Times staff report
One week after the City Council approved a plan to set aside $1 million to support small businesses, the Birmingham Strong fund is now open for applications.
The small business emergency loan fund is designed to provide zero-interest, 180-day loans to small businesses (less than 50 employees) of no more than $25,000 (with an average loan size of $10,000) to prevent staff reductions and offset losses related to COVID-19.
The deadline for the first round of applications is 11:59 PM CDT March 27. Officials say a second round of applications could open if funds are available.
Businesses will be notified on April 3 if their loan application was approved or rejected. Loan documents will be signed and checks disbursed from April 6 to 15.
In addition to the council’s $1 million, the city identified an additional $200,000 for the fund.
The city has 5,997 small businesses with an estimated 47,000 workers and the goal is to provide stability for the small business owners, their workers and their families during the economic fallout from the pandemic, he said. Some businesses have temporarily closed, some have canceled or postponed revenue generating events and many have lost customers.
For additional updates from the city about COVID-19, visit www.birminghamal.gov/coronavirus or text BHMCOVID to 888-777. A Spanish language update system is available by texting BHMCOVID19 to 888-777.