Press Releases

East Lake Organic Bakery Receives $75,000 Small Business Loan through Community Development Block Grant

PRESS RELEASE                                                                              May 1, 2018

Contact: Chiara Perry

Phone: 205-383-8432


BIRMINGHAM, AL – Monday marked the beginning of Small Business Week. But it’s not just one week out of the year that the Birmingham City Council — working in conjunction with Mayor Randall Woodfin’s administration – is dedicated to improving economic opportunities in all of Birmingham’s neighborhoods.

During Council meeting today, one local business owner, Antionette Neeley, who is the proprietor of Organically Yours in East Lake, received the city’s first Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Small Business Loan in the amount of $75,000. The organic bakery is located at 7627 1st Ave. North.

“We plan to educate the community and all of Birmingham about organic products and how to eat healthy,” Neeley said. “One of our distribution sites right now is Piggly Wiggly. Creating jobs is important to us and we want to be able to do that for the citizens in East Lake and Birmingham.”

Councilor Hunter Williams congratulated Neeley from the dais and offered support for her new business. “I want to thank you for your dedication to the East Lake community. What you are doing is going to transform that neighborhood in a very positive way.”

Josh Carpenter, who was recently appointed by Woodfin to head the Office of Economic Innovation and Opportunity, said the Small Business CDBG loan is designed to provide a spark for local entrepreneurs.

“It’s important to note that small businesses require access capital to get off the ground,” Carpenter said. “As Councilor John Hilliard previously noted, instead of focusing on recruiting big business all the time, we need to focus on what’s here. Growing from within is going to be a big part of what we do.”

In order for a person to be eligible to receive funding through the Small Business Loan Program Fund (SBLF) they must first complete an application and provide all supporting documents. The loan must be fully secured and must create or retain jobs to benefit low to moderate-income persons (among other criteria).

According to the program guidelines, “Applicants may be an individual, corporation, partnership or other legal entity organized or operated for profit. Applicant must demonstrate a need and/or financing gap to be eligible for financial assistance and demonstrate that receiving this assistance will create, expand, or update the business. For loans provided under the SBLF, the business must operate within the Birmingham CDBG target area. The business must commit to creating or retaining jobs that benefit low to moderate-income persons.”

 This press release is a contribution from Chiara Perry and Cody Owens in the Birmingham City Council’s Office of Public Information. For media inquiries please contact Birmingham City Council Interim Director of Public Information Chiara Perry at 205.383.8432.