In its first round of loans the Birmingham Community IMPACT Fund has approved loans for 7 businesses in the city of Birmingham, with one being in the Historic 4th Avenue Business District. In total, $79,000 was financed. The fund was launched back in November 2021. The Birmingham Community IMPACT Fund, an initiative of Urban Impact, is a unique community microloan fund designed to reduce the huge gap in financing and capital access for Black and minority businesses. The fund provides low interest loans and technical assistance to these business owners.
This is Urban Impact’s first in-house loan fund. The loan projects range from purchasing equipment to building rehabilitation. “This represents a strong start for the loan fund, and sends a message that Black businesses are here and growing,” said Ivan Holloway, Executive Director at UII. “Access to capital and technical assistance are essential for businesses to thrive, especially now as many work to sustain from the effects of the pandemic.”
Nelson Brother’s Cafe, a legacy business in the 4th Avenue Business District, has been operating for more than 70 years. “My family’s business has spent decades working to provide the best food and service possible, and with this loan we will be able to make necessary upgrades to further improve the customer experience in our restaurant.” said Antrice Nelson, owner of Nelson Brother’s Cafe.
We believe this is only the beginning for the Birmingham Community IMPACT Fund. This is a representation of what we are called to do which is to IMPACT,” said Brandon Cleveland, Chairman of the Birmingham Community IMPACT Fund Committee. “We’re in this business of impact to strengthen and grow the Birmingham small business ecosystem.”
This fund would not be possible without our sponsors who have dedicated resources to support the infrastructure and improvement of Black-owned businesses in Birmingham. A special thanks to PNC Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the City of Birmingham, and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. We also thank Operation Hope and First Horizon Bank for partnering with us to help create IMPACT!