$65,000 in forgivable loans approved for 13 Downtown businesses

By , Special to the Daily Memphian Updated: April 22, 2020 10:59 AM CT | Published: April 22, 2020 10:34 AM CT

A Downtown agency approved another $65,000 in forgivable loans to help keep 13 more small businesses afloat through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Downtown agency rushes love and money to distressed businesses

So far, the Center City Development Corp. has provided $200,000 in forgivable loans to 33 Downtown businesses.

The agency’s committee making the loans met on Wednesday, April 22, for a third time, and plans to convene by video-conference a final time on Friday, April 24, to dispense an extra $60,000 added to the fund on Monday, April 20.

In all, the agency will make $260,000 in forgivable loans.

Qualified businesses make payments on the loans, but if they are still operating in two years the loan is converted into a grant.

The source of the funds are project fees, including from payment in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) collected by the Center City Development Corp.

Receiving loans on Wednesday were:

— $2,500 for Nine 01 Five 04, 676 Marshall. The retailer sells women’s apparel in the Edge District; 

— $2,500 for Mollie Fontaine Lounge, 679 Adams. The restaurant and bar has been a magnet for Victorian Village for a number of years, the staff report states;

— $2,500 for Sabor Caribe, 662 Madison. The restaurant offers authentic Caribbean street food;

— $2,500 for Arnold’s BBQ, 320 Monroe. The restaurant opened a Downtown location in 2016, and has been important in helping to activate an adjoining alley, the staff report states;

— $5,000 for Phillip Ashley Chocolates, 1200 Madison. The business has drawn national and even international attention;

— $5,000 for Winfield’s Shoes & Accessories, 2 S. Main. Winfield’s has been a key provider of men’s apparel and shoes in the Downtown core for 13 years, the staff report states;

— $5,000 for Bar Ware, 276 S. Front. A new business, Bar Ware already has become a “much-loved craft cocktail bar and neighborhood restaurant,” the staff report states;

— $5,000 for Puck Food Hall, 409 S. Main. This key amenity for the South Main neighborhood provides a place where local businesses can offer food options “in a collective setting,” the staff report states;

— $5,000 for The Green Beetle, 325 S. Main. Opened in 1939, the business is considered one of the city’s oldest taverns;

— $7,500 for Felicia Suzanne’s, 80 Monroe. Part of Downtown for nearly 20 years, the restaurant “is a top destination for fine dining,” the staff report states;

— $7,500 for South of Beale (SOB), 361 S. Main. The restaurant has operated in the heart of the South Main retail area for 11 years, and the owner is making a substantial investment next door to improve a blighted property;

— $7,500 for Bardog Tavern, 73 Monroe. Bardog has been a fixture in the Downtown core for 12 years and offers a neighborhood bar and “elevated” gastropub food, the staff report states;

— And $7,500 for City Market, 66 S. Main. The business has offered hot and freshly prepared food for 10 years.

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Downtown Memphis Commission Center City Development Corp. COVID-19 small business
Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey retired in January as a business reporter at The Daily Memphian, and after 40 years in journalism. A Tupelo, Mississippi, native, he graduated from Mississippi State University. He has lived in Midtown for 36 years.


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