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 to July 17, Mastercard will offer cardholders 20% cash back each time they use their Mastercard to spend $20 or more at participating businesses in Birmingham. A list of the participating businesses and more details are available at Mastercard.com/Birmingham.
While more than 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 area to support Black-owned businesses by shopping local.
“This is a great day for Birmingham’s Black businesses,” said Mayor Woodfin. “Our local businesses are vital to the health of our city. Our goal has always been to support and empower their success. I am thrilled that Mastercard shares our vision and has been a strong partner.”
“Mastercard is proud to be back in Birmingham and join with Mayor Woodfin and the BBRC to announce our latest effort to continue lifting up Black-owned businesses in this community,” said Salah Goss, senior vice president, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. “Our work with the City of Birmingham has ranged from partnering to provide digital tools for local entrepreneurs, to supporting the A. G. Gaston Black Business Directory, to the exciting news. At the center of all these efforts is Mastercard’s pledge to stay present in Birmingham and help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap through our $500 million ‘In Solidarity’ commitment, and we look forward to continuing this work.”
“These are exciting times in Birmingham as we prepare to serve as hosts for people from around the world. The BBRC’s staff is elated to have been given 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 that effort,” said Bob Dickerson, Executive Director, Birmingham Business Resource Center. “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 announcement, Mastercard, in collaboration with the Fearless Fund, awarded a $10,000 grant to Birmingham resident Bernadine Birdsong, owner of Michael’s Steaks and Seafood. Fearless Fund provides Black women small business owners across the country with $10,000 grants, digital tools and mentorship to help them build, protect and sustain their business through its second annual Fearless Strivers Grant Contest.
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 closing the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black Americans.
In August 2021, Mayor Woodfin and Mastercard launched the “Ascend Birmingham” program to grow Birmingham small businesses and get them connected to the digital economy. In November 2021, Mayor Woodfin, Mastercard, and Urban Impact announced the #BuyBlackBham campaign to support Black-owned businesses during the holiday season. In addition to announcement, the BBRC and Mastercard have organized the Civil Rights District Marketplace to showcase local Black-owned business, entertainers and artisans during the World Games.