The Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity Announces Winners of BOLD
The Woodfin administration’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity (IEO) has identified additional recipients for the second year of funding through the Building Opportunities for Lasting Development (BOLD) program. Nearly 30 organizations submitted applications through the process for funding community and economic development.
Recipients who have been selected and funding approved at the December 17, 2019 Birmingham City Council meeting are:
· Liftfund, Inc. will receive $120,000 to provide outreach and education for microbusinesses to women-owned, minority-owned, and disadvantaged businesses (WMDBE). LiftFund Inc. will provide microloans of up to $10,000 to WMDBE microbusinesses located within the city.
· Urban Impact, Inc., will receive $75,000 to support development activity in the Historic 4th Avenue Business District. The group will develop a strategy to market the district, fill vacant and blighted spaces and provide programs to offer predevelopment assistance and resources to property owners.
· Urban Impact, Inc. will receive $138,224 to implement strategies to market Ensley to residents, investors, business owners and visitors. The effort will showcase the community through attractive window displays, street furniture, filling vacant and blighted spaces and providing resources for merchants and property owners.
The council approved funds for additional BOLD recipients on December 3, 2019. Those recipients are:
· ADAH International, LLC will receive $50,000 to provide services to promote and accelerate trade and foreign direct investment in the city through the creation of a World Trade Center.
· Birmingham Business Alliance will receive $150,000 to attract and retain talent for existing companies and attract new businesses.
· Birmingham Business Resource Center will receive $152,431 to provide a supplier diversity program to support local women-owned, minority-owned, and disadvantaged businesses (WMDBE) poised to take advantage of key projects such as the 2021 World Games, BJCC renovation and expansion, and Birmingham Xpress bus transit system development.
· Jefferson State Community College will receive $46,087 in support of the “Women in IT” program to teach single mothers the skills needed to obtain employment. The program provides job skills training, childcare and coaching with the goal of increasing the number of women in IT.
· REV Birmingham, Inc. will receive $152,431 to provide technical assistance to small business owners in the city with a focus on WMDBEs.
· The Salvation Army will receive $50,000 to provide educational and training options that leads to employment opportunities at or above Alabama’s livable wage.
· The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham will receive $80,000 to provide programs to increase economic opportunity for women and children.
Though the BOLD program, IEO partners with local organizations that are taking innovative approaches to community and economic development. To facilitate these efforts, and in alignment with the Woodfin administration core values of accountability, transparency and effectiveness, IEO launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) for funds of up to $1,000,000 available to be allocated across seven distinct categories:
1. Commercial Revitalization District Development
2. Boosting Trade and Foreign Direct Investment
3. Young, High-Growth Firm Recruitment, Retention, and Expansion
4. Job Accessibility
5. Micro-Loans to Small Businesses
6. Technical Assistance for Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, and Disadvantaged Businesses
7. Social Innovation to Address a Pressing Community Problem
Additional recipients are expected to be submitted for city council approval in the coming weeks.