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Magic City Match to Provide Support for 20 Birmingham Black Businesses  

Kenya Staples, Dear Sunday Skincare


REV Birmingham this week announced the first round of Black business owners who will receive funding and professional services through its Magic City Match program powered by Prosper.

“In our second year of Magic City Match, the response from applicants and the strong support we’ve garnered highlights the need for this program in the Birmingham small business ecosystem,” said David Fleming, CEO and President of REV Birmingham. “We are excited and honored to be able to invest in these businesses to help more Black entrepreneurs realize their dreams.”

Building upon the success of the pilot Magic City Match in 2022, The Magic City Match program has been refined to meet businesses at various stages of growth, offering grants and/or professional service funds, along with business coaching, real estate assistance, and additional support tailored to each stage of development.

“With everything learned during the pilot, I am confident that these next-round businesses will gain not just personalized resources but access to the community,” said Dee Manyama Initiatives Director at Prosper. “It cannot be overstated how much expert attention along with peer support from fellow travelers, can aid in belonging, a healthier form of competition, and feeling genuinely supported and elevated through the entrepreneurial process. Magic City Match is an amazing gateway opportunity.”

Twenty entrepreneurs were selected to receive technical assistance or grant awards valued at a total of $135,000. Selection committees chose the awardees based on strength of business plan and financial model, experience, and potential to succeed in brick-and-mortar space. Awardees must either be seeking to establish a brick-and-mortar location within the city of Birmingham or already have an established presence in the city.

Ready Stage:

Entrepreneur Track: Black entrepreneurs seeking to establish brick-and-mortar locations will receive support through the Ready Stage, which will assist entrepreneurs in hiring professional service providers, such as accountants or marketing professionals.

Crystal Mullen-Johnson, Strive Counseling Services, LLC

Keyarah Smith, Road2 Financial Freedom Inc

Hermione Carnes, Hermione Alease’s Edibles, LLC

L’Tryce Slade, Slade Land Use, Environmental, and Transportation Planning

Patricia Worford, Pat’s Prime Cleaning Services

Lensey King Jr, Electrical Maintenance & Troubleshooting LLC

Pauline Long, MedsPLUS Consulting

Dennis Echoles, D ECHOLES LLC DBA Amber’s Desserts

Wynell Gilbert, Tutor Nation Tutoring Solutions Inc.

Stacie Jones, Stacie Latrelle, LLC

Kenya Staples, Dear Sunday Skincare

Emondre Johnson, The Bark Park

Trenton Lumpkin, TRI-AURIC STUDIOS

Angel Callens, Change of Plans

CaTonya Scott, D5 Tax Services

Property Owner Track

To help prepare more storefronts for small business tenants, the Property Owner track will provide property assessments and other services.

Kathy Scarbrough, Mighty Muscles Facilities Mgt

Tim Clay, T&P Realty Ventures LLC


Grow Stage

The Grow Stage will award Black business owners with established locations through grants and funding for service providers.

Aisha Taylor, Bridge + Root

Alicia Levels-Moore, Polaris

Lemar Storey, Lifetouch Massage

Additional opportunities will be available in 2024, with Magic City Match’s Open Stage applications opening early in the year. For more information about Magic City Match and the awardees, please visit magiccitymatch.org.