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Bring It to Birmingham: Mayor William Bell, Bank Leaders, Set to Announce Loan Program for Small Neighborhood Businesses

Mayor William Bell speaking at the.Birmingham-Shuttleworth International Airport Aug. 7. (Joe Songer/

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Birmingham Mayor William Bell today will  announce the launch of an initiative designed to help spur small businesses development in each of the city’s nine districts.

Bell’s “Project 9 in 9” initiative aims to bring at least one small business to each of the city’s nine districts with a goal of generating activity nearby that would spur spinoff development.

The small businesses would serve as incubators for future development. Bell has been in talks with banks about setting aside $16 million for small business loans to support the effort.

Bell has previously mentioned efforts to bring small businesses back into the city’s neighborhoods during a retreat with council members this summer. He restated that pledge Saturday when speaking during the annual Titusville Day in the southwest Birmingham neighborhood.

Some financial institutions have already created programs with similar economic development goals.

Regions Bank in 2013 established a $1 billion Alabama Economic Development Loan Pool.The program is a collaboration with the Alabama Commerce Department, which helps identify suitable candidates.

That fund in 2014 was increased to $1.5 billion.

September 8, 2014

Joseph D. Bryant | By Joseph D. Bryant |

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