Qualified Organizations (Lenders) for each region of the State.





What is SMOB?

The Small and Minority-Owned Business Assistance Program provides a statewide platform that fosters the growth and development of small and minority-owned businesses in Tennessee.  The Program places emphasis on the preparatory stage of starting or expanding a business by ensuring that adaquate planning and financing are taken into consideration.

The SMOB Program provides assistance to Qualifying Businesses in two primary areas, Program Services and Loans.

"Program Services" provides access to an array of technical assistance, education, and consulting services to Qualifying Businesses that may or may not make application for Loans under the Program.   

"Loan" means a loan for a specific project for which the applicant has requsted Program Assistance.  The following are acceptable purposes for which a Loan may be made:  

  • Acquistion of Machinery and equipment
  • Working capital
  • Supplies and materials
  • Inventory
  • Certain other business-related activity

Lending for the acquisition of real estate is excluded from acceptable uses of funds.


With regard to financial assistance (i.e. loans), we have suspended the processing of any new requests due to an assessment of available funds.