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City Introduces Microenterprises COVID-19 related technical assistance

The city of Bessemer’s Economic and Community Development Department is providing assistance to microenterprises/entrepreneurs in the city impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The assistance programs are funded by the Community Development Block Grant CARES Act, or CDBG-CV, allocation provided to the city by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The City of Bessemer Small Business/Micro-enterprise Recovery and Resiliency program will provide technical assistance to eligible microenterprises in Bessemer that have experienced the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 with an aim of preparing, preventing and responding to the pandemic. Qualified owners will take part in a 10-week business consulting/mentoring program aimed at helping to stabilize their businesses for sustainability in a COVID-19/post COVID-19 environment.

Microenterprises, defined as businesses with five or fewer employees, who complete the program will be eligible to receive grants of up to $5,000. Grant assistance can be used to provide capital to meet commercial lease or utility payment requirements or to purchase supplies and equipment needed to operate in a COVID-19 environment. To be eligible, microenterprises must have had a current business license with the city on March 17, 2020 and must document how their business has been impacted by the pandemic. 

The program is being conducted in collaboration with Create Birmingham. An estimated 18 to 20 micro-enterprises will be assisted through the program, which will be administered in two separate cohorts.
For more information, contact Mr. Abraham Ward in the Community Development Department or Mr. Toraine Norris in the Mayor’s Office at 205-424-4060. 

A virtual town hall is scheduled for Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit http://createbirmingham.org/bessemer. A second town hall is being planned and will be announced soon. 
Note: Microenterprises which have received other forms of federal assistance, such as Payment Protection Program funds, may not be eligible to participate in this program.

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