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Staff photo by Doug Strickland / Council chair Chip Henderson

The Chattanooga City Council approved a budget amendment funding eviction prevention, small businesses and other causes and condemned violence in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

At a special meeting called to expedite the approval of a budget amendment, council members gave final approval to spending $800,000 on nonprofit assistance, small business relief and a COVID-19 contingency fund.

The final version of the amendment, which was debated and deferred last month, was approved unanimously.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga City Council OKs employee bonuses, but defers relief funding for nonprofits, small businesses)

Groups that received funding are:

* $300,000 to the Southeast Tennessee Development District for small business relief

* $225,000 for the Tivoli and Memorial Foundation

* $100,000 for the city's COVID-19 relief contingency fund

* $75,000 for the Forgotten Child Fund

* $60,000 for the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga for the eviction protection program

* $40,000 for the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

The already unusual meeting, which was called on a Wednesday to free up the funds a week sooner than would normally happen, had a somber undertone as council members condemned violence raging at the U.S. Capitol.

"Tonight as we pledge allegiance as one nation, may we be reminded that one of the things that makes us a great nation is the peaceful transfer of power," said the council's chair, Chip Henderson, referring to riots in which supporters of President Donald Trump had stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C. in protest of his Nov. 3 reelection loss.

"What is happening in our nation's Capitol tonight is wrong and cannot be tolerated," he added.

Councilman Erskine Oglesby echoed Henderson's sentiment in an opening prayer.

"Father, I come before you this afternoon, asking for strength and guidance for our nation to overcome the strife that is currently going on in our nation's Capitol," Oglesby said. "As the days in our nation are becoming increasingly dark, I pray that the light of your love, Heavenly Father, will shine down on the hearts and minds of its citizens.

"Father, may peace begin to rain down on our nation and protect us from those who seek to harm us."

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at staylor@timesfreepress.comor 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.

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