Small Businesses

Small businesses are the heart of the American economy.  Our country’s small businesses employ half of the nation’s private sector workforce and create a large portion of America’s new jobs. It is critical that small businesses play a significant role in our efforts to restore America’s economic strength and the growth of Memphis.

Growing small businesses – specifically businesses owned by minorities and women entrepreneurs - has been a recent topic in Memphis. Opening new doors for small businesses here in the United States and internationally is essential. For Memphis businesses to grow, we must ensure they are represented in the federal government’s procurement process. One of the largest customers of goods and services is the federal government, and last year small businesses in the U.S. received nearly 1.8 million contracts totaling almost $90 million.

In an effort to ensure that small businesses in Memphis have the information that they need, I have for several years hosted a Federal Procurement Fair to help small business owners who want to do business with the U.S. government. The Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Minority Business Development Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Small Business Administration and other federal agencies attend to help explain the federal contracting process and the basic requirements of engaging in business with the federal government.

Expanding the American workforce and supporting small businesses is an economic imperative. As we continue with that work, it is important for the public and private sectors to work together. I am committed to playing my part to support and empower hardworking American families, protect jobs and support small business growth in the Memphis area.

More on Small Businesses

September 11, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking that he reconsider blanket loan forgiveness for recipients of assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program after both the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service identified egregious instances of fraud. Congressman Cohen reminded Mnuchin of his public testimony on the issue of loan forgiveness and asked, in light of the fraud concerns, whether he has reversed his position.

The letter reads in part:

September 10, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressmen Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Jim Cooper today held a press event outside the Exit/In music venue in Nashville to call attention to four bills they have cosponsored that address the needs of restaurant and entertainment venue employees. Several business owners also participated.

The measures are H.R. 4258, the Save Our Stages Act, H.R. 7481, the RESTART Act, H.R. 7197, the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed To Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act, and H.R. 7691, the Mixed Earner Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Acts. 

September 4, 2020 Press Release


MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) recognized the annual Labor Day holiday Monday with the following statement:

August 5, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today wrote to Democratic leaders negotiating the next round of coronavirus pandemic economic relief to urge them to prioritize the needs of small and minority businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program and to ensure there are proper levels of transparency in place.


August 1, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON --  Monday, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) sent a letter to House leadership saying that the next COVID-19 stimulus package should mandate that lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) p

June 17, 2020 Press Release


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business and Economics will receive a $111,999 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how rapid changes in work conditions in response to the pandemic have affected employee well-being.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

May 13, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) will return to Washington Thursday and plans to vote Friday on a fifth bill in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Heroes Act, H.R.

April 28, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) sent a letter to House and Senate leaders calling for the repeal of a $135 billion tax break in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) for hedge fund owners and real estate developers.

April 21, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today sent email notifications to constituents to ensure they are aware of Wednesday’s noon deadline for claiming supplement payments for eligible dependents for those receiving Social Security, survivor or disability and Railroad Retirement. See the letter below:


Dear Friend,

April 9, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS -- Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) yesterday joined his colleagues in a resolution recognizing the harmful health disparities faced by minority communities during the coronavirus pandemic and urging immediate action to address the ongoing situation. The resolution will be introduced soon.