Chattanooga Chamber Launches StartingBlockChattanooga.com Entrepreneurial Wayfinding Site Funded by CARES

Date: January 12, 2021

Chattanooga, TN – Entrepreneurs and small business owners, this one is for you. The StartingBlockChattanooga.com website connects entrepreneurs and small business owners to local free or low-cost business resources.  StartingBlockChattanooga.com offers support for fresh startups to scaling enterprises, connecting founders with resource partners who can support entrepreneurs as they start and grow their business.

"The Starting Block is a dream come true for our entrepreneurial ecosystem," said Alexis Willis, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Director, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. "New founders on the block are now able to access all available resources in one place, making it easier for entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus on what they do best."

Chattanooga's strong entrepreneurial ecosystem offers resources for early-stage companies, such as mentoring, accelerator programs and access to capital and talent. 

The StartingBlockChattanooga.com’s mission is to help small businesses grow and prosper by providing founders with easy access to business resources in the Chattanooga area. 

StartingBlockChattanooga.com contributes to the network by partnering with resource providers to: 

  • Raise community awareness about entrepreneurial activity and network access
  • Identify gaps in needed services and initiate innovative programs to fill those gaps
  • Connect entrepreneurs with community resources
  • Find new ways to increase funding for resource provider programs
  • Measure economic impact

"Chattanooga is dedicated to helping small businesses thrive in our community," said Lynn Talbot, Vice Chair of Entrepreneurship, Chattanooga Chamber. "Giving entrepreneurs access to free or low-cost business resources makes it easier for small businesses to put down roots in our city.”

Now, founders can access information in a single, comprehensive website.

This innovative resource is powered by SourceLink® and made possible through Coronavirus Aid Relief Economic Security (CARES) funding. The Chambliss Startup Group, The Tennessee Valley Authority and Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union are sustaining sponsors of the StartingBlockChattanooga.com. These organizations have a long history of empowering and supporting Chattanooga's entrepreneurial and economic development efforts. 

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About the INCubator in the Hamilton County Business Development Center
The INCubator, managed by the Chattanooga Chamber and housed in the Hamilton County Business Development Center, is 127,000 square feet of startup community. As the largest mixed-use business incubator in the state of Tennessee, our mission is to provide coaching, leadership and collaboration for startups and small businesses through partnerships. The INCubator houses community support coupled with competitively priced office and manufacturing suites perfect for a growing business.   

About SourceLink®
SourceLink provides research and development to help communities strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems. As the nation’s premier resource for powering entrepreneurs, SourceLink helps build vibrant communities and promotes economic growth by stimulating small business success. SourceLink has successfully engaged with more than 100 communities nationwide, and that number continues to grow. Affiliated networks include Baltimore SourceLink, Colmena66 in Puerto Rico, IASourceLink in Iowa, KCSourceLink in Kansas City, NetWork Kansas, Dallas B.R.A.I.N., and more. SourceLink founders include the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, University of Missouri–Kansas City and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

About CARES
Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), the CARES Act provides payments to state and local governments navigating through the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Gov. Bill Lee appointed the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group to ensure local needs are met while also safeguarding the health and wellbeing of Tennesseans. The overall goal of this action plan is to meet the needs of our citizens in the most efficient way possible, while also ensuring that the state and those seeking relief comply with federal regulations and guidelines.