Forgivable loans approved for 8 Downtown businesses

By , Daily Memphian Updated: April 13, 2020 6:09 PM CT | Published: April 13, 2020 6:09 PM CT

A Downtown board on Monday, April 13, awarded eight small businesses hurt by the pandemic a total of $55,100 in forgivable loans.

The Center City Development Corp. board unanimously approved the first requests for loans ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, and will meet in special session Friday, April 17, to vote on forgivable-loan applications from other Downtown businesses.

Forgivable loan program approved for affected Downtown businesses

Receiving the new Downtown Business Continuity Forgivable Loans were:

Alcenia’s restaurant, 317 N. Main, $5,000; Premier Flowers, 10 N. Second, $5,000; Book Juggler, 548 S. Main, $2,600; The Broom Closet, 546 S. Main, $5,000; Rachel’s Salon, 10 N. Main, $7,500; The Brass Door restaurant, 152 Madison, $7,500; Wrapzody Deli, 99 N. Main, $7,500; and McEwen’s restaurant, 120 Monroe, $15,000.

The social distancing required to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has either severely decreased revenues for the businesses or closed them temporarily, according to the staff reports.

Many of the businesses voluntarily agreed to apply for less than the maximum amount of the forgivable loans so that the board’s total pool of money — $200,000 — can be shared by more of the 50-plus businesses that applied.

The businesses will use the forgivable loans for various expenses.

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For example, Alcenia’s will use the loan for payroll, inventory, utilities and other expenses.

Premier Flowers will use the money for rent, inventory, supplies and marketing.

The Book Juggler will use it for rent and other expenses.

The Broom Closet, which experienced an 80% drop in sales due to the virus, will use the money to help pay for rent and utilities.

Rachel’s Salon, which had to temporarily close, will use the loan to restock its inventory and make payments on a business loan.

The Brass Door will use the money for mortgage payments, utilities and insurance.

Wrapzody Deli will use the money for rent and utilities, payroll and business insurance.

And McEwen’s will use the money for inventory for when it re-opens, payroll and other operating expenses.

The Downtown Memphis Commission staff approached the administration of the loan with a sense of urgency.

Downtown Memphis Commission president Jennifer Oswalt said the idea is to “get cash into the businesses’ hands as soon as possible this week.”


Downtown Memphis Commission Center City Development Corp.
Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey covers business news for The Daily Memphian. A Tupelo, Mississippi, native, he graduated from Mississippi State University. He's worked in journalism for 40 years and has lived in Midtown for 36 years.


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