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Relief Fund Set Up to Help Small Businesses in Birmingham

The California Fashion Mall sustained fire damage after unrest in downtown Birmingham on Sunday. (Marvin Gentry, For The Birmingham Times)

The Birmingham Business Relief Fund is a community response to the needs of small businesses affected by unrest that occurred in downtown last Sunday.

Nearly 60 businesses sustained some type of damage.

The fund is a collaborative effort between the City of Birmingham, the Birmingham Business Alliance, REV Birmingham, Urban Impact and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.

“Many businesses were already suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and these funds will assist businesses as they rebuild, repair and renew their operations,” said Ivan Holloway, Executive Director at Urban Impact. “Repairing physical damage will also be an important step in focusing the public conversation on core issues of systemic racism and positive change.”

The funds will be administered by REV Birmingham and will be made in the form of grants. While all downtown businesses that sustained damage are encouraged to apply, this relief fund will prioritize small business or property owners with less than 25 employees; women, minority and disadvantaged owned businesses and affected non-profit organizations.
Grants are also available for businesses:

  • located in downtown Birmingham’s City Center
  • headquartered in the City of Birmingham or Jefferson County
  • that hold City of Birmingham business licenses
  • that have not had their needs met by donations from other funds or campaigns

Online applications open Friday, June 5 at www.revbirmingham.com and will be reviewed by panel comprised of representatives from each partnering organization and stakeholders representing the small business community. Grants will be awarded weekly through July 31.

Initial support for the fund came from Spire and has been bolstered by almost 200 individual and corporate donors.

“We are grateful for the community support we have seen in the three days since we opened this fund,” said Holloway. “We have identified almost 60 businesses that were affected and there is a lot of work to be done to help them rebuild and prosper.”

Donations to the Birmingham Business Relief Fund can be made at www.cfbham.org/covid-19-response-funds/