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Business Emergency Resources

Message from Director Massey

On behalf of the City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity & Compliance I want you all to know that our team, our partners like Startco, Greater Memphis Chamber, DMC, EpiCenter, EDGE, BBA, MAMCA and others are here to support you. Small businesses contribute to local economies by bringing growth and innovation to the community in which the business is established. 

Despite your small size, together you are a big part of the Memphis economy.

From the start of this pandemic, the Mayor’s priority has always been the health and safety of the citizens of the City of Memphis. While he and the Joint City/County Task Force are working to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and open Shelby County for business. I want to share with you that I have been appointed to a subgroup for Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Economic Recovery Task Force. I will be focusing on community outreach. Kyle Veazey, City of Memphis Deputy Chief Operating Officer, is leading a local subcommittee for reopening Shelby County to provide a plan for our economic recovery too. 

We are continuing to look at how we can assist you all with accessing resources and opportunities especially in this time of uncertainty. This includes virtual workshops on How to Bid Online with the City Of Memphis” and Understanding the SBA Lending Options. OBDC virtual workshops are posted through Eventbrite. Check back regularly for updates. Please know that the Office of Business Diversity & Compliance, Business Navigators are only an email or phone call away to provide information and walk hand in hand to advise you. You can reach them by email at or by phone at 901-636-9300.

Monday, April 13, 2020 Mayor Strickland announced 2 new micro-loan funds, Economic Hardship Emergency Loan Fund and Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund. See the announcement from Mayor Strickland here. As certified businesses with OBDC you meet one of the qualifiers for the loans. You must also have a business in the City of Memphis limits. These funds were created to fill the gap between SBA Emergency funding and other local programs loan and grant funds. You can find out more below on both the City of Memphis Loan Programs. You can also call 901-636-9300 or email Jerry Brack, Loan Administrator at

Additionally, our partners at the EDGE: Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County are offering The EDGE Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development (NEED) Grant which was created to provide relief to neighborhood-serving businesses in our city’s most distressed areas. Grants of up to $10,000 will be made to businesses located in New Markets Tax Credit Eligible Census Tracks throughout the City of Memphis that have experienced at least a 25% loss in revenue as a result of COVID-19.

Download the application here and email completed form to to initiate the process.

I am also asking you to follow the Office of Business Diversity & Compliance on social media via FB or Twitter. If you would like to email me directly, please do so at and I will get back to you within 24 hours or less during the business week.

We will get through this together.  #WeMeanBusiness.


Joann Massey

OBDC Director

City of Memphis Micro-Loan Programs

Economic Hardship Emergency Loan Fund

Loans Open

Open to all for-profit industries except, non-profit, government, religion or retail.


Loan amount range $2,000-$5,000, with no interest for 6 months

Primary residence and business located within the city of Memphis.

Less than 1 million in revenue

At least 3 years in business

Must be certified with the City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity and Compliance (OBDC)

Must complete a one-on-one consultation with an OBDC Business Navigator

Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund

Loans open Early May 2020

Must follow the HUD guidelines for compliance with small business lending.


  • Must be denied by the SBA or a SBA Lender (proof required)
  • Loan amount range $5,000-$35,000, with a delay payment for 90 days
  • Primary business located within City of Memphis distressed communities
  • At least 3 years in business
  • Must be certified with the City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity and Compliance (OBDC)
  • Must complete a one-on-one consultation with an OBDC Business Navigator and participate in ongoing financial literacy training through OBDC at least 1 class a year for the life of the loan

Check to see if your business is located in a distressed community – CLICK HERE


Economic Hardship Emergency Loan Fund Application