Historical Black Restaurant Receives NEED Grant To Reopen

A historically black restaurant that has been in business since the 1940s has received the NEED grant to help it recover some of the losses stemming from COVID-19. Four-Way Soul Food Restaurant has been a staple since 1946, with green chairs and matching table cloths, and pictures of change-makers that have dined there remain on the wall.


The restaurant like many others has been closed since March 12th and has experienced serious hardships as a result of COVID-19, the restaurant has had its staff go from 27 to only 6, and their profits had gone down by 50% as a result of the being mostly closed due to the pandemic.

Patricia Bates Thompson, the co-owner of Four-Way Soul Restaurant spoke about the restaurant:

“We are a staple in this community and our customers want us to be here and they’re looking for us to come back. I just want to come back when it’s safe to come back.

Up until now, the restaurant has only been opened for a few hours on Friday’s to allow for pre-order pick up.

Last week, Thompson learned that she had received a $5000 Neighborhood Emergency Economic Development (NEED) grant,

About the NEED grant

The NEED Grants offers up to $10,000 to Tennessee businesses in eligible locations for support during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. Funding is intended to assist local businesses that have experienced significant losses due to the pandemic.

“Funds may be used for essential working capital such as rent or mortgage payments, payroll, supplier and vendor payments, insurance and utilities based on the budget presented with application based on the following provisions”

To be eligible for this grant applicants must be:

  • Locally-owned businesses in operation with proper licenses and permits prior to March 1, 2019, and in continuous operation through March 1, 2020
  • Must demonstrate a 25% or greater loss of revenue due to COVID-19
  • Located in, or adjacent or contiguous to a New Markets Tax Credit Qualified Census Tract within the City of Memphis
  • Annual revenue more than $25,000 and less than $1,000,000
  • Must be current on all City of Memphis and Shelby County Property Taxes or have an approved payment plan in place

If you need application details for the NEED grant, log on to GrantWatch.com and enter grant number 190884 in the keyword search. Additional COVID-19 grants are in the Coronavirus COVID-19 category. Grants for Tennessee businesses are located here.

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