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EDGE pledges $250K for improvements to help Memphis businesses deter crime

In an effort to fight crime, the Economic Development Growth Engine Board recently approved up to $250,000 annually to fund improvements in high-crime areas.

The program is a part of a “holistic” approach to crime reduction the City of Memphis Mayor Paul Young’s administration has taken. The upgrades will feature urban and architectural designs, along with the use of the natural surrounding environment. 

The first-term mayor has made crime-reduction the priority of his administration.

“As part of our commitment to fostering economic vitality and community safety, we are proud to partner with EDGE and introduce a groundbreaking initiative that combines economic empowerment with crime prevention,” said City of Memphis Mayor Paul Young in a statement. 

“By investing in this effort, we not only spur economic development but also create safer environments that empower residents and deter criminal activity. Together, we are reshaping the narrative of our neighborhoods, turning challenges into opportunities, and building a brighter future for all.”

Eligible small businesses can apply for loans to make improvements, like lighting and camera installation, or fencing. 

EDGE approved the measure during its April 17 meeting and will fund the program for four years on an annual basis.

“CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Designs) exemplifies our dedication to innovative solutions and underscores our belief in the transformative potential of empowering local businesses,” said Dr. Joann Massey, EDGE Vice President of Operations in a statement. “This initiative underscores our unwavering commitment to innovation, resilience, and the belief that every small business deserves the chance to thrive.”

The requirements will be much like the nonprofit Inner City Economic Development (ICED) program, which allow for a maximum of $25,000 to individual businesses. ICED loans are also allotted for CPTEDs.

A memorandum of agreement will be entered into by the City of Memphis and EDGE. It will spell out the requirements and responsibilities of applicants.

Following due diligence, businesses that quality will receive funding through loans or reimbursement grants.

EDGE is the economic development agency for both the City of Memphis and Shelby County.

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