Serving Birmingham's Small Businesses for 27 Years
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Birmingham, AL 35203

Heart of BHAM

2022 Heart of BHAM Forgivable Loan Program

The City of Birmingham, through its Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity, collaborated with the Birmingham Business Resource Center (BBRC) to launch the Heart of BHAM Forgivable Loan Program as a symbolic campaign showcasing significant support to local underserved and disadvantaged businesses.


This collaboration was made possible due to the American Rescue Plan State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the federal government, received by the City of Birmingham.


Small businesses continue to recover from COVID-19

Many small businesses in Birmingham were still in rough financial shape because of the pandemic, with the effects of the pandemic hitting disproportionately hard among historically disadvantaged firms, specifically blackowned firms. The primary purpose of Heart of BHAM was to help the Birmingham small business economy recover in the aftermath of COVID19 through supportive activities that strengthen the businessesfinancial outlook and in turn promote the overall economic health in Birmingham.


The City collaborated with BBRC to implement a program involving outreach and education for local small businesses and the provision of funding up to $10,000 in financial assistance to such small businesses located within the City of Birmingham which have been detrimentally impacted by COVID19.

The Heart of BHAM Loan Program focused on uplifting businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic, and for whom significant support through existing programs has not been available. The objective of the program was to better meet the needs of local firms owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in low and moderateincome communities throughout the city of Birmingham or small businesses that service low and moderateincome communities in Birmingham.


Our Impact

Birmingham Business Resource Center (BBRC) has provided more than 1.5 billion in loans and created more than 6000 jobs since its inception in 1996, with a primary focus on being a financial resource and advocate for disadvantaged entrepreneurs and small businesses. BBRC assists entrepreneurs in every stage of business development. Through an array of technical assistance activities, including oneonone coaching, the BBRC focuses on helping businesses scale for growth. Services include providing resources to build capacity, attain new customers, and access capital. Emphasis is placed on economic empowerment and supporting historically disadvantaged businesses through diverse supplier opportunities.

The Birmingham Business Resource Center serves as a champion for minority and disadvantaged businesses. As a staple for business development in Birmingham for the past 25 years, BBRC is well-positioned to collaborate with the City and work to strengthen local small and minority businesses, as well as bolster startups through the Heart of BHAM Forgivable Loan Program, giving local entrepreneurs and small businesses access to capital and technical assistance.

*Businesses owned in part or fully by City of Birmingham staff, administration, leadership, and/or their spouses and dependents were ineligible.