September 24, 2014



[MEMPHIS, TN] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced that Operation HOPE, a non-profit focused on improving the lives of the working poor and struggling middle class families through “financial dignity” programs, will use a new $835,910 federal investment to launch financial literacy and small business development “HOPE Inside” initiatives in Memphis and 4 other cities. The HOPE Inside initiatives consist of partnerships with financial institutions, retail stores, supermarkets, local municipalities, community-based organizations and shopping centers to provide financial literacy and credit counseling services, homeownership and foreclosure prevention programs, and small business development workshops and assistance to local citizens and entrepreneurs.

“Memphis is home to many well-qualified, high-potential minority entrepreneurs who do great work,” said Congressman Cohen. “This federal investment will help new small businesses get off the ground and create jobs, and it will also make available the tools Memphis families need to thrive and succeed in today’s economy.”
Congressman Cohen has a strong record of working to boost the Memphis economy and help minority-owned small businesses grow. His efforts have included working for years to secure funding for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Memphis. In 2012, Congressman Cohen’s hard work and persistence led to a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to start the MBDA Business Center in Memphis. The MBDA, part of the DOC, is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in America. In June, Congressman Cohen hosted his annual Procurement Fair to help Memphis-area businesses better compete, and the Congressman also announced that the MBDA Business Center in Memphis had won an additional $250,000 of federal funding in April. More information about that funding can be found here.
A HOPE Inside location is currently open at the SunTrust Bank on Monroe Avenue and will open soon at the First Tennessee Bank on Union Avenue, with additional locations expected to open by the end of the year. In addition to Memphis, the federal investment announced today will be used by Operation HOPE to launch HOPE Inside initiatives in Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; and both Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida. Operation HOPE has also secured roughly $400,000 in funding from the private sector to support their initiatives in Memphis over the next two years. For more information, please contact

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