BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) The Birmingham City Council passed an emergency funding plan for small businesses that are being impacted by the coronavirus outbreak Wednesday.
During the special-called council meeting Wednesday morning, councilors approved the $1.2 million emergency fund.
The Bham Strong fund, or small business emergency loan fund, will provide zero-interest, 180-day loans to small businesses that have less than 50 employees. The loan program will allow businesses to have no more than $25,000 (with an average loan size of $10,000) to prevent staff reductions and offset losses related to COVID-19.
BhamStrong is also designed to include funds from philanthropic and corporate entities.
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During the meeting, there was some heated discussion surrounding the lack of nonprofit funding. As of right now, city councilors say they are following federal guidelines. But they say nonprofit funding could be part of a later stimulus.
Also during the meeting, Birmingham City Council President William Parker invited area ministers another special-called meeting of the Birmingham City Council. In this meeting, the ministers will be given a brief presentation about the severity of the coronavirus.
Parker believes that faith leaders are an essential partner in educating both their congregations and the public at large about the severity of the virus and the need to flatten the curve.
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