A small cash injection is available for hundreds of Memphis personal services firms weathering the pandemic.
The Black Business Association of Memphis will distribute $300 grants to entrepreneurs in four occupations: barbers, cosmetologists, massage therapists and nail technicians.
“Our goal is to get this money out to people as quickly as possible,’’ said Mark Yates, BBA chief executive.
Black Business Association of Memphis leaders include Mark Yates (top) and Roby Williams (bottom) at a time when the city is searching for ways to stabilize entrepreneurs hard hit by the pandemic. (Photo: Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal)
BBA will take online applications beginning Oct. 5 and market the program citywide and through its annual Beauty Week, a teleconference scheduled to begin Oct. 11.
The money will come from a federal grant to the city of Memphis under the CARES Act, a federal stimulus aimed to lift the economy.
City officials contacted the BBA and provided $1.2 million for the individual grants. The $300 limit and the four occupations are determined by the federal law, Yates said.
“We’ll continue to provide funds until the end of year until they are extinguished,’’ Yates said.
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BBA staff members will verify eligibility of the applicants. Eligible applicants can be open or closed for business if they have a current occupational license. Yates said grants should start to reach businesses by Oct. 19.
“Hopefully this money can help you pivot and get back in business if you had to shut down,” Yates said.
The grants can be spent on rent, business expenses and other costs such as training.
‘The pandemic has been tough on a lot of small firms,” Yates said. “Many of them have gone under. We think this can help.”
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