City’s PPP partnership with BhamStrong, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and Hope Enterprise Corporation serves 175 businesses

Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin put together a public-private partnership that protected more than 800 jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Birmingham, Ala. — More than 800 jobs at local businesses were supported as a result of a loan program put together by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and the city’s Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.

The program brought together BhamStrong, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and Hope Enterprise Corporation / Hope Credit Union (HOPE) to provide Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Since April, the program has provided $4.1 million in loans, supporting 824 jobs at 175 businesses in Birmingham.

“Many of these were small and disadvantaged businesses that had trouble getting capital in the best of times, and they were falling through the cracks of the PPP safety net program,” Mayor Woodfin said. “This partnership provided them a literal lifeline so they could keep going and keep their people working.”

Goldman Sachs provided up to $5 million for the loans, and HOPE administered the program with assistance from BhamStrong. Beyond the capital for lending, the Goldman Sachs Foundation also provided grant funding to HOPE to expand its capacity in this critical time. In addition to helping businesses through the application process, BhamStrong provided administrative support, using workers who’d lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

“This shows you what happens when the public and private sector work together, and all of us put people first,” Woodfin said. “I am so grateful to Hope Credit Union, Goldman Sachs and BhamStrong for stepping up to the plate and shoring up our small businesses at their hour of need.”

“Even in the midst of this pandemic, small businesses across Birmingham have worked tirelessly to serve their neighborhood and care for their employees,” said Margaret Anadu, Managing Director and Head of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. “In this critical time, we are proud to have played a role alongside Mayor Woodfin and HOPE in getting urgently needed funds to small businesses, especially minority-owned businesses who often face greater challenges accessing capital.”

“Far too often, businesses owned by people of color and women are denied the capital needed to survive and grow,” said Bill Bynum, Chief Executive Officer of HOPE. “HOPE’s partnership with the City of Birmingham, BhamStrong and Goldman Sachs demonstrates the type of impact people and communities should expect from the financial system.”

“BhamStrong is proud of the Birmingham Service Corps members that have worked with our partners at HOPE, the City of Birmingham, and Goldman Sachs to ensure small businesses could access essential funding during this time of crisis,” said Suzanna Fritzberg, Executive Director of BhamStrong.

The partnership with HOPE was developed in addition to an emergency loan program offered through BhamStrong. That emergency loan program — a public-private partnership proposed by the mayor and approved by the Birmingham City Council in March — made $2.4 million available for small businesses hurt by COVID-19, with half coming from the city and half coming from the private sector.

About HOPE

HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Institute) provides financial services; aggregates resources; and engages in advocacy to mitigate the extent to which factors such as race, gender, birthplace and wealth limit one’s ability to prosper. Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $2.5 billion in financing that has benefitted more than 1.5 million people in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses helps small businesses in the U.S. create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education, business support services, and access to capital. Goldman Sachs Foundation supports local community colleges and 4-year colleges in providing small business owners with a practical business education and business support services; the curriculum is developed in partnership with Babson College, the national leader in entrepreneurship education. Goldman Sachs provides capital to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and local mission-driven community-based lenders.

About BhamStrong

BhamStrong is a public-private partnership formed by the City of Birmingham, Shipt, the Altec/Styslinger Foundation and other generous supporters to address the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19 and build resilience for the future. BhamStrong operates the Birmingham Service Corps, which has placed over 300 workers in paid service opportunities since launching in April 2020.

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