Whitehaven storefronts can soon upgrade exterior from GWERC fund

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Whitehaven storefronts can soon apply to get a facelift, thanks to new grant funding.

The Greater Whitehaven Economic Redevelopment Corporation, or ‘GWERC’ announced the new Small Business Exterior Improvement Grant fund on Friday.

Business owner Chuck Strong said this new grant can give them a fresh, new look on the outside.

The store has been a mainstay along Elvis Presley Boulevard, for more than two decades.

“My intent for this would be that sign out there, that lower part, we spend a little bit of time throwing up letters on the sign one at a time. That grant would allow me to consider digital, and I would love to have a digital sign because then it allows me to market daily,” he said.

Strong said he’s one of a number of small business owners in Whitehaven eligible to apply to the new Small Business Exterior Improvement Grant fund.

“We understood through a survey that was conducted that businesses needed access to capital in order to make improvements. Residents were saying they wanted a community where the businesses, the facades were comparable to those you would see out east or down on Goodman Road,” said Michael Harris, the executive director of the Greater Whitehaven Economic Redevelopment Corporation.

Harris said they’re working with a starting total of $40,000, where they will match up to $5,000, to help Whitehaven business owners.

He said it can go towards almost any project that will improve the exterior look of the business.

“Painting, you’ll see some windows and doors replacements, storefront repair, signage, canopies, awnings, permanent patios for your outdoor restaurant experience, we’re looking for the removal of wires, chain-link fences, new landscaping ideas.”

The application for the grant opens on Monday and will remain open until Feb. 24.

To apply, or find out if you qualify, Harris said to email info@gwercmemphis.org.

The application is a Google Form.