By Mark Kelly
Small businesses in Alabama affected by the coronavirus pandemic will be supported by a new initiative announced April 7. A partnership of Bronze Valley and business accelerator program gener8tor, the Alabama Emergency Response Program will provide small businesses, startups, freelancers and nonprofits throughout the state with access to a free, weeklong webinar series. The series is designed to help identify and leverage critical resources for weathering the ongoing public health crisis.
“During this unprecedented challenge, it is vital that we support the many entrepreneurs, small businesses, startups and organizations that form the heart of our communities,” said Bronze Valley President Neill Wright. “Partnering with gener8tor on this Emergency Response Program allows us to effectively extend Bronze Valley’s network and resources to those who need it most.”
All Alabama-based businesses are invited to participate in the webinar series, which will run daily during the week of April 13-17. The series will feature experts in:
- Applying for Small Business Administration (SBA)-eligible programs.
- Accessing civic, philanthropic, state and federal emergency relief programs and resources.
- Navigating changes in employment laws.
- Awareness of mental health and wellness resources for small business owners.
In addition to the webinar series, gener8tor will host dedicated, daily one-on-one consultations for small businesses to meet digitally with business advisers. The gener8tor team will work individually with companies to address the issues small businesses are facing during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company will work with community groups interested in providing pro bono resources to support the initiative.
“We have seen firsthand the impact that entrepreneurs have on communities,” said Joe Kirgues, co-founder of gener8tor. “We hope to call on our network of mentors, investors and partners to support small business owners through this program.”
Interested businesses can register for the webinar series by visiting gener8tor.com/emergency-response-program/alabama. The registration deadline is Monday, April 13, at 9 a.m.
A turnkey platform for the creative economy, gener8tor connects entrepreneurs – including startup founders, artists and musicians with investors, universities and corporations. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, corporate programming, conferences and fellowships. The company is a nationally ranked, GOLD-tier accelerator, as ranked by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project.
Bronze Valley is a nonprofit, early-stage venture investment platform that supports high growth, innovation and technology-enabled companies created by diverse, underrepresented and underestimated founders. The mission of Bronze Valley is to provide an education-to-opportunity-to-outcome pipeline for communities that are underrepresented in technology careers and in fields where innovators will shape the future. Wright said the Emergency Response Program is an “outside the box” initiative for his organization, made necessary by the need to focus resources on the current threat to economic growth and vitality.
“It makes sense for Bronze Valley to take the lead on this, because the impacts are so pervasive,” Wright said. “This crisis underscores the interconnectedness of our economy and the need for this kind of Main Street response.”