Assistance Programs for Businesses

We’ve compiled a list of most of the funds, grants, and loans available to local businesses operating in Shelby County. The information below includes a summary of the funding available, the eligibility requirements, and how to apply for the grant or loan.

Businesses and Organizations

Black Business Association of Memphis COVID-19 Relief Fund

  • One-time grants of up to $2,000 for nail salons, hair salons, barbershops.
  • One-time grants of up to $300 to personal care workers affected by the pandemic.
  • One-time grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a city of Memphis resident and operate in eligible industries/occupations within the city limits:
    • Barbers
    • Cosmetologists
    • Estheticians
    • Hair braiders
    • Make-up artists
    • Massage therapists
    • Nail technicians
    • Personal trainers
  • Must be able to provide proof of occupation by state issued license. A

How to Apply:

Community LIFT Recovery Loan

  • Loans range up to $12,000 in funds with $6,000 forgivable.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Existing business owners in Memphis and Shelby County
  • Aspiring business owners with plans to open in Memphis and Shelby County
  • Community development corporations in Memphis
  • Charter schools in Memphis

How to Apply:

Greater Memphis Workforce Development Board Training

  • Funds can be used to reimburse training costs for:
    • Instructors’/trainers’ salaries (up to $50/hour)
    • Curriculum development textbooks and manuals
    • Materials and supplies
    • Tuition expenses (tuition defined as being provided by an institution regulated by the Tennessee higher education commission)

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be located in Shelby, Fayette, Lauderdale or Tipton counties in Tennessee.
  • Be registered as a Tennessee for-profit business or other not-for-profit (not all qualify, evaluated case by case) in operation at least one (1) year.
  • Employ at least five full-time employees.
  • Operation must be an in-demand, in-balance or declining industry that can justify need.
  • Current on all local, state, and federal tax obligations.
  • Must be a financially viable.
  • Must not appear on any federal suspensions or debarment list.

How to Apply:

Small Businesses

City of Memphis Micro Loan Fund - Small Business Resiliency Loan

Loans range from $5,000 to $35,000 with 3 months of delayed payment. Can be used as essential working capital for business expenses:

  • Business rent or mortgage payments
  • Payroll
  • Supplier and vendor payments
  • Insurance

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Borrower’s primary residence and business must be in the city of Memphis.
  • Must have $1 million or less in revenue.
  • Must be operating for 3 years.
  • Be certified with the City of Memphis Office of Diversity and Compliance (OBDC)
  • All for-profit industries except non-profit, government, religious or retail are eligible.

*Must complete web-based counseling to quality. Details on available sessions will be made to each applicant.

How to Apply:

  • Apply by phone: 901-636-9300
  • Apply by email: jerry.black@memphistn.gov

City of Memphis OBDC Small Business Stabilization Program

One-time grants range from $10,000 to $25,000.

Eligibility requirements:

  • The owner’s primary residence and business must be located within the City of Memphis limits (unincorporated Shelby County is not eligible)
  • Minimum revenue of $30,000 annually; maximum revenue of $3 million annually
  • Must have been in business at least 6 months prior to March 1, 2020.
  • Must complete online financial literacy learning series and sign affidavit.
  • The business activity must be eligible under the program and in one of the industries listed in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes list. http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics.

How to Apply:

EDGE Need Grant

  • One-time grant of up to $10,000 to businesses that are still open with a plan for 90 days of continuous operation.
  • One-time grant of up to $5,000 to closed businesses with a plan to reopen within 90 days.
  • Can be used for working capital costs such as rent or mortgage payments, supplier and vendor payments and insurance.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Business must have at least 25% revenue losses due to the pandemic.
  • Must have less than $1 million in annual revenues.
  • Must be located in a distressed area.
  • Must be a commercial enterprise located in the South City Neighborhood and current on city and county taxes property taxes.

Ineligible industries include:

  • Liquor and tobacco stores
  • Adult entertainment
  • Pawnshops
  • Payday and title loans
  • Car dealerships
  • Ministorage
  • Gas stations
  • Lending institutions
  • Real Estate development or rentals
  • Insurance
  • Private clubs
  • Non-profits including religious entities
  • Home-based businesses and governments

How to Apply:

*Must complete web-based counseling to qualify. Details on available sessions will be made to each applicant.

GoFundMe Small Business Relief Program

  • Up to $500 matching grant for small businesses who created and solicited donations through a GoFundMe account.
  • Funds can be used to either help care for its employees or pay ongoing business expenses.
  • Only one grant per business.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be negatively impacted by mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Must be independently owned and operated
  • Cannot be nationally dominant within their industry
  • Can raise at least $500 for the business through a GoFundMe fundraiser started because of the COVID-19 pandemic; and there are no fraud reports made against it.
  • Ineligible businesses include franchises, chains, large companies and any other business prohibited in GoFundMe’s Terms of Service.

How to Apply:

Memphis Medical District Collaborative Small Business Remobilization Fund

  • Up to 30% of funding COVID-19 funding assistance already awarded up to $10,000
  • Funds can be used to pay for the following:
    • Operating capital
    • Insurance
    • Utilities
    • Payroll
    • Inventory
    • Furniture
    • Fixtures
    • Equipment
    • Debt refinance
    • Marketing and Retrofitting to accommodate social distancing
  • Applications must include explanation intended use of funds. Must be located within the Memphis Medical District’s boundaries.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Business must provide goods and services for the residents, employees and students in the medical district.
  • Business must have been awarded COVID-19 emergency support dollars from a CDFI or another agency.

Ineligible businesses include:

  • Payday lenders
  • Liquor and tobacco stores
  • Pawn shops
  • Weapon dealers or shops
  • Adult entertainment
  • Passive real estate investors
  • Home-based businesses

How to Apply:

Pathway Lending Restart Loan Program

  • Up to $25,000 at 4% fixed interest rate for 66 months with no obligation fees or repayment penalty.
  • Delayed payments for up to 6 months.
  • Covers operating expenses including inventory, working capital, payroll and other mobilization expenses.
  • Closing costs can be paid from proceeds.
  • A restart plan outlining how they will spend the fund is required. Pathway will provide assistance with plan creation.

Eligibility requirements:

Must be a small, minority- and women-owned business operating in Shelby County.

Ineligible businesses include:

  • Those whose 33% or more of their revenue from gambling
  • Alcohol, tobacco and firearm retailers
  • Financial institutions
  • Non-profits
  • Governments
  • Check cashing and bail bondsman
  • Adult entertainment
  • Those primarily engaged in lobbying and political activities.

How to Apply:

Pathway Lending Restart Loan Program – Medical District Collaborative

  • Up to $25,000 at 4% fixed interest rate for 66 months with no obligation fees or repayment penalty.
  • Delayed payments for up to 6 months.
  • Covers operating expenses including inventory, working capital, payroll and other mobilization expenses.
  • Closing costs can be paid from proceeds.
  • A restart plan outlining how they will spend the fund is required. Pathway will provide assistance with plan creation.
  • May be used in addition to other Medical District Collaborative funding.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a small business operating in the Medical District Collaborative’s footprint.
  • Ineligible businesses include:
    • Those whose 33% or more of their revenue from gambling
    • Alcohol, tobacco and firearm retailers
    • Financial institutions
    • Non-profits
    • Governments
    • Check cashing and bail bondsman
    • Adult entertainment
    • Those primarily engaged in lobbying and political activities.

How to Apply:

Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan

  • Unsecure loan of up to $25,000 (First $10,000 is a grant).
  • Secured loan of up to $2 million.
  • Can be used for working capital to pay debt, vendors, payroll and disaster related obligations.
  • Interests Rates:
    • 75% for non-profits
    • 75% for all

Eligibility requirements:

  • A small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons).
  • Private non-profits or 501(c) (19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19.
  • Other businesses may be eligible.

How to Apply:

Personal Services Businesses

(i.e. nail salons, hair salons, barbershops)

Shelby County Government’s OBC II – Barbers/Cosmetologists Grants

  • Provides economic relief to individuals who can verify that they perform beauty, barbering, aesthetic, or nail services as an independent contractor in Shelby County.
  • Funds are limited and will be distributed to qualified applications until depleted.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must verify that they perform beauty, barbering, aesthetic, or nail services as an independent contractor in Shelby County.
  • Applicants must also reside in Shelby County.

How to Apply:

Senior Living/Assisted Care Facilities

Shelby County Government’s Senior Tech Connect Grants

  • One-time micro-grants in the amount of $5,000 to qualifying Assisted Care Living Facilities and Homes for the Aged to increase residents’ access to virtual communication.
  • Facilities will be notified within 48 hours of application submission.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be an Assisted Care Living Facility or Home for the Aged located in Shelby County
  • Must submit a completed grant application along with a copy of a W-9 Tax ID form;
  • Must have a current State of Tennessee license to operate as an Assisted Care Living Facility or Home for the Aged.
  • The license of the applicant facility must be in good standing, i.e. not currently subject of disciplinary action, including but not limited to investigation or suspension by the State
  • Grant application must be approved and signed by an individual on behalf of the facility with authority to accept the grant and bind the facility to the grant terms.

How to Apply:

This grant is no longer accepting applications.  For a status update on an application that has already been submitted, please call Cynthia Nunnally at 901-222-9046 or email at cynthia.nunnally@shelbycountytn.gov

https://shelbycountytn.gov/3667/Senior-Tech-Connect-Grants 

Restaurants

Shelby County Government’s Share the Tab Grant

  • One-time grants of up to $10,000.
  • Can be used to cover rent/mortgage, payroll,
  • Sanitization and expenses related to switching to a full-service restaurant.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Limited service restaurants (or bars) impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns.
  • Business must be located in Shelby County
  • Must be current on all Shelby County taxes.
  • Must have current TN alcohol beverage commission or restaurant license.

How to Apply: