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City of Memphis offering new loan, grant programs for local businesses

Updated: Apr. 13, 2020 at 3:01 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The City of Memphis has announced new loan and grant programs created to assist local businesses experiencing financial difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of the micro-loan and the Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development programs are to provide rent, payroll and vendor payment assistance for a wide range of businesses in the area.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have been felt by everyone, but our small businesses are some of those hit hardest by this pandemic,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “With these new programs, we’re hoping to help these businesses to bridge the gap as we all work to get through this.”

Economic Hardship Emergency Fund criteria - opens April 14m to all for-profit industries except non-profit government, religious and retail:

  • Loan amount ranges from $2,000 to $5,000, no interest for 6 months
  • Primary business located in Memphis
  • Less than $1 million in revenue
  • At least 3 years in business
  • Must be certified with the City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity and Compliance (OBDC)
  • Must complete consultation with an OBDC business navigator

Small Business Resiliency Fund criteria - loans open early May and must follow HUD guidelines for small business lending

  • Must be denied for an SBA loan (proof required)
  • Loan amount ranges from $5,000 to $35,000 with a delay repayment for 90 days
  • Primary business located in Memphis distressed communities
  • At least 3 years in business
  • Must be certified with City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity and Compliance (OBDC)
  • Must complete consultation with an OBDC business navigator
  • Must participate in ongoing financial literacy training with OBDC (at least one class a year for the life of the loan)

The Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County has also created a grant program to serve the same purpose as the loans above.

NEED:

  • Subject to approval by the EDGE Board of Directors
  • Offer between $5,000 and $10,000 to businesses that have experienced a 25% or greater decrease in revenue and have a survival and recovery plan
  • Recipients must be located with New Market Tax Credit Qualified Census Tracts, have been open for business prior to March 1, 2019 and have revenue of less than $1 million.

For more information about the NEED program visit www.growth-engine.org, email NEED@growth-engine.org or call 901-341-2100.

For more information about the micro-loan programs or to get started, contact OBDC at 901-636-9300 or 901-636-6210. You can also email Loan Administrator Jerry Brack at jerry.brack@memphistn.gov.

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