Find where and how to apply for small business financial assistance in Alabama. There are free grants or low cost loans available as we as free coaching, technical support, and other resources for minority as well as women owned companies. The government, non-profits, banks, and other lenders provide funds, whether grants or loans, to help people start a company or grow their small to mid size business. Find details below.
Each agency or program will allocate some of their funding for minority owned businesses or the disadvantaged in Alabama, including Black, Latino, Veteran, Asian, immigrants and others. There are low cost loans as well as free grants being allocated to women who either (1) want to start a business or (2) who may be in business today.
Small businesses or start up companies in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery or Mobile can get help as well as residents in more rural Alabama. Each financial aid program or coaching service has their own terms, criteria, and application process in place.
List of business loans or free grants in Alabama
The list below is updated daily as the state (or lenders) issue more loans or grants. There are also year round programs, including community lenders, business development organizations and other free small business resources.
Year round resources
The city of Birmingham and Montgomery Alabama are partnering with Hope Enterprise Corporation as well as Goldman Sachs (and other companies) to help Black owned businesses in those communities. A collaborative has been formed. The assistance ranges from technical help to low cost loans, mentoring, Business Education workshops or classes and more. Read more on the Deep South Collaborative. Apply here. https://hopecu.org/deep-south-economic-mobility-collaborative/
Jefferson County and Birmingham small businesses, in particular disadvantaged ones, can get year round help from The Community Foundation. The non-profit helps minority, veteran, LGBTQ, disabled and other underserved businesses. Everything from free grants from charities to information on mentoring, loan programs, networking and more is offered. They also have a directory of grants in the Alabama region. Read more. https://www.cfbham.org/
Women owned businesses in Huntsville and Clanton Alabama can get help from the Catalyst Center for Business and Entrepreneurship. There is free assistance around coaching, marketing tips, SEO and website development, accounting, and other services that small businesses need (or entrepreneurs). There is information on how women and minorities can get government contracts, information on loan programs, and other tools. There are also business development programs for veterans, Read more. https://catalystcenter.org/
Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham is providing grants, low cost loans, and other support to Black, Minority, Women, and underserved businesses. Up to $1 million will be paid out (in total). The funds for the small businesses and startups is coming from CDFIs, non-profits, and other lenders. Small businesses can use the money to pay operating costs, invest in inventory, and other critical needs. Apply here. https://www.cfbham.org/grants/
Many banks, credit unions, and other lenders are offering PPP loans. This is government supported funding for hard hit businesses (from the pandemic). There may be financial help for Black, Latino, Immigrants, and other minority owned businesses in Alabama as well. Continue with Regions Bank funding and loan programs. https://www.regions.com/small-business/small-business-financing/paycheck-protection-program
By Jon McNamara