The Minority Women Business Assistance Program (MEBA) was approved by the CRA in 2006 to assist small business retention and creation in a target area of Downtown Orlando’s CRA boundary. It provides assistance of up to $40,000 to approved retail and service businesses to help with expenses like new capital equipment, marketing, or start-up costs.
According to CRA programming, the MEBA grant is actually a deferred loan, that charges no interest. The loan depreciates at 33 percent each year for the first two years and 34 percent for the third year. At the end of the three-year period, the loan is forgiven as long as the Grantee is in compliance with the terms and conditions of their agreement with the City.
The CRA voted to award local restaurant owners, Nick and Elaine Aiken of Nikki’s Place, Inc. (Facebook | Website), with a $25,552.17 grant that they applied for to help with “capital equipment and improvements.” Which includes:
- one six-burner stove with grill and two ovens
- two convection ovens
- installation costs
- one deep fryer
- new refrigerator motor
- tile installation in restrooms, back hall, and main dining room
- new signage for the building
- new awnings
Nikki’s Place is a popular southern restaurant in Orlando’s Parramore neighborhood [GMap] that has been open for more than 16 years. It suffered extensive damage from a fire back in March which caused the restaurant to close. The owners launched a gofundme campaign to help cover their costs but fell short of their $10,000 goal. We wrote about the campaign HERE. The Aikens are planning on reopening their restaurant early in 2016.
MEBA has awarded over $520,000 to small businesses in Parramore since it began nine years ago.
For more information on the MEBA program, or to apply, please click HERE.