Memphis/ Retail & Industry
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Published on April 20, 2024
Memphis Small Businesses Get $1M Boost from EDGE for Crime Prevention EffortsSource: Google Street View

In an effort to combat the rising tide of crime against businesses in Memphis, the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County (EDGE) has swung into action with a financial lifeline. As reported by The Commercial Appeal, a fresh initiative, the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), was given the green light by EDGE this Wednesday. The campaign will pump $1 million into aiding small businesses in high-crime zones to improve their safety measures.

This development comes on the heels of a series of break-ins, with at least seven businesses facing the brunt of theft and vandalism in the Mount Moriah area. According to a segment by WREG, the Memphis Police pointed out that the thefts included electronics like laptops and televisions. While the windows of the American Deli on East Shelby Drive shattered by gunfire, two people were injured. Business owners, burdened with the cost of repairs and the need for improved security, which could run them thousands of dollars, have been presented with a glimmer of hope in form of the new funds.

Speaking with The Commercial Appeal, Joann Massey, EDGE vice president of operations, highlighted the campaign's dedication to aiding the local business community. "This initiative underscores our unwavering commitment to innovation, resilience, and the belief that every small business deserves the chance to thrive," she said. In a practical sense, the CPTED program plans to allocate up to $250,000 annually over four years, offering grants capped at $25,000 to cover infrastructure costs aimed at improving safety measures like lighting and security cameras.

Reflecting the shared concern of city officials for public security, the initiative is a response to the call from within the city and Mayor Paul Young administration's safety promotion efforts. As businesses grappling with the aftermath of criminal activities breathe a sigh of relief, EDGE has demonstrated that, by reinforcing the physical security aspect of small enterprises, a preemptive step against crime can be critically effective, reported AllSides. With these measures in place, Memphis small businesses may soon find their footing on safer ground.