Local small business owner says city PPP loan helped her stay in business during the pandemic

Impact of B'ham small business loans

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - 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.

Loving Care Group & Transportation offers non-emergency medical transportation. CEO Zakiyyah Hargrove said she has been in Birmingham since 2019, but operating for years. She said the pandemic hit her business hard because many people stopped going to the doctor.

Loving Care Group & Transportation was awarded a $95,000 loan through the city’s Paycheck Protection Program.

“It really was a life saver for us and we are very appreciative,” CEO Zakiyyah Hargrove said. “It just happened at the right time for us, because it helps us to keep moving forward and advancing as well.”

She said 60% of the loan will go to paying her seven employees. She says the rest will help keep her going with rent, utilities, insurance, and overhead.

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

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.

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