Frayser barbershop renovates, plans job growth

Master barber and Frayser resident Jamal Arnold is in the midst of giving his barber shop a new ‘do.
Arnold, owner and operator of On the Spot Cuts & Styles at 3147 Frayser Blvd., applied for assistance from River City Capital and the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County (EDGE) to help with interior renovations and façade improvements to his 2,500-square-foot building located across the street from the Nike Distribution Center.
He was recently approved for a $25,000 loan from the EDGE Inner City Economic Development (ICED) fund, created by the City of Memphis from the Inner City PILOT fee paid by PILOT recipients. He also received a $5,660 small business loan from River City Capital.
“We’re remodeling the inside of my barber shop, putting in new floors, ceiling and LED lighting,” said Arnold, who purchased the building in 2011. “We’re also putting new doors and brick on the front of the building. The loan helped out a lot and made a big difference to give my shop that cleaner, more professional look.”
Arnold is also using a portion of the money to resurface the parking lot, retain six existing jobs and hire five new employees. 
As a way of giving back to the community, for the past eight years Arnold’s been involved in prison-outreach and post-incarceration programs. He attends multiple meetings each month with former inmates.
“I’m really passionate about going to the meetings,” he said. “I went to school to get an education in barbering, and I met a lot of inspirational guys who helped lead me on the right path in my career.”

Tracy Buckley, Business Development Officer for River City Capital, said all of its loans are made with the intention around economic and community development.
“Quality job creation also has to be a part of the key ingredients when talking about revitalizing Memphis communities,” she said. “On the Spot is an anchor in the Frayser community and we were happy to help Mr. Arnold realize his vision of improving the barber shop.”
EDGE launched its ICED loan program in 2014, and since then it has approved 31 projects representing 251 jobs and a capital investment of $3.1 million. Applicants must invest $12,500 of their own money to qualify for the three-year forgivable loans.

Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.
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