BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Black business owners in Birmingham are being presented with a new opportunity. The Magic City Match Grant program was designed specifically to aid the African American community and better Birmingham as a whole.

For black business owners, this is the chance to claim thousands of dollars in grant money to better their business. Prosper Birmingham, REV Birmingham, and Ignite are partnering together to try and make a difference.

“Access to capital has been a huge barrier to black-owned businesses all across the country, especially here in Birmingham. To have an opportunity to get 200 dollars and upwards of 100,000 dollars is huge. That money doesn’t go on your balance sheet. It’s not something you have to pay back. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity,” said Managing Director of Sabre Finances Reginald Smith.

It’s an opportunity that will only exist until March 4, then 25 finalists will be selected to go through a business boot camp of sort where Smith and others will offer fiscal guidance and provide connections to help the business grow. Ignite Alabama’s Executive Director Torin Darling Brazzle stressed that dozens will apply and all 25 finalists will walk away with at least $2,000. However, some will be walking away with even more.

“Thirteen will be selected and this will literally be a game-changer for them; 10 of those people will be deemed third place winners and all 10 of them will get 25,000 dollars each. Two of them will be second place, they will get 50,000 dollars each, and one of them will be deemed first place, grand prize and they will get 100,000 dollars,” said Brazzle.

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That money wouldn’t only boost that business, but it will also boost the city’s revitalization efforts.

David Fleming is the President and CEO of REV Birmingham and says this is about leveling the playing field and allowing all businesses to help boost the city.

“As our city grows and revitalizes we want to make sure the black businesses have the opportunity to grow along with it and contribute to the revitalization and be a part of that story,” says Fleming.

The groups stress this is the pilot program and that they are interested in doing another program to benefit businesses moving forward.

Again, the deadline is March 4 and the application can be found, here.

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