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Memphis, Tenn. (July 9, 2020) – In the midst of a health crisis unrivaled in our lifetimes, Memphis and Shelby County still have momentum.

The Regional Economic Alliance (REA) met for its second meeting of 2020, it’s first since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In that meeting, data showed that while the REA is off a bit from its initial projections made in January, it is not off by much, and is ahead of the curve when it comes to investment in our area.

In 2020, the REA has worked on 16 projects that have created nearly 1,500 jobs, $606,823,353 in investment in our area, and $49,309,809 in spending with minority and women-owned businesses. The chart below shows how that progress fares against earlier projections.

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In the virtual meeting, TVA President Jeff Lyash outlined TVA’s commitment to Memphis and Shelby County, including a focus on investing more in community revitalization in Memphis and creating a Memphis office, staffed by 100 TVA employees.

EDGE updated the REA on its NEED Grant program, which has provided nearly half a million dollars to 87 businesses dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Memphis’ most vulnerable neighborhoods. Nearly 80% of those businesses are minority or women-owned. The Downtown Memphis Commission also updated the team about its Downtown Business Continuity Forgivable Loan program. That program has provided $260,000 to 46 Downtown businesses, 63% of which are minority or women-owned businesses.

The Greater Memphis Chamber revealed it has received 25 Requests for Information recently, noting that there is still strong interest in investing in Memphis.

The REA will meet again this fall.