Birmingham’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is collaborating to rapidly create and implement programs to support small businesses like yours that are the fabric of a vibrant economy. Together, we are triaging what feels like a tragedy for many but which will ultimately make us stronger.

We can’t walk in your shoes, but REV’s Business Growth team can— and will —walk with you. As your business coaches, we encourage you to use this time wisely, to analyze your business model, to diversify your revenue streams, to solidify your financial foundation.  

We’ve put together virtual programming to support you during this time of disaster recovery.


Communicating Reopen to Instill Consumer Confidence 

Thursday, May 14 | 10-11 a.m.
Presented by Ally Clokey, BIG Communications

As Birmingham works toward reopening, customers need to know that businesses have their customers’ safety top of mind. It’s imperative for businesses to communicate their COVID-19 protocols to instill customer confidence, which will drive spending. Ally Clokey, Senior Strategist at BIG Communications, is using robust data and strategic communications to support national brands as they navigate reopening. Join us as she shares how empathy, transparency and consistent communication are driving foot traffic patterns across the globe. Ally will help you apply best practices from national brands to your reopening communications strategy so you can instill confidence in your consumers and boost sales.

About our presenter:

Ally Clokey is a Senior Strategist at Big Communications. She contributes to client strategic planning where she focuses on analyzing industry trends and consumer perceptions to evaluate and position brands within markets. Clokey earned her marketing degree from the University of Alabama before earning her MBA and relocating to Nashville to begin her career. She returned last year to Birmingham, full of enthusiasm for the city. Ally seeks to share her expertise and utilize her talents to drive team collaboration, enhance client relationships, and deliver high impact creative solutions that resonate with consumers.


Modifying Your Staff Structure, HR Policies + Operations for Covid-19 and Beyond

Thursday, April 30 | 10-11 a.m. 
Presented by Melva Tate, Tate & Associates + Heather Russell, BMSS

Teams look different due to Covid-19 and you want to ensure you’re well-staffed, compliant and communicating policies effectively during this crisis and when the economy reopens. Attempting to comply with HR regulations, navigating layoffs and unemployment requires the right support to lead your teams through Covid-19 and beyond.

This session is light presentation and heavy Q&A. Bring your leadership, policy and operational challenges and let the HR content experts help you navigate how to be a well-prepared leader during this time of uncertainty.

About our presenters:

  • Melva Tate, PHR/CLC is President and Senior HR Consultant of Tate & Associates, LLC
    Melva manages HR Partnerships and Career Touchdown—firms offering specialized services in executive talent search, human resource consulting training and development. Her expertise includes: management and leadership, organizational development, HR policy and compliance, diversity and inclusion, nonprofit and board governance and career development. She’s been honored as BBJ’s Top 40 Under 40 and Best Minority Business.
  • Heather Russell, Manager of Talent Development and Recruitment, BMSS
    Heather has nearly 15 years of HR experience—recruiting, developing talent and HR policy compliance. Heather joined BMSS in 2018. As Manager of Talent Development and Recruitment at BMSS, Heather develops and implements strategic recruiting and human resources plans for the firm’s expanding footprint throughout Alabama.


Leading through Covid-19 + Beyond

Wednesday, April 29 | 2-3 p.m.
Presented by Dave Gray, Biso Collective

Dave Gray, former CEO of Daxko and founder of Biso Collective, has lived and worked through the last two major downturns. He was a middle manager of a Silicon Valley-based software company during the Dot-Com Crash with a front-row seat to see how his CEO navigated the crisis. Then a few years later, he was CEO of Daxko during The Great Recession. As an early adopter of the Switch District as home to Biso Collective, Dave is not only a downtown yaysayer, he embodies the community leadership to empower not only people, but places in reaching their full potential.

In this session, he will share with you the leadership lessons learned over his tenure and his perspectives on leading through crisis. You’ll gain inspiration and tangible strategies you can begin implementing immediately to position you as a stronger leader during Covid-19 and beyond.


Maximizing Digital During a Disaster

Thursday, April 16 | 9-10 a.m. 
Led by Taylor Clark, REV’s Director of Business Growth & Recruitment 

As social distancing in the wave of Covid-19 pushes customers to transition even more of their purchasing online, it’s imperative to understand the tools to support growing your web presence and commerce. In this panel discussion we’ll explore marketing strategies, tactics and tools to firm up your digital marketing foundation during a disaster and beyond.  Panelists include:

  • Emily Wood Bowron, Red Diamond Coffee and Tea
  • Jess Brown, BIG Communications
  • Michael Landes, Google


Preparing to Borrow | Session 3: Applying for a Loan

Thursday, April 9 | 1 – 2 p.m.

Session 3 of a 3-part Virtual Workshop Series Presented by TruFund and Liftfund
As with much in life, preparation is key to success. This session equips you with the required documentation to apply for a commercial loan including SBA products like the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program. You’ll receive guidance in lender communications and a better understanding of the application process and timeline.


Preparing to Borrow | Session 2: Understanding Commercial Loans

Wednesday, April 8 | 1 – 2 p.m.

Session 2 of a 3-part Virtual Workshop Series Presented by ASBDC
Obtaining capital is a key component to business growth and the commercial process is a different that personal borrowing. In Session 2, you’ll gain an understanding of how the commercial lending process works, what lending products are available during Covid-19 and beyond. You’ll come away from this session with a framework for determining which lenders and products are right for you.


Preparing to Borrow | Session 1: Assessing Your Needs

Tuesday, April 7 | 1 – 2 p.m.

Session 1 of a 3-part Virtual Workshop Series Presented by REV, Urban Impact, Sabre, and Operation Hope

Our small business community is navigating unprecedented times in the face of Covid-19. As federal, state and local resources are made available to small businesses to help rebound for this disaster, it can hard to know where to begin – particularly if you’ve never borrowed money to sustain or grow your business. These quick, one-hour sessions are intended to boost the understanding of the commercial loan process and requirements.

To figure out how to get someplace you first need to know where you are. In Session 1, together we’ll determine where you are now and identify the milestones needed to reach your goals. We will address the terminology used within the lending space, the basic financial recordkeeping required when borrowing money, and offer an introduction to the team of experts, coaches and cheerleaders you’ll need on your team now and in the future.


Retaining Your Business: Maximizing Your Customer Relationships During Disaster

Thursday, April 2 | 9-10 a.m. 

Led by Taylor Clark, REV’s Director of Business Growth & Recruitment 

Moderated By: Trevor Newberry, Newberry Consulting (and former GM of Urban Standard) 

As social distancing mandates closures, not all models lend themselves to a clear e-commerce pivot. In this panel discussion, we’ll explore how to remain engaged, top of mind and relevant with your current customer base while acquiring new ones.  

Panelists include:

  • Tiffany Martin, Ignite Cycle
  • Luan Nguyen, Wheelhouse Academy
  • Lemar Storey, Life Touch Massage


Roadmap to Resiliency: Business Planning for Our New Reality 

Wednesday, April 1 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Led by Pathway Lending 

Your business plans must adjust to our new reality, and so must our business planning course offerings. Join our friends at Pathway Lending to build your Resiliency Toolkit for the coming weeks and months. Together, we will think through how you can move your business forward despite the unknowns, disruptions and quickly changing circumstances. 

Webinar Video

Pivoting Your Model: Product Diversification and Distribution During Disaster

Tuesday, March 31 | 11 a.m. – noon 

Led by Taylor Clark Jacobson, REV’s Director of Business Growth and Recruitment 

Major economic shifts like we’re currently experiencing force entrepreneurs – large and small – to pivot their model, products and revenue streams as well as the distribution channels. In this panel discussion followed by Q &A, we’ll explore how brands we know and love have strategically approached the challenge of product diversification and distribution. 

Panelists include: 

  • Zebbie Carney, Eugene’s Hot Chicken  
  • Ace Graham, Alchemy 213
  • Nathan Pocus, Domestique Coffee


Navigating Your Commercial Lease in a Disaster 

Friday, March 27 | 9-10 a.m.

Led by Elizabeth Barbaree-Tasker, REV’s Chief Operating & Finance Officer 

In this facilitated discussion, you’ll gain perspective from property owners, brokers and small businesses about how Covid-19 is impacting their leases, lending and the future of businesses and properties. In this session you’ll gain a better understanding of how tenant and property owner relationships can be navigated during a time of economic strain.  

Panelists include: 

  • Kaitlyn Bentley, True 40 
  • John Boone, Orchestra Partners 
  • Casey Howard, Harbert Realty 


Managing Your Small Business in Times of Disaster

Thursday, March 26 | 4-5:30 p.m. 

In Partnership with Alabama SBDC’s Katherine Zobre and Operation Hope 

Using the framework Alabama Small Business Development Center’s Disaster Recovery Toolkit we will explore 10 actions you can take to improve your cash position during a time of disaster like Covid-19. A panel discussion and Q & A with REV’s Director of Business Growth Taylor Clark Jacobson, Katherine Zobre of SBDC and Damian Carson of Operation Hope will follow the presentation.  

Disaster Recovery Toolkit

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