Community centers in South Memphis, New Chicago garner $60,000 in grants

Three local businesses received a combined $60,000 boost to support building improvements and expansions. The finance committee of the Memphis-Shelby County Economic Growth Engine approved the forgivable loans as part of its Inner City Economic Development Loan Program.

“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 work together to make these projects successes,” said John Lawrence, EDGE manager of strategic economic development planning.

Knowledge Quest, a nonprofit that provides resources to families in South Memphis, received a $20,000 ICED loan to fund façade improvements, roof replacement and renovations to the interior and campus walkways. The total project cost is near $30,400.
The organization is best known for its extended learning academies and after school programs. Located at 590 Jennette Place, Knowledge Quest also provides counseling services at Universal Parenting Places and operates the Green Leaf Learning Farm and the Jay Uiberall Culinary Academy.

The South Memphis Alliance received a $20,000 loan to support the Social Spuds Resource Center, a laundromat that also serves as a community center for activities including literacy and tutoring programs, eye screenings and car-seat distribution.
The ICED loan will help fund fencing, landscaping and construction of a parking lot for the facility at 1231 Walker Ave. The total project cost is estimated at $38,200.
The South Memphis Alliance is a nonprofit working to improve the health, knowledge and stability of people in South Memphis. The organization also offers programs that service youth in foster care and families in need. The Social Suds Resource Center is located just north of the the South Memphis Alliance’s headquarters at 1048 Bellevue.

A family-run restaurant in the New Chicago neighborhood received a $18,946 ICED loan to support façade improvements, plumbing and electrical upgrades, interior restoration and HVAC installation. The total project cost is estimated to be $42,508.
The Three Sisters Deli at 1392 Kney Street sells fresh fare in a neighborhood with limited access to prepared food options.

“Memphis’s diverse community of entrepreneurs is working to bring access to businesses like restaurants and laundries to underserved areas across our city," said Lawrence. "These are things that many of us take for granted, but there are huge segments of the population that are without some of these neighborhood amenities."

Read more articles by Madeline Faber.

Madeline Faber is an editor and award-winning reporter. Her experience as a development reporter complements High Ground's mission to write about what's next for Memphis.

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