Local Barbershops, Hit Hard During the Pandemic, Find Relief Through EDGE NEED Grant
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 15, 2020) – Three more inner-city small businesses received relief today in the form of NEED Grants. The EDGE Finance Committee approved $16,000 in grants for food distributors, Beneva Mayweather Foods, Daphne’s Pet Grooming and Boarding, and the North Memphis barbershop, Uptown Cuts.
Of the 24 NEED Grants awarded to date, a quarter has gone to barbershops/salons like Uptown Cuts. Deemed non-essential businesses during the Safer at Home order, these companies were forced to close, leaving them with no revenue for two months. As they now reopen, or plan to reopen, they are facing a tough road ahead.
“COVID-19 severely impacted my business,” said Uptown Cuts owner, Michael Jefferson. “In the blink of an eye, my revenue dropped to zero and as a nonessential business, I had no revenue coming in for weeks.”
Jefferson and other barbershop owners throughout the city are now laser-focused on how to best keep customers safe while getting business back to pre-pandemic levels.
“My focus now is reopening the right way,” said Jefferson. “I’ll allow customers back one at a time and switch to appointments only to give me time to disinfect between clients. This grant will go a long way in getting my business back on its feet”
To date, EDGE has approved $137,500 in NEED Grants for 24 businesses that are vital to the lifeblood of their neighborhoods. MWBEs comprises 22 of those 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.