Tucked away between a vacant warehouse and a busy retail strip is Social Suds Resource Center, a bustling Laundromat operated by the South Memphis Alliance. Just a mile away at Knowledge Quest, school-aged children busy themselves at the after-school urban garden while exploring possibilities within the culinary arts through the Jay Uiberall Culinary Academy. EDGE is proud to have assisted both programs as they work tirelessly to strengthen and revitalize South Memphis.
Small neighborhood businesses and non-profit organizations such as South Memphis Alliance and Knowledge Quest are participants of EDGE’s Inner City Economic Development (ICED) Loan Program. The ICED Loan Program’s purpose is to spark the revitalization of Memphis’s inner-city neighborhood business districts through small forgivable loans to assist with building improvements and business expansion. Financial assistance through the ICED Loan Program will help further develop these organizations’ programs by addressing the physical needs of the facilities.
“While EDGE’s ICED Loan program provides a small amount of financial support; it is the commitment from these businesses and the support from the community that makes these projects successes,” said John Lawrence, EDGE Manager, and Strategic Economic Development Planning.
South Memphis Alliance (SMA) was awarded a $20,000 ICED Loan to help support the Social Suds Resource Center, a Laundromat that provides space for community serving activities such as literacy and tutoring programs, eye screenings, and car-sear distribution. SMA is a non-profit organization that works to improve the health, knowledge, and stability of young people, families, and communities through social services, advocacy, and mentoring. The ICED Loan will help fund parking lot construction, fencing, and landscaping for the facility located at 1231 Walker. Total project costs are estimated to be $38,200.