The City of Birmingham awarded more than $850,000 to eight area organizations to fund innovative ways to help improve Birmingham’s economic landscape. The BOLD program, which stands for Building Opportunities for Lasting Development, provides financial support to organizations and agencies that are taking creative, evidence-based approaches to solving various community issues.
The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday approved funding for one year.
“I am thrilled to continue to support our local organizations and small businesses who work diligently to support our residents with innovative programming and resources,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. “An investment in these outstanding groups is an investment in the future of Birmingham.”
Here are amounts for each organization and its plans moving forward:
$148,500 — Rebirth Community Corporation will support small businesses with business development, mental health support, and direct services through the provision of wellness assessments and emotional and economic action plans, group mental health sessions, group business development workshops. Direct services may also be provided through stipends and grants.
$135,200 — Tech Alabama, doing business as Education Farm, will provide IT workforce training for underemployed adults and youth and ensure they have the tools and coaching they need to be successful.
$121,806 — Birthwell Partners will train new doulas and employ doulas on a contract basis to provide birth doula services to low resource families from across Birmingham. Doula services provide informational, physical, and emotional support to clients before, during, and after childbirth.
$110,000 — Birmingham Business Alliance will create a digital network of resource partners and dedicated professionals to provide support to the city’s Legacy Business Program. A legacy business is one that has been in operation for a minimum of 25 continuous years within the city of Birmingham and employs typically less than 20 employees. Legacy businesses have contributed to the historic and cultural fabric of Birmingham.
$98,450 — Diane’s Heart will provide a support system and access to financial resources for single mothers in Birmingham. The program will include professional coaching, guidance on setting goals, and educational assistance.
$84,250 — East Lake Initiative will provide micro-grants of up to $1,000 to prospective small business owners to start in-home businesses through Thrive Together (a collaboration between ELI and Serving You Ministries) and Birmingham Community Incubator. The effort will include a six-week business boot camp in collaboration with Salvation Army and Community Resource Development.
$80,800 — The Surge Project will provide workforce development for adults ages 18-35 to aid in the reduction of gun violence through a nine-week soft skills training program. Through a partnership with the National Training Institute for Healthcare Technicians, 40 individuals will have an opportunity to become certified healthcare professionals.
$75,000 — Is-Able Ministries will provide employment and job readiness services, social engagement, support groups for those dealing with depression or grief, and training in life skills and health and wellness for individuals with disabilities. $75,000.
Funding was allocated across six categories:
Small businesses: identify, organize and deliver resources for Birmingham small business owners to grow and sustain their businesses
Minority-, women- and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs): identify and address barriers for women-, minority-, and disadvantaged business enterprises within the City of Birmingham
Workforce development: develop and implement a reskilling strategy for Birmingham workers to gain upward mobility and to close the gap between employer needs and the skills our institutions produce
Overcoming barriers: improve access to education, training, or employment opportunities for Birmingham residents through innovations in transportation, childcare, and the elimination of other critical barriers like internet and computer access
Birmingham’s neighborhoods: advance economic resilience, mobility, and inclusive growth in Birmingham’s neighborhoods
Data-driven innovation: use data-driven insights and innovative approaches to advance inclusive growth potential in Birmingham.
“We are incredibly proud to partner with this year’s BOLD recipients,” said Coreata Houser, deputy director of the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity. “Each of these organizations is doing incredible work for Birmingham, and we are excited about the ways that BOLD partnerships can elevate and extend services to our residents to improve quality of life and place, which is the groundwork for advancing economic opportunity in Birmingham’s 99 neighborhoods.”
Since BOLD began, the funding program has provided $4 million to 42 organizations over the past five years. The BOLD application review includes an interdepartmental process across the City of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, and each organization receiving funds must provide updates on performance for an assessment and evaluation throughout the engagement. For more information, go to ieo.birminghamal.gov/bold/.