VOL. 131 | NO. 26 | Friday, February 5, 2016
EDGE Grants Development Loans to 4 Inner-City Businesses
By Madeline Faber
Memphis’ inner-city neighborhoods garnered $79,000 in business development loans at the Feb. 3 meeting of the Memphis-Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine’s finance committee.
Since the Inner City Economic Development loan program launched in 2014, EDGE has approved 23 projects representing 209 jobs and a capital investment of $2.6 million.
Among the latest round of loan approvals, April House Premier received a $25,000 ICED loan for facade and interior improvements to its catering facility. Located near Lamar Avenue and Holmes Road, April House serves food to warehousing and trucking businesses that would otherwise cross over into Mississippi to get a bite to eat.
April House also provides job training through its apprenticeship program in partnership with the Workforce Investment Network.
MAAE’s Market, located in the residential core of Memphis’ Westwood neighborhood, will sell fresh vegetables and meats in what is currently considered a food desert. In moving into a vacant commercial space, the grocery store will remove blight and provide a much-needed service to the neighborhood.
The $21,499 loan from EDGE will help with building improvements and disability access. The grocery store plans to open late spring or early summer of this year. The applicant is supported by the Methodist Le Bonheur Wellness Without Walls Initiative, a program targeting the 38109 ZIP code.
The third loan went to Major & Son Muffler, a business that has been serving the Orange Mound area for nearly 30 years. The $25,000 loan will help renovate the existing 1,305-square-foot building and fund an expansion.
The company’s growth is a result of a strategic partnership with five area repair shops and contract services with the city of Memphis. Independently owned and operated, these improvements will enable Major & Son Master Muffler to expand, grow and compete with national chains, said John Lawrence, EDGE’s manager of strategic economic development planning.
Frayser’s youth got a boost with a $7,190 ICED loan going to the Restoration Housing Boxing Academy. The business provides afterschool training for 80 children, 85 percent of whom live in Frayser.
Funding will allow the build-out of a training facility with a boxing ring and additional training equipment. With an updated space, Restoration House will be able to stay open longer and serve more children.
This is the first time a business in Frayser has applied for an ICED loan. Community LIFT and the Frayser Community Development Corp. supported the applicant.