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Birmingham taking applications for newly formed Small Business Council


The City of Birmingham’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity has opened the application process for small business owners, start-up founders, ecosystem builders and small business supporters to serve on a new, 21-person Small Business Council. The SBC will act as an advisory group to Mayor Randall Woodfin and IEO, recommending actions, policies and programs to facilitate and accelerate the city’s support of small businesses.

Interested applicants should complete a form at www.birminghamal.gov/smallbiz by Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Applicants are required to upload a resume and two letters of recommendation. All questions should be sent to smallbiz@birminghamal.gov. (The original deadline of Jan. 11 has been extended to Jan. 23.)

The SBC, which will meet quarterly, will be led by Tene Dolphin, who’s the deputy director for IEO’s Business Diversity and Opportunity. Sub-committees will meet as needed to address emerging issue areas and produce responsive recommendations/reports. The full SBC will submit recommendations to IEO and Woodfin, when appropriate, throughout the year.

The SBC will focus on guiding the city’s support of women-, minority- and disadvantaged business enterprises so that Birmingham can become the premier destination for women and minorities to launch and sustain their businesses.

“Entrepreneurs have a vision and a voice,’’ said Woodfin. “What this council will do will help expand what our small businesses, especially women-, minority- and disadvantaged businesses, are doing to help shape the quality of life right here in the Magic City. Birmingham’s small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and the backbone of our city, and we look forward to hearing from them.’’

The 21 members of the SBC will be appointed to serve two-year terms. Fifty percent of the SBC must be minority and women business owners. Also, 75 percent of the SBC must be Birmingham residents. Preference will be given to individuals whose main place of work is within Birmingham city limits. Members of the council will be selected to represent diverse business enterprises, including professional services, contractors, lifestyle businesses, start-ups and legacy businesses.