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At its first completely virtual meeting, the EDGE Board approved the Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development (NEED) Grant to provide relief to small inner city businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and worked to keep more than 100 jobs in one distressed Memphis neighborhood while creating job growth and investment in another.


The coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected small businesses everywhere and especially in Memphis’ most vulnerable neighborhoods. The EDGE Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development (NEED) Grant was created to provide relief to neighborhood-serving businesses in our city’s most distressed areas.

Grants of up to $10,000 will be made to businesses located in New Markets Tax Credit Eligible Census Tracks throughout the City of Memphis that have experienced at least a 25% loss in revenue as a result of COVID-19.

To provide even more comprehensive assistance to eligible businesses, EDGE is partnering with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Southwest Tennessee Community College which will provide assistance in completing the NEED Grant application and work with the business to identify resources and business survival and recovery strategies.

“COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on these small, neighborhood-serving businesses, all of which are a vital part of the communities they serve,” said EDGE President and CEO Reid Dulberger. “Over the past several years, EDGE has created new programs to grow inner-city businesses. The NEED Grant is our commitment to these neighborhoods, as we work collectively to insure that their retail and commercial cores aren’t hollowed out by COVID-19.”

Eligible Uses

Funds may be used for essential working capital such as rent or mortgage payments, payroll, supplier and vendor payments, insurance, and utilities.

Who is Eligible?

  • Locally-owned businesses in operation with proper licenses and permits prior to March 1, 2019, and in continuous operation through March 1, 2020
  • Must demonstrate a 25% or greater loss of revenue due to COVID-19
  • Located in a New Markets Tax Credit Qualified Census Tract within the City of Memphis
  • Annual revenue less than $1,000,000
  • Must be current on all City of Memphis and Shelby County Property Taxes or have an approved payment plan in place
  • Preference will be given to projects that directly benefit their neighborhood
  • EDGE will waive the requirement that businesses be operational for at least one year for ICED Loan recipients.

Visit for more information about the program.


DHL is looking for a site for a new distribution center aimed at helping Siemens, a healthcare technology company, with critical same-day shipments. DHL has been considering 6200 Global Drive in Memphis for the site as well as other locations in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

EDGE provided a seven-year Expansion PILOT to encourage DHL to invest more than $20 million at the Global Drive location and retain 105 jobs with an average base salary of $36,454. These are jobs that would likely become inaccessible for the current workforce if this project was located outside of Shelby County.

Siemens has an expiring contract with XPO Logistics at its facility on Citation Road, and because the Seimens operation is currently located in Shelby County, EDGE considered this project under its Expansion PILOT program. DHL currently has a distribution campus located in Southaven, which is well suited for this project but the PILOT made Memphis more attractive in their site selection process.

The project would create $4,230,109 in local total tax revenues and an estimated $2,355,867 benefit to DHL during the PILOT term.

Stone Solution

Countertop manufacturer, Stone Solution is looking to create a granite and quartz-based countertop production operation in the US. The company has identified properties in South Texas and Memphis.

EDGE provided a five-year Jobs PILOT to bring the company to Memphis. Stone Solution has said that the PILOT assistance is the only way they would be able to consider the Memphis location. The PILOT will encourage the company to create 15 net new jobs with an average base salary of $44,640, and invest $2,090,000 at 2615 Summer Avenue.

The project would create $385,350 in local total tax revenues and an estimated $131,342 benefit to the Applicant during the PILOT term. But beyond that, this project will bring much-needed investment to a severely distressed area, with a current poverty rate of 41.3%, unemployment of 21.3%, and family income of 45.7% of the Shelby County median family income.