Memphis Mayor announces creation of micro-loans program for area businesses during coronavirus pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced today the creation of two City of Memphis micro-loan programs intended to assist Memphis businesses experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with an assistance grant program being developed by the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis & Shelby County (EDGE), the suite of programming is intended to serve as wide of a range of businesses as possible with assistance for working capital such as rent, payroll, and vendor payments.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have been felt by everyone, but our small businesses are some of those hit hardest by this pandemic,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “With these new programs, we’re hoping to help these businesses to bridge the gap as we all work to get through this.”

The City’s Division of Housing & Community Development and Office of Business Diversity & Compliance are partnering on the Small Business Resiliency (SBR) loan fund, which will offer loans from $5,000 to $35,000 and will delay repayment for 90 days, according to a press release.

Applicants must show proof of being denied by the Small Business Administration or an SBA lender, must be located within a distressed community within Memphis, must be in business for at least three years, and must be certified with the City’s Office of Business Diversity & Compliance.

The funds for the program are from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant program.

The Economic Hardship Emergency (EHE) loan fund will offer loans from $2,000 to $5,000 and no interest for six months.

Businesses and their owners must be located within the City of Memphis, have less than $1 million in annual revenue, be in business for at least three years, and be certified with the OBDC.

For more information or to get started, contact OBDC at 901-636-9300 or 901-636-6210, or email Loan Administrator Jerry Brack at

Applications will open Tuesday for the EHE loan fund, and by early May for the SBR fund. There are no fees to apply.

For more information about the NEED program, visit, email or call 901-341-2100.