More than 800 Black business owners in Birmingham applied for the inaugural Magic City Match grant program, and we are excited to share the 25 applicants who were selected by an independent committee to be part of this year’s cohort and move forward in this process!More than 800 Black business owners in Birmingham applied for the inaugural Magic City Match grant program, and we are excited to share the 25 applicants who were selected by an independent committee to be part of this year’s cohort and move forward in this process! Funded by Prosper and presented by REV Birmingham, IGNITE! Alabama and Urban Impact Inc., Magic City Match is designed to increase business competency, provide access to capital and give new market opportunities to Black business owners with brick-and-mortar locations in Birmingham.
“Birmingham is home to thousands of black men and women who aspire to build financial independence and generational wealth,” said Torin Brazzle, Executive Director of IGNITE! Alabama. “This April 4th, as we celebrate the 54th anniversary of the assassination of the great dreamer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., IGNITE! is excited to be announcing these amazing grants by way of the Magic City Match. We and our collaborative partners are proudly helping to propel this new generation of dreamers forward!”
Congratulations to the 25 Black-owned businesses selected for the inaugural Magic City Match program! Let’s take a look at this year’s cohort.
- Cameron Crummie, MDV
- Aurelia Davis, Salon Textures
- Reginald Davis
- LaTisha Fletcher, Sankofa Ventures
- Greg & Cynthia Gratton, Green Acres Cafe Downtown
- Carla Green, Kloud 9
- Joi Iman Gresham, Joi Iman
- Alisha Jiwani, Nia Benefit Corporation
- Jay Johnson, Johnson Media Group, Inc. DBA: College Prep U
- LaToya Jolly, Jolly Cakes
- Wanda & Eugene Jones, Talk of the Town Barbershop
- Alexis Kimbrough, Herban Soul Café
- Tangy King-Essex, Squeaky Clean Cleaning Company
- Matthew Mayes, Matthew Mayes Art
- Martrell McGinnis, Rid-A-Bug Pest Control and Termite
- Heather Skanes, Oasis Family Birthing Center
- Ursula Smith, Ursula Smith Dance
- Tiffany Storey, Storeyhouse Counseling & Consulting
- Theuda Tusajiwe, N’mosa Fabrics
- Jon Westbrook, Stez Eats
- Andre Williams, MADD Studios
- Lavoris Williams, L Williams and Associates
- Corey Whatley, Woodlawn Bar & Lounge
- Krystal White, Properties and Pipelines
- Dexter Young Jr., Henley & Young
This cohort of business owners will each receive $2,000 at the completion of an 8-week business academy and will go on to present their pitch to a Community Selection Committee for cash prizes:
- Ten grants up to $25,000
- Two grants up to $50,000
- One grant up to $100,000
The business academy is led by Dr. Alice Gordon Holloway, CEO of Skye Connect. In each 90-minute session, business owners will build their toolbox to achieve short-term success and long-term sustainability. Grant awards will be announced June 17, 2022.
“Every business that applied for Magic City Match, whether an entrepreneur was selected as part of the cohort or not, will have the opportunity to participate in powerful programming and get connected to additional free or low-cost resources—and we hope they will,” said Robert Emerick, REV Birmingham’s Director of Business Growth. “These programs and resources help Birmingham’s Black businesses strengthen their models and increase access to future funding and business opportunities.”
Magic City Match is funded by Prosper and presented by REV Birmingham, IGNITE! Alabama and Urban Impact Inc. Want more information?
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We are approaching the finish line for the 20th Street Refresh, which calls for a celebration – and you’re invited! The City Center Business Improvement District (BID), funded by downtown property owners, is partnering with the City of Birmingham and REV Birmingham to celebrate a refreshed Birmingham Green. Come join the party on May 20th from 4 to 8 p.m (with a special celebration happening at 6 p.m.)!