The coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected small businesses everywhere and especially in our most vulnerable neighborhoods. The EDGE Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development (NEED) Grant was created to provide relief to neighborhood-serving businesses in our city's most distressed areas. Grants of up to $10,000 will be made to businesses located in, or adjacent or contiguous to New Markets Tax Credit Eligible Census Tracts throughout the City of Memphis that have experienced at least a 25% loss in revenue as a result of COVID-19. 

Download the application here

To save, Click Print document and select Save to PDF.  Then Email completed form to NEED [at] growth-engine [dot] org to initiate the process.


Eligible Uses

Funds may be used for essential working capital such as rent or mortgage payments, payroll, supplier and vendor payments, insurance and utilities based on the budget presented with application based on the following provisions.

Amount Available

Grants will be given on a first-come first-served basis:

  • Businesses that remain open with a 25% or more reduction in revenue and have a plan for 90 days of continuous future operation may qualify for between $5,000 and $10,000.
  • Businesses that are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 but have a plan for reopening within 90 days may qualify for up to $5,000.

Program Eligibility 

  • Locally-owned businesses in operation with proper licenses and permits prior to March 1, 2019 and in continuous operation through March 1, 2020
  • Must demonstrate a 25% or greater loss of revenue due to COVID-19
  • Located in, or adjacent or contiguous to a New Markets Tax Credit Qualified Census Tract within the City of Memphis 
  • Annual revenue more than $25,000 and less than $1,000,000
  • Must be current on all City of Memphis and Shelby County Property Taxes or have an approved payment plan in place

Preference will be given to projects that directly benefit their neighborhood.

EDGE will waive the requirement that businesses be operational for at least one year for ICED Loan recipients.

Ineligible Businesses 

  • Liquor and tobacco stores
  • Adult entertainment and product stores
  • Pawnshop, Payday loans, Title loan establishments
  • Car dealerships
  • Mini-storage
  • Gas Stations
  • Financial businesses primarily engaged in lending
  • Real estate development or rental businesses
  • Insurance companies
  • Private clubs
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Home-based businesses
  • Churches and religious institutions, and government entities
  • Others at the discretion of the Economic Development Finance Committee 

Additional Assistance

To provide more comprehensive assistance to eligible businesses, EDGE is partnering with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Southwest Tennessee Community College (TSBDC) which will provide assistance in completing the NEED Grant application and work with the business to identify resources and business survival and recovery strategies. As part of the NEED Grant application, businesses must have registered for advising and received an initial assessment from the TSBDC.  EDGE may accept verification of comparable business assessment and counseling from The City of Memphis Office of Diversity & Compliance, Communities Unlimited, Epicenter or another recognized small business assistance agency. 

Download the NEED Grant Policy & Application

Eligible businesses can initiate the process by emailing an application to NEED [at] Growth-Engine [dot] org. Those wishing to discuss the program and review requirements prior to submitting an application should email a request to NEED [at] Growth-Engine [dot] org or call 901-341-2100 and EDGE staff will follow-up to arrange a phone call.

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