MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the City of Memphis tries to figure out how COVID-19 will impact its budget, nonprofit programs facing cuts could get a reprieve. That’s because more than $2.5 million in federal money will now be a life-preserver of sorts.
Not having that money would’ve hit several non-profits hard.
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Andy Nix is the executive director of My City Rides in Memphis.
“We’ve got over 200 riders on the road in the program," he said.
My City Rides is a nonprofit, proud of its mission -- giving Memphians the chance at reliable, affordable transportation that they can own.
They lease-to-own scooters people can ride to work, run errands, or just travel around town for around $90 a month.
Nix told FOX13 it’s cheaper than other forms of transportation and gets people moving again.
“As Memphians return to work, transportation is going to be one of the biggest challenges,” he said.
Nix said the closing of the DMV slowed down their program. So, now they’re focused on keeping existing clients moving during the pandemic.
“As we come out of this COVID crisis there may be people in a different financial situation than they were before,” he said.
Last year they received $15,000 from the Memphis City Council Community Grant Program, which was enough to buy a half dozen scooters for new riders. But Nix said this year, the odds of reapplying for and getting that money nearly vanished with COVID-19 shortfalls in the city’s budget.
In Mayor Jim Strickland’s proposed budget plan for this fiscal year the council’s community grant program was cut to offset deficits.
But that changed this week when the administration and city council allocated $2.6 million it received from the federal CARES ACT to restore the program, giving nonprofits a chance at a lifeline.
“We are just glad that the city can continue the grants possibilities," said Nix.
Nix said the replenishing of the community grant is a sigh of relief for the organization. It will reapply for the grant but it’s unclear how much they could receive.
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