New businesses will be popping up in Whitehaven and Frayser over the next two years.
Communities Unlimited’s MEMShop program is at it again, helping local entrepreneurs launch ten pop-up shops, seven in Frayser and three in Whitehaven. The program’s last round of pop-up shops launched on Film Row in downtown Memphis in 2016.
Business owners get support with writing their business plans, negotiating a lease, marketing their new business and ensuring it’s success for the next 12 months. Participants can also get up to $10,000 in funding to help them kickstart their venture.
MEMShops allows entrepreneurs to dream big with lower risk and helps revitalize neighborhoods by turning blight into thriving businesses.
Photos: (LEFT) MEMShops Makeda’s Cookies located downtown (RIGHT) Southern Creed Design located on Film Row
Cynthia Terry, Communities Unlimited’s Director of Entrepreneurship, said Whitehaven and Frayser are prime locations for the MEMShops initiative.
“The city’s Memphis 3.0 plan has already identified some of the needs of those two neighborhoods, including small business ownership and blight reduction,” said Terry. “In [Whitehaven and Frayser], we also have strong partners embedded in those communities that we can partner with.”
This next wave of MEMShops is a part of a broader 3-year partnership between Communities Unlimited, United Housing Inc., River City Capital, and Hope Credit Union. The collaborative was awarded a $3 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to help the Whitehaven and Frayser communities grow small business and housing opportunities.
MEMShops has helped several businesses launch or expand in the past with hands-on and customized support, including Makeda’s Cookies, Memphis Guitar Spa and Five in One Social Club. Terry said the goal is to make the whole process less intimidating for business owners.
“We want to celebrate small business and help them grow,” said Terry.
Terry said the first two MEMShops have been selected and will open in Whitehaven in 2020. Details about the first two shops will be revealed later this month and a neighborhood celebration is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 18th in Whitehaven Plaza.
The program will launch its application process in Frayser soon. So spread the word! Your bright idea might be your neighborhood’s next business!
Got a business idea? Want to shop local? Learn more about MEMShops here.
Learn more about Communities Unlimited and their work with small businesses.