EDGE Receives International Award for Its COVID-19 Response
EDGE has been awarded an Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award from the International Economic Development Council for its Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development (NEED) Grant. The honor was presented earlier this month during the annual IEDC Annual Conference.

The NEED Grant was created to provide relief to neighborhood-serving businesses in Memphis’ most distressed areas that had been affected by COVID-19. From approval of the program by the EDGE Board on April 15, 2020 to today, more than $751,000 has been awarded to 134 businesses located in Memphis’ most vulnerable neighborhoods. Eighty-two percent of the grant recipients have been minority or women owned businesses.

This is the third national or international award for EDGE in the last two years. In 2018, EDGE was awarded the Distinguished Development Finance Local Agency Award by the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA). And earlier this year, EDGE was awarded the 2020 Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development by Site Selection Magazine.

EDGE Assists Two Projects Set to Provide More Than 600 Jobs 
Two projects approved by EDGE this month would see companies expanding in or moving to Memphis, leading to more than 600 jobs for the city.

Pristex Solutions, LLC, has been evaluating locations in Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee for a facility that will produce commercial and household cleaning products and disinfecting wipes.

Pristex Solutions LLC
  • 13-Year Jobs PILOT
  • 439 New Jobs With An Average Salary Of $34,644
  • $11,608,422 Investment 
  • $28,537,950 in Tax Revenue
  • $682,989 in Spending With Minority/Women-Owned Businesses

Arvato Digital Services has been working with Smith+Nephew to modernize its distribution facilities and network, evaluating locations throughout Arvato's and Smith+Nephew's network, including locations in Memphis, Louisville and Atlanta.

Arvato Digital Services LLC
  • 11-Year Expansion PILOT
  • Create and Retain 186 Jobs at an Average Salary of $55,998
  • $30,257,475 Investment 
  • $10,924,857 in Tax Revenue
  • $2,324,270 in Spending With Minority/Women-Owned Businesses

Retailers, Hit Hard by COVID-19, Receive Assistance from EDGE
Retail and specialty boutiques, once supported wholeheartedly by a loyal customer base are now struggling just to keep their doors open.

Stores like Mbabazi House of Style on Broad Avenue have been hit hard on several fronts. Not only are customers often scared to enter the stores, there are increased expenses due to additional cleaning and stocking up on PPE, and getting shipments from suppliers is difficult if not impossible right now. 

Around 13 percent of NEED Grant recipients have been retail shops and all face similar struggles. Stores like The Treasure Chest Boutique on EH Crump, which received a NEED Grant in August and Cheryl Pesce: The Lifestyle Store, which received a grant in June, are just a couple of retailers that, like Mbabazi, have had to deal with big drops in foot traffic and supplier disruptions. 

Black Business Association Launches COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Black Business Association of Memphis is providing assistance to City of Memphis residents employed as Personal Care Professionals who have been adversely affected due to COVID-19. This includes people working as Cosmetologists, Barbers, Nail Technicians, Massage Therapists, Hair Braiders, Personal Trainers, Make-Up Artists and Aestheticians.

Eligible residents will be awarded one-time $300 grants.

State Launches Supplemental Employer Recovery Grant to Help With Costs Associated with COVID-19
Earlier this month, Governor Bill Lee announced the creation of the Supplemental Employer Recovery Grant (SERG) program, a small business relief program that will reimburse eligible business owners for direct expenses or business interruption costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Business owners can use a calculator to determine their estimated SERG benefit. Awards are capped at $30,000. However, businesses located in low to moderate income (“LMI”) census tracts, Opportunity zones, or Promise zones will receive an additional $500 added to the maximum allowable expenses.

Featured Project: A Look at the Impact of EDGE Approved Projects
2018: Moore Tech Automotive Improves Blight and Grows Workforce in Memphis
Community Builder PILOT
  • Total Capital Investment: $2,396,000
  • Projected Tax Revenue: $456,929
  • Reduces Blight in South Memphis
  • Fills Gap in Auto Technician Workforce
  • Graduates Will Have a 100% Job Placement Rate
Jordan Williams has always had a knack for repairing cars and motorcycles. She said it probably all goes back to when she was little, spending time with her dad under the hood of various cars watching as he worked on them.

Williams was one of more than 40 students in the inaugural class at Moore Tech Automotive. At full capacity, the school will support 90 students.

The school provides students with the training and skills necessary to become successful auto technicians. It was born out of Memphis car dealers' efforts to raise $4 million and equip a school designed to combat the shortage of car mechanics in the region by training a new workforce.

EDGE At A Glance 
Since 2011, EDGE Projects Have Committed To:
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