Barbers benefiting from $2,000 county grant for COVID relief

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A month after Shelby County officials announced the Our Beautiful Comeback grant for local barbershops and personal care businesses, business owners say the $2,000 grant is vital.

Commissioner Mickell Lowery announced the Our Beautiful Comeback grant in August.

“We have set aside $1 million to support 500 qualifying business owners,” Lowery said of the $2,000 grants.

Blades Barber Shop owner Charles Jackson applied right away and has received the grant.

“The grant has meant the world,” Jackson said. “It started to get expensive to sanitize the shop; the floors, the doors, the restrooms.”

In fact, Shelby County Strategic Affairs Coordinator Andre Gibson says more than 1,000 businesses have applied. Shelby County has already given out nearly 300 so far.

Gibson said in the beginning, a lot of owners had issues with the application.

“Some people needed a little help knowing how to properly fill out the form,” Gibson said.

The County held a webinar to explain the details, he said.

Impressions Salon owner Clarence Phillips hopes to get the grant. When WREG spoke with him Thursday, he had been in touch with a county representative to try to figure out the process.

“The pandemic has all but shut me down,” Phillips said. “The person I spoke to is very concerned about it and is gonna help me see it through.”

Shelby County has already given out 270 of the 500 grants, Gibson said. They’re dispersed on a first come, first serve basis.

Officials say the best way to avoid having your application rejected is to have your latest tax information.

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