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Business Enterprise Resource Office (BERO)
Name:Business Enterprise Resource Office
(BERO)
Address:170 North Main Street, Suite 12th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
Telephone:901 543-7426
Days Open:Monday-Friday
Hours Open:8:00-4:30 (By Appointment Only)
Web-Site:http://www.tennessee.gov/ecd/bero/index.htm
Territory:All 21 Counties in West Tennessee, including Shelby County
Contact:Sharon Taylor McKinney, Business Enterprise Specialist BERO Regional Contact, West Tennessee Region Minority, Women, and Small Business Development
Email:Sharon.K.Taylor@state.tn.us
Purpose:To offer general counseling for persons interested in starting a business; providing connections and resources for existing and starting businesses in Tennessee.
Eligibility:51% ownership by African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Native American, Aleut; Area of operation in West Tennessee
Fee:No fee.
Services:
  • Provides technical, financial and management information assistance to small, minority and women owned businesses. BERO’s main office is located in Nashville with regional offices in Memphis and Knoxville.
  • Focuses on four main areas of development to achieve its mission:
    • providing technical assistance (business planning, licensing, certification, financial assistance, expansion assistance and other special needs).
    • assisting with procurement opportunities
    • driving manufacturing initiatives and
    • creating export opportunities.
  • Works in close partnership with the Governor's Office of Diversity Business Enterprise (
  • Has a designated director of small manufacturing initiatives whose goal is to identify and create partnering opportunities between small and large manufacturers by facilitating business to business matching; advocating and connecting small manufacturers with companies and government agencies; creating a manufacturers’ resource directory which includes financial information; and coordinating with federal and local government agencies, trade associations and community organizations.
  • BERO, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the International Trade Centers, Tennessee Small Business Development Centers and other local agencies, assists small businesses throughout the state to export their goods and services through the Trade Roots program.
Publications:Small Business Guide
Quarterly newsletter
Additional Information:

History: In 2002, BERO had 1 staff person responsible for the entire state; Today, BERO has 6 full-time and 1 part-time staff in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

Mission: Expand economic opportunities for disadvantaged businesses by providing information on procurement opportunities, loan programs, and development opportunities with Tennessee private industry and government entities.