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

Community LIFT Loans

  • 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.  https://www.census.gov/naics/ .

How to Apply:

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:

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:

Senior Living/Assisted Care Facilities