Birmingham, Alabama: Putting People First

Birmingham, AL – Today, Mayor Randall L. Woodfin joined representatives from Mastercard and the Birmingham Business Resource Center (BBRC) to announce a new campaign to support local black-owned businesses during this year’s World Games . Mayor Woodfin was also joined by LaToya Jolly of “Jolly Cakes”, a local black-owned business participating in the campaign.

From July 7-17, Mastercard will offer cardholders 20% cash back every time they use their Mastercard to spend $20 or more at participating businesses in Birmingham. A list of participating companies and more details are available at Mastercard.com/Birmingham.

While over 70% of Birmingham’s population is black, only 3% of businesses are black-owned. The campaign, launched by Mastercard in partnership with the BBRC, will encourage Birmingham residents and visitors to the area to support black-owned businesses by buying locally.

“It’s a great day for black businesses in Birmingham,” Mayor Woodfin said. “Our local businesses are essential to the health of our city. Our goal has always been to support and strengthen their success. I am delighted that Mastercard shares our vision and has been a strong partner. »

“Mastercard is proud to be back in Birmingham and to join Mayor Woodfin and the BBRC in announcing our latest effort to continue to grow Black-owned businesses in this community,” said Salah Goss, Senior Vice President , Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “Our work with the City of Birmingham ranges from partnering to provide digital tools for local entrepreneurs, to supporting the AG Gaston Black Business Directory, to today’s exciting news. Central to all of these efforts is Mastercard’s commitment to maintain a presence in Birmingham and help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap through our $500 million “In Solidarity” pledge, and we look forward to continuing this work.

“These are exciting times in Birmingham as we prepare to welcome people from all over the world. BBRC staff are delighted to have had the opportunity to ensure that opportunities to benefit from the World Games are shared with our local black-owned businesses and Mastercard has been key to this effort,” said Bob Dickerson, Executive Director, Birmingham Business Resource Centre. “I certainly don’t have the words to express how truly grateful I am to Mastercard. for what they have done and continue to do for small businesses in our community.”

As part of today’s announcement, Mastercard, in conjunction with the Fearless Fund, has awarded a $10,000 grant to Birmingham resident Bernadine Birdsong, owner of Michael’s Steaks and Seafood. Fearless Fund is providing Black women small business owners across the country with $10,000 grants, digital tools and mentorship to help them build, protect and sustain their businesses through its second annual Fearless Strivers grant competition.

Today’s announcement builds on Mastercard’s commitment to the City of Birmingham and its residents and businesses. Birmingham is one of seven cities in Mastercard’s “In Solidarity” initiative, a $500 million commitment to close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black Americans.

In August 2021, Mayor Woodfin and Mastercard launched the ‘Ascend Birmingham’ scheme to grow Birmingham’s small businesses and connect them to the digital economy. In November 2021, Mayor Woodfin, Mastercard and Urban Impact announced the #BuyBlackBham campaign to support Black-owned businesses this holiday season. In addition to today’s announcement, the BBRC and Mastercard hosted the Civil Rights District Marketplace to showcase local Black-owned businesses, artists and artisans during the World Games.

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