A coalition of community groups, in partnership with the city of Birmingham, has set up the Birmingham Business Relief Fund to give grants to small businesses affected by protestors’ vandalism Sunday night.
“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,” Ivan Holloway, executive director at Urban Impact, said in a statement announcing the program. “Repairing physical damage will also be an important step in focusing the public conversation on core issues of systemic racism and positive change.”
Also part of the group are the Birmingham Business Alliance, REV Birmingham and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.
Grants will be administered by REV Birmingham. While all downtown businesses that sustained damage are encouraged to apply, the relief fund will prioritize:
- Small business or property owners with fewer than 25 employees
- Women-, minority- and disadvantaged-owned businesses
- Non-profit organizations
- Businesses located in downtown Birmingham’s City Center
- Businesses headquartered in Birmingham or Jefferson County
- Businesses that hold Birmingham business licenses
- Businesses or owners who have not had their needs met by donations from other funds or campaigns.
Applications are being accepted at revbirmingham.org/bhamrelief/, and grants will be awarded weekly through July 31. Initial support for the fund came from Spire, and almost 200 individual and corporate donors have joined the effort. Donations to the Birmingham Business Relief Fund can be made at www.cfbham.org/covid-19-response-funds.