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River City Capital is set to receive $1.7M grant for funding

Updated: 3 days ago

by Paula Anderson

A new partnership with the University of Memphis has allowed River City Capital, a community development financial institution (CDFI), to receive a grant to help minority and black-owned businesses with funding and technical assistance.

The funding comes from a grant awarded to the UofM under the Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Initiative (TOPI) Implementation Grant for its Growing Relational and Generational Wealth for West Tennessee Households (GROWWTH) proposal. Community LIFT, a nonprofit economic development organization, was selected as one of the seven community organizations according to a news release. RCC is an affiliate of Community LIFT.

Ron Brooks, Jr., president of River City Capital said, “Businesses will be selected through networking and other partners in Memphis to receive services.”

Ron Brooks Jr. | Photo Credit: Paula Anderson

The grant will be a loan for businesses who need capital to fund their businesses, stated Brooks.

While loans are designed to help businesses, Brooks recommends that capital be used to generate revenue. Brooks shared this example - “When purchasing restaurant equipment, it is best to buy items that will focus on making money such as more inventory or hiring a cook, not an expensive item that will not generate any money.”

The technical assistance for the grant will be based on educational workshops such as marketing, public relations, legal matters and logistics.

Establishing mentoring relationships will be another aspect of the grant to help businesses receive support and guidance during the business development process.

“Mentoring focuses on development and coaching focuses on performance,” said Brooks.

“The best business owners have mentors; they are continuing to develop and constantly getting new information and skill sets,” said Brooks.

As the program develops, there will be an evaluation component to measure the success and understand how business owners are faring.

According to Brooks, they will provide an incentive for mentors; track the growth and the progression of the mentoring relationship.

For business owners who are in different business stages, Brooks stated that exposure to programs and technical assistance will be developed to help business owners learn and comprehend before moving to the next level.

Although this is a new loan opportunity for businesses, RCC has been working with local business owners to provide funding.

Alcenia's Restaurant, a black and woman-owned business, received funding for its renovations to ‘restart’ amid the pandemic and its challenges.

RCC has relocated to the Midtown area. New and existing clients can visit the new office located at 1863 Madison near McLean.

To learn more about RCC, visit

Paula Anderson is the founder of Writing by Design Media, Inc. She can be reached at

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