Sunday, September 20

Resources to Help Tennesseans Impacted by the Coronavirus

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The coronavirus pandemic is more than a health crisis. For many Tennesseans who have lost their jobs or have seen their hours reduced, it is a growing economic crisis as well.

After food, water and medicine, electric power is critical — especially during a time of crisis — for maintaining health, safety, comfort and connection. Tennessee’s electric co-ops are working to ensure that energy remains reliable and affordable for all.

Electric co-ops have committed to keep the lights on for all Tennesseans who have been impacted by the pandemic. Listed below are several resources that are available to help you pay your energy bills. If you are unable to pay your bill due to the financial impact of the pandemic, contact your electric cooperative for assistance.


FAMILIES

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

LIHEAP is a federally funded grant program that helps low-income households meet their immediate home energy needs. LIHEAP funds are distributed through the local community service agencies listed below.

Tennessee's Community Service Agencies

Blount County Community Action Agency 865-983-8411 | Blount County

Bradley-Cleveland Community Services Agency 423-479-4111 | Bradley County

Chattanooga Youth and Family Development 423-643-6434 | Hamilton County

Clarksville-Montgomery County CAA 931-896-1800 | Montgomery County

Delta Human Resources Agency 901-476-5226 | Fayette, Lauderdale, Tipton and portions of Shelby counties

Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority 423-318-6933 | Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Monroe and Sevier counties

East Tennessee Human Resource Agency 865-691-2551 | Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Morgan, Scott and Union counties

Highland Rim Economic Corporation 931-289-4101 | Dickson, Houston, Humphreys and Stewart counties

Knoxville-Knox County CAC 865-637-6700 | Knox County

Metropolitan Action Commission 615-862-8860 | Davidson County

Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency 615-742-1113 | Cheatham, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson and Wilson counties

Mid-East Community Action Agency 865-354-0450 | Serving: Loudon and Roane

Northwest Tenn. Economic Development Council 731-364-3228 | Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion and Weakley counties

Shelby County Community Services Agency 901-222-4270 | Shelby County

South Central Human Resource Agency 931-433-7182, ext. 1150 | Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Perry and Wayne counties

Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency 423-949-2191 | Bledsoe, Grundy, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie counties

Southwest Human Resource Agency 731-989-5111 | Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and McNairy counties

Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency 931-528-1127 | Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren and White counties

Upper East Tennessee HAD 423-246-6180 | Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties

Local charitable and religious agencies.

Electric co-ops maintain relationships with local ministries and charities that can often assist families with emergency energy needs. Contact your local office to learn more.

Emergency universal income payment.

Adult taxpayers earning $75,000 or less will receive $1,200 plus an additional $500 for each dependent. These funds can be used for food, medicine, housing, utility bills or anything else needed by the family. The IRS began distributing these funds in April.


SMALL BUSINESSES

Paycheck Protection Program.

These government-backed loans from Small Business Administration lenders are available to businesses with fewer than 500 employees and can be used for payroll, rent, utilities and other expenses. A list of participating lenders can be found online at sba.gov/local-assistance.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

This $10,000 loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) can provide vital economic support to small businesses to offset any temporary loss of revenue they experience as a result of the pandemic. Like the Paycheck Protection Program, this loan might not have to be repaid. To apply for the loan, visit SBA.gov.

Additional resources.

Visit the SBA website at SBA.gov to learn more about specific programs available for businesses impacted by coronavirus.

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About Author

Trent Scott

Trent Scott serves as vice president of corporate strategy for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. In this role, he coordinates the corporate communication efforts of TECA and The Tennessee Magazine and provides assistance to member utilities. Trent holds an undergraduate degree in marketing from Freed-Hardeman University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. Trent and his wife, Suzanne, have two children and live in Henderson.

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