EDGE Finance Committee approved two projects for the Inner City Economic Development (ICED) Loan Program, Stylist Salon (3240 N. Watkins) in Frayser and Soulsville Market (745 East McLemore) in South Memphis. The ICED Loan Program’s purpose is to spark the revitalization of Memphis’ inner-city neighborhood business districts through small forgivable loans to assist with building improvements and business expansion.
Soulsville Market is owned and operated by Ms. Hanan Hishe. Soulsville Market applied for assistance to help with façade repair, HVAC and roof repair, and interior improvements. Soulsville Market, formerly known as In & Out Market, plans to target both customers from the neighborhood and visitors to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. The market will stock convenience items and fresh produce. Total qualified project costs are estimated to be $36,992. Soulsville Market was approved for a $20,000 ICED Loan.
Stylist Salon is owned and operated by Mr. Godfrey Otubu. Stylist Salon applied for assistance to help with façade repair, HVAC installation, roof repair, and interior improvements. The loan will help Mr. Otubu restore the 1,064-square-foot building originally constructed as a home in 1940. Stylist Salon will offer both beauty and barber services, along with hair and cosmetic products for sale. The geographic target area is the surrounding Frayser community. The business will offer six booths operated by licensed cosmetologists and stylists-in-training who cater primarily to women seeking organic skin and hair treatments. Total qualified project costs are estimated to be $22,635. Stylist Salon was approved for a $15,000 ICED Loan.
Both projects involve rehabilitating long-vacant retail structures in New Markets Tax Credit eligible census tracts. “We wanted to invest in this neighborhood,” said Soulsville Market owner Ms. Hishe. “We knew the previous owners and wanted to continue the market’s legacy in the neighborhood by providing fresh produce and prepared hot meals.”
Mr. Otubu, Stylist Salon owner and Frayser property investor added, “it was important to me that we engage the neighborhood in this project. Renovating the salon will help remove this eyesore from the community along with providing an additional opportunity for jobs.”
Since the ICED Loan Program’s inception in 2014, EDGE has approved 42 projects and when completed will have produced more than $3 million in capital investments in Memphis inner-city neighborhoods.