Magic City Match is an initiative led by REV Birmingham and powered by Prosper to match Black-owned businesses with Birmingham brick-and-mortar spaces where they can thrive. After a successful pilot program in 2022, Magic City Match has been refined for a new season to meet business owners where they are, with custom program offerings for three different stages of business growth. 

Qualifying businesses for all stages of the program must be majority-owned by entrepreneurs who identify as Black American Descendants of Slavery. Learn more about last year’s winners, here

The application round for Magic City Match is now CLOSED. However, we have exciting plans for additional rounds in the near future. Keep an eye on this webpage for the latest updates as the Open stage is set to kick off in February 2024.  In the meantime, we encourage you to reach out to REV for more information about REV Biz Growth services at magiccitymatch@revbirmingham.org

(Pictured above – Tish Fletcher, 2022 Magic City Match Awardee)

What stage is my business?

Stage 1: Ready

If you are a Black entrepreneur who…  

  • Owns a for-profit business that is not yet located in a brick-and-mortar space; 
  • Has been in business for at least one year; 
  • Has generated verifiable business revenue within the last twelve months; and 
  • Desires to open in a brick-and-mortar location within the Birmingham city limits in the next 6-24 months 

… Apply for Magic City Match’s Ready Stage Entrepreneur Track! The Ready Stage Entrepreneur Track will award a total of $100,000 to up to 15 entrepreneurs (approximately $5,000 – $10,000 value per entrepreneur) to pay professional service providers, including accountants, marketing professionals, lawyers, and more. Ready Stage winners also receive free business coaching, real estate assistance, and financial education to ready them for brick-and-mortar success. Applications are open from September 15, 2023 to October 15, 2023. 

Applications are closed.

OR 

If you are a Black property owner with: 

A vacant or underutilized commercial property within the City of Birmingham that is up to date on taxes and water bills and does not have any unresolved summons/citations from the Birmingham Environmental Court 

…Apply for Magic City Match’s Ready Stage Property Owner Track! The Ready Stage Property Owner Track will award a total of $50,000 to up to 5 property owners (approximately $10,000 value per property owner) for property assessments, surveys, title searches, and appraisals. Property owners will also receive market analysis, resources to help draft a lease and identify potential tenants, and connections to a financial partner to discuss lending options for renovation. Applications are open from September 15, 2023 to October 15, 2023.

Applications are closed.

(Pictured – Jay Johnson, 2022 Magic City Match Awardee)

Stage 2: Open

If you are a Black business owner with a brick-and-mortar space identified, but you need additional funding to open your business, apply for the Open Stage.  

In order to qualify for the Open Stage, applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • Owner of a for-profit business that has not yet opened in a brick-and-mortar space 
  • Brick-and-mortar space identified within the City of Birmingham, with a letter of intent or contract 
  • Must be able to upload a project plan for business opening with a fully loaded project budget AND a business plan or pitch deck complete with financial projections 
  • Business must be able to demonstrate capital readiness 

The Open Stage will award a total of $250,000 in grants to up to 5 small businesses. Open Stage winners also receive connections to lending partners if needed and PR support for the business opening. Applications will open in February 2024. 

Stage 3: Grow

If you are a Black business owner who has…  

  • A business located in a brick-and-mortar space in the city of Birmingham that has been open for at least one year 
  • The ability to share two years of business tax returns to demonstrate capital readiness 
  • Plans to sustain and/or grow your business over the next 3 years; and  
  • A need for small grant funding or assistance from professional service providers to achieve your goals 

… Apply for Magic City Match’s Grow Stage! The Grow Stage will award a total of $50,000 to up to 10 businesses either for small grants (maximum 20% of the project cost, up to $5,000), or funding for professional service providers. Grow Stage winners also receive business coaching from REV Birmingham and financial education and connection to lending resources as needed. Applications are open from September 15, 2023 to October 15, 2023. 

Applications are closed.

Need more information?

If you still have questions or want to learn more, sign up for our office hours or email magicitymatch@revbirmingham.org. For full program details check out the guidelines below.  

OFFICE HOURS

COMPLETE GUIDELINES