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In any normal year, spring and summer bring countless weddings and events leading to big business for retail shops like Gloria’s Bridal & Formal.

But 2020 was not a normal year.

“Sales and revenue have been cut in half since COVID-19,” said Gloria’s Bridal & Formal owner Tracy Thuhien Tran Nguyen. “The business lost its most profitable season since special events including weddings, proms, and formals were canceled.”

Today, the shop continues to struggle. It has had a hard time because social distancing makes it impossible to accept walk-ins, which were a huge source of business.

EDGE provided Gloria’s a $5,000 NEED Grant at its Economic Development Finance Committee meeting today. It was one of five businesses each receiving $5,000 grants. The others were:

  • The Tee Shirt Lab
  • Design 31
  • Lash Girl Studios
  • Angela’s Gifted Hands Salon

Nguyen says she will use the funds to pay rent, employees, and purchase cleaning supplies. It is a lifeline as she looks forward to a better 2021.

To date, EDGE has awarded $811,700 to 146 businesses throughout Memphis’ most vulnerable neighborhoods; 122 of those (84%) are Minority/Women-Owned Businesses. 

The Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development (NEED) Grant was created to provide relief to small businesses located in Memphis’ most vulnerable neighborhoods that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. First-time NEED Grant applicants may qualify for a one-time award of between $5,000 and $10,000.

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