Following the latest round of awards, the Small Business Relief Fund has now disbursed $1,167,471 to local small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The partnership between the Chamber and the Community Foundation of West Alabama has assisted 267 local small businesses throughout the nine-county region.
“No other sector has been more hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis than our small businesses in Tuscaloosa,” Mayor Walt Maddox says. “It’s my hope that through the City’s $1 million investment into the Small Business Relief fund through Elevate Tuscaloosa, that the promise of tomorrow will be regained for these businesses.”
The funding, which provided immediate relief to businesses, kept some from closing their doors permanently.
“Thank you so much for help and support from the Chamber to small businesses, like myself,” says Myca Bell-Mack of Myca Mack Beauty. “It makes such a huge difference to us all. We will forever be indebted to you all for your generosity during such uncertain times.”
Barkley Garrett, Vice President for Economic Development for the Chamber, noted there is still approximately $84,000 remaining in the fund available to businesses based in the city of Tuscaloosa and urged anyone interested to apply before the July 31 deadline.
“We at the Chamber, along with our friends at the Community Foundation, are thrilled to have been able to assist so many small businesses during this difficult time,” Garrett says. “We would like to encourage anyone who has experienced a financial hardship during the pandemic to apply for the remaining City of Tuscaloosa funds over the next week and take advantage of this unique opportunity.”
"It has been a privilege for the CFWA to partner with the Chamber and the City of Tuscaloosa to help our small business community,” says Glenn Taylor, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of West Alabama. “We have a very generous, caring community and it is in times like these that we are reminded of such. We are proud of our community and glad to be a partner in the recovery."
To be eligible for funds donated under the City of Tuscaloosa’s Elevate Tuscaloosa initiative, a business must be located within the city limits of Tuscaloosa, must have experienced a financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, must have 50 or fewer full time employees as of February 29, 2020, and must be in good standing with state and local government jurisdictions. The deadline to apply is July 31.
To donate to the Small Business Relief Fund or apply, visit https://tuscaloosachamber.com/small-business-financial-assistance/.