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NHBA Taking Care of Business on Huntsville’s North Side

North Huntsville is open for business.

And the North Huntsville Business Association has opened an office and business center to help entrepreneurs and small business owners find success.

The NHBA Wall of Fame recognizes supporters of North Huntsville businesses.

The new office is at 2007 North Memorial Parkway, adjacent to HC Blake in the remodeled shopping center at the intersection with Oakwood Avenue. Among those joining NHBA President Reggie McKenzie and other officers at the office’s “soft opening” Thursday were State Rep. Laura Hall, City Councilman Devyn Keith and Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce Vice President Small Business & Events Pammie Jimmar.

“It’s important we not only identify businesses we can help, but it’s also about redevelopment and what businesses’ needs are,” said NHBA Executive Director Judy Hardin. With some 30 years of experience working with small businesses, Hardin recently retired from Raytheon as manager of Small Business Partnering. “We are here to support them, finding the means for them and collaborating.

“As businesses grow, the community will grow.”

One of the means is a Google Fiber-supported Promote the Parkway Initiative. The program aims to assist the city in attracting business along the North Memorial Parkway corridor. It includes one year of free rent to a start-up small business in North Huntsville.

Keith, who is opening the North Side Dark coffee shop in the shopping center, has been working to get needed help – financial and advisory – for the North Memorial Parkway corridor.

“This is the first example of seed money from the city,” he said. “We have to keep the public and private partnerships.

“You can’t get the location and right of way the way North Huntsville has it.”

Hall, whose district includes North Huntsville, said the redevelopment of the area is vital and that inclusion is a primary aspect of the redevelopment.

“We want to see that the inclusion is a reality,” she said. “The importance of inclusion and diversity is a benefit to all.”

Jimmar echoed Hall’s remarks on diversity and inclusion … and added another aspect.

“As a Chamber, we’re here for you,” she said. “It’s about diversity, inclusion and equity.”

Keith credited NHBA President Reggie McKenzie with being instrumental in promoting North Memorial Parkway and the need for redevelopment and opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The NHBA also unveiled its Wall of Fame recognizing Google Fiber, Redstone Federal Credit Union and the City of Huntsville as keep supporters and Walk of Fame Stars honoring Keith and former District 1 City Councilman Richard Showers Sr. for their work for North Huntsville.

“This has been a real inspiration for the community to see there is an opportunity for entrepreneurs,” said NHBA Vice President Alex Adams. “This is a star for Huntsville, particularly the north side of town.”

For more information on the North Huntsville Business Association and the Promote the Parkway Initiative, visit http://northhuntsvillebusiness.com/

Booz Allen to Award Grants for Solutions to COVID-19 Impact

Huntsville gets a chance to do what she does best: combine her creative thinking skills, her complex problem-solving expertise, and advanced technology capabilities to find ways to combat the wide-ranging negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These opportunities arise from an Innovation Fund created by the Booz Allen Foundation. The fund will award up to $1 million in grants to help nonprofits, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, innovators at colleges and universities, startup companies, and small businesses, harness the power of data, technology, and diverse intellectual capital, to improve COVID-19 relief efforts. The foundation wants to bring to the surface the most innovative solutions, while empowering individuals and small businesses behind those solutions towards development and implementation.

The two main areas of focus for the funding are finding solutions that build community resilience, while protecting vulnerable populations and frontline workers; and ways in which workers can return to work safely.

Booz Allen is looking for new technologies, new ways to collect data, a new way to develop personal protective equipment, and new social connection methods – all with the goal of eliminating the negative impact of the pandemic.

The grants will be awarded to the best ideas for creating systems, products and technologies; and finding new approaches, delivery systems, or processes.

“We are seeking the most innovative solutions to the unimaginable challenges that our world faces today as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Nancy Laben, co-founding board member of the Booz Allen Foundation. “Through the Innovation Fund, the Booz Allen Foundation seeks to empower individuals and organizations with resources to truly change the world and bring to life their brightest solutions in support of the most vulnerable among us as we navigate this unprecedented time together.”

Applications must be submitted by June 5 to be eligible and will include answers to a brief set of questions about how your solution or project will solve an urgent social problem or build community resilience in the wake of COVID-19.

Awards will be announced in July.

Nonprofits can apply for grants of up to $100,000. Individuals, teams of individuals, nonprofits and small businesses can apply for microgrants of up to $10,000. Certain eligibility requirements apply.

To start the application process, visit https://boozallenfoundation.org/innovationfund-application/.

The Booz Allen Foundation was created in 2017 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to convening diverse stakeholders to solve challenging social issues.

On April 1, the Booz Allen Foundation and Booz Allen Hamilton launched a coordinated philanthropic initiative to address pandemic-related issues, including initial giving to address the immediate needs of vulnerable local populations through the Feeding America network of food banks and community-based agencies. The launch of the Innovation Fund continues the foundation’s ongoing support for communities impacted by COVID-19.