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Memphis, Tenn. (June 19, 2020) – Opened in May of last year, Trap Fusion had become a popular restaurant in Whitehaven, serving healthy southern cuisine to people from the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses in the area.

In fact, in early March, things were going so well that owners Jason Gardner and Monique Williams decided to expand the business. They acquired a dining space in the adjacent building and immediately began renovating the space, investing $15,000.

Then, everything changed.

“The last eight weeks have been a trying period,” said Gardner. “We have had to implement a survival strategy to counteract the effects of the pandemic.”


Gardner and Williams were forced to cut their staff to part-time. In all, they’ve lost around $2,500 a week since the pandemic began.

The restaurant has partnered with the various delivery services in the area and it provides curbside delivery. They have worked with distributors to keep the food coming in and are working to reopen according to each phase. It is a new reality that restaurants everywhere are having to deal with. So far, of the 77 NEED Grants EDGE has awarded, 21% have gone to restaurants. The owners of Trap Fusion say the grant will go a long way to helping things get back on track.

“This grant will help us to pay off our debt, pay our bills and get our workforce going again,” said Gardner.

Trap Fusion is one of 10 businesses awarded a NEED Grant today. Other businesses approved for a grant include:

To date, the Committee has awarded $437,500 to 78 businesses throughout Memphis’s most vulnerable neighborhoods; 59 of those (76%) are minority and 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.