Magic City Match launches to support Black-owned businesses—apply now

Birmingham lacks black-owned businesses despite being a majority minority city. Magic City Match helps this.
Birmingham is dedicated to seeing more Black-owned businesses thrive. (Prosper Birmingham)

Magic City Match, an initiative led by REV Birmingham and powered by the support of Prosper Birmingham, is designed to match Black-owned businesses with local brick-and-mortar spaces. To learn more about this program, what it means for our city and how you can get involved, keep scrolling.

Magic City Match gears up for its second season

Starting in 2022, Magic City Match proved to be transformative for the businesses involved, and it was no surprise that the program is back for a new season.

With program offerings for three different stages of business growth, the team behind this initiative seeks to meet people where they are.

In a release from Prosper Birmingham, President of REV Birmingham spoke on the vitality of setting Black-owned businesses up for success.

“Small businesses are essential to Birmingham’s vibrancy and economic growth, and Black entrepreneurs typically face greater barriers to success.

We are excited to strengthen Black-owned small businesses in Birmingham through the second year of Magic City Match, and we look forward to celebrating new business openings as a result of this program.”

David Fleming, President and CEO, REV Birmingham

Last year, 13 Black entrepreneurs secured a total of $450,000 in grant funds. Awardees of the 2022 Magic City Match have gone on to establish physical locations and significantly strengthen their businesses through the provided support.

How does Magic City Match work?

Applicants apply to receive grants and/or professional service funds totaling $450,000.

To be eligible, you must be seeking to establish a brick-and-mortar location within the city of Birmingham or already have an established location in Birmingham.

The Stages of Magic City Match include:

  • Ready stage
    • Entrepreneur Track: Allocates a total of $100,000 to up to 15 Black entrepreneurs seeking to establish brick-and-mortar locations.
    • Property Owner track: Provides a total of $50,000 for property assessments and other services, benefiting up to five property owners.
  • Open Stage: Serves Black business owners who have a brick-and-mortar location identified but have not yet opened their business. This stage will serve up to five small businesses, with a total budget of $250,000 for grants. 
  • Grow Stage: Awards $50,000 to up to 10 Black business owners with established locations through grants + funding for service providers.

When can I apply?

Ready to make your dreams come true, transform your business or help Birmingham thrive? It’s your lucky day—Magic City Match applications for the “Ready” and “Grow” stages are open now! Open Stage applications will open in early 2024.

Head to REV Birmingham’s website for more details + how to apply.

“Participating in Magic City Match was invaluable on my entrepreneurial journey. I was surrounded by like-minded individuals where I could acquire the essential building blocks needed to launch a successful business.”

Tish Fletcher, owner of Thrive Wellness Lounge and $25,000 Magic City Match winner

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Callie Morrison
Callie Morrison
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