State of Alabama launches $200M grant program supporting small businesses, non-profits
Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday announced Revive Plus, a $200 million grant program to support small businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations in Alabama that have been adversely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Revive Plus is the second wave of funding allocated by the State of Alabama from federal CARES Act funds for these organizations with 50 or fewer employees; the program will award grants of up to $20,000 for expenses that entities have incurred due to operational interruptions caused by the pandemic and related business closures.
“As the state has rolled out over $1 billion of the CARES Act monies to the individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19, it became evident the group most overwhelmingly hurt during the pandemic were the small ‘mom and pop’ shops,” Ivey stated.
“A second round of assistance through Revive Plus will ensure that the small business owners who have borne the brunt of the downed economy can be made as whole as possible,” she continued. “As we head into the holiday season, my hope is that this will be welcome news for our businesses and help ease their burdens from what has been a very hard year.”
Alabama received approximately $1.9 billion total of CARES Act funding to respond to and mitigate the pandemic. Alabama Act 2020-199 initially designated up to $300 million of that total for individuals, businesses, non-profit and faith-based organizations directly impacted by the pandemic. After the initial $100 million for small business that was reimbursed starting in July through the Revive Alabama program, legislative leadership recently approved a second round of $200 million from allocations made to reimburse state government and from other grant programs that have ended with the full allocation unspent.
“The Revive Plus program is much needed in our small business economy,” Senate General Fund Chairman Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) commented. “I commend Governor Ivey for taking this action, recapturing unspent dollars and using a proven program to bring economic relief to our small business owners.”
Through Revive Plus, entities may receive up to $20,000 to reimburse qualifying expenses if they have not received federal assistance for the corresponding item they are claiming with the State of Alabama. The Revive Plus grant is in addition to any state of Alabama Coronavirus Relief Fund grant previously received, including the Revive Alabama Small Business, Non-Profit, Faith-Based, and Health Care Provider grants. There is no set cap on the number of entities that may be awarded a Revive Plus Grant. Grants will be awarded to qualifying applicants on a first-come-first-served basis until the funds are exhausted.
“This second round of funding for Alabama entities will provide much needed resources for our state’s economy,” Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) said. “I appreciate the governor and the Finance Department’s work to ensure we utilize these funds to the benefit of our citizens.”
Entities may access grant information and the grant application online here. The application period will open at noon on November 23 and run through noon on December 4.
“This is welcome news for small businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations that are continuing to feel the adverse effects of the Covid-19 virus,” House General Fund Chairman Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) remarked. “Time is of the essence and I urge all qualified entities to apply as soon as possible beginning Monday, November 23rd.”
According to a release from Ivey’s office, a coalition of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) of Alabama and the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association worked closely with the governor’s office to revisit the grant program after the initial round of Revive Alabama reached the $100 million cap, leading to the additional support for small businesses and other qualifying entities.
“Businesses throughout the state are working diligently to keep their employees and customers safe, all while ensuring commerce throughout Alabama continues to move,” BCA president and CEO Katie Boyd Britt said in a statement.
“Revive Plus will be essential in giving Alabama businesses access to the necessary and needed funding to keep their doors open and keep hard working Alabamians employed. Our broad coalition of businesses, associations and chambers commend Governor Ivey and her administration for putting these critical funds into the hands of businesses who need it most,” she added.
This comes after BCA on Tuesday launched the Keep Alabama Open campaign, leading a coalition of pro-jobs advocates in doing so.
Elected officials across Alabama have been quick to announce their support for this campaign.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn