The Birmingham Business Relief Fund is a community response to the needs of Birmingham’s small businesses affected by unrest that occurred in downtown Birmingham the night of Sunday, May 31, 2020. The fund is a collaborative effort between the City of Birmingham, the Birmingham Business Alliance, REV Birmingham, Urban Impact and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.
“Many businesses were already suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these funds will assist businesses as they rebuild, repair and renew their operations,” said Ivan Holloway, Executive Director at Urban Impact. “Repairing physical damage will also be an important step in focusing the public conversation on core issues of systemic racism and positive change.”
The funds echo both the City’s and REV’s commitment to small businesses.
“Our commitment to Birmingham’s small business community is unwavering and now, more than ever, they are in need of our support. The relief fund plays a key role in that effort,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin.
“So much of the national conversation in recent weeks has been about uplifting minority communities. This is our chance to put action behind those words, helping to rebuild our community and maintain our vision of making Birmingham a hub for small businesses.”
The funds will be administered by REV Birmingham and will be made in the form of grants. While all downtown businesses that sustained damage are encouraged to apply, this relief fund will prioritize:
- Small business or property owners with less than 25 employees
- Women, minority and disadvantaged owned businesses
- Affected non-profit organizations
- Businesses located in downtown Birmingham’s City Center
- Businesses headquartered in the City of Birmingham or Jefferson County
- Businesses that hold City of Birmingham business licenses
- Businesses or owners who have not had their needs met by donations from other funds or campaigns
“All of the affected businesses are important parts of the downtown community,” said David Fleming, REV Birmingham President and CEO. “The people behind these businesses need to feel the support of the community right now. We are fortunate in Birmingham to be witnessing so many people across the city coming together to build them back up – both literally and metaphorically.”
Online applications open Friday, June 5 at www.revbirmingham.org/bhamrelief/ and will be reviewed by panel comprised of representatives from each partnering organization. Grants will be awarded weekly through July 31, 2020.
Initial support for the fund came from Spire and has been bolstered by almost 200 individual and corporate donors. “We are grateful for the community support we have seen in the three days since we opened this fund,” said Holloway. “We have identified almost 60 businesses that were affected and there is a lot of work to be done to help them rebuild and prosper.” Donations to the Birmingham Business Relief Fund can be made at www.cfbham.org/covid-19-response-funds/
Apply, donate, or learn more about the Birmingham Business Relief Fund
Across Birmingham, local businesses are finding creative ways to support the city they love in a time of uncertainty. Find out how a few of them are stepping up to help.
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