Memphis, TN (April 8, 2021) Two locally owned businesses received support from EDGE this week through its Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development (NEED) Grant and the Inner City Economic Development (ICED) loan programs.
New venture The Vineyard, LLC. will utilize its ICED loan to transform an empty commercial bay into a fresh event space at Elvis Presley and Shelby Drive, while Crosstown business Saucy Chicken, will utilize a NEED grant to stabilize operations due to the impacts of Covid-19 on daily business.
The Vineyard, LLC. will be operated by Kimberly Price of Priceless Entertainment. Price’s vision for a new Whitehaven banquet hall leverages her 10 years of event management experience and her desire to offer affordable event space for the community. For the last decade, Price and her husband Greg, have planned and coordinated events such as wedding receptions, birthday parties, and alumni reunions and celebrations. The $12,000 EDGE ICED loan will help Price transform her and her husband’s home-based business into a full-scale banquet facility, allowing for expanded event services.
The Vineyard, LLC. will offer 3,500 square feet of rental space located within Southland Plaza. Renovations to the space include the demolition of the interior space, construction and equipping of a catering kitchen with a commercial vent-a-hood, and new interior finishes. This new event space will be available for a range of events and Price and her husband plan to offer a suite of services to their clients including event planning, decorating, support with charitable activities, and event advertising. Rental rates will range from $1,500 to 2,500, depending on use.
“EDGE proud to have assisted 42 projects in the Whitehaven neighborhood and surrounding community. Investments of this nature drive sustainable economic development across our small business sector” stated Reid Dulberger, President.
Saucy Chicken opened in 2019 bringing new dining options to Crosstown and the midtown community. After a highly successful first year, the impact of Covid-19 hit the new restaurant hard. Owners, Cy Washer and Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling made significant adjustments during Covid-19 including adjusting staffing levels and tapping into Cares Act resources including PPP and EDIL loans, but the impacts of the pandemic are still lingering as Crosstown slowly continues to fully reopen. With limited foot traffic, scaled-back hours, and special event catering on hold, Saucy Chicken currently only employs one full-time employee and four part-time employees, reducing the staff to more than half what it was.
While federal assistance has allowed the Saucy Chicken team to continue operating, they have not been able to address the difficulty of maintaining rent payments. The $5,000 EDGE NEED grant will assist them in catching up on negotiated deferred rent and serve as a critical lifeline to stabilize the business during the coming months. The NEED grant will also provide the ownership team the opportunity to focus on scaling up business as key anchors like Methodist, Church Health, St. Jude and others bring their teams back to Crosstown to work, dine, and shop. Maintaining a daily business, they are currently 50-70% below their daily capacity.
The NEED grant was created to provide relief to small businesses that have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. To date, EDGE has awarded $957,700 in NEED grants to 156 businesses throughout Memphis and Shelby County. Applicants may qualify for up to $10,000. Eligible businesses can apply and find more information at NEEDGrant.org