Grant provides loans to Tuscaloosa businesses hit by April 27 to - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Grant provides loans to Tuscaloosa businesses hit by April 27 tornado

L-R: Tuscaloosa Full Moon BBQ franchise owner Brian Ahmed and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. Source: Kelvin Reynolds L-R: Tuscaloosa Full Moon BBQ franchise owner Brian Ahmed and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. Source: Kelvin Reynolds
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

It seems fitting that Full Moon BBQ is the first business to take advantage of Tuscaloosa's Revolving Door Loan Program. The restaurant was the first to reopen along the McFarland Boulevard 15th Street corridor.

"It really opens up a lot of opportunities for us," says Brian Ahmed, owner of Full Moon's Tuscaloosa franchise. "Business hasn't been bad. This loan will help it continue growing."

"The dollars we were originally going to put towards the interest can be allocated towards advertising, to fund raising and back into the community," Ahmed said.

Those savings could towards his catering business, improving infrastructure at the business or other needs.

Ahmed is getting a $200,000 loan. It's coming from $2.5 million dollars in federal funding the city of Tuscaloosa set aside to aid businesses in its tornado zone. Current and future business in the area can apply for interest free loans ranging from $20,000 to $200,000.

"In today's tight fiscal market, lending institutions want the ability to see equity in a project. This provides that equity," Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said.

Four more businesses have applied for similar loans that add up to $1 dollars.

"So we've got a million and a half left. We do think over the next 12 to 18 months, the remaining dollars will be put back into the community," Maddox said.

There's still time for eligible businesses to apply for loans with the city by going to www.tuscaloosa.com/Government/recovery-operations.

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