Future Forward

Business Grant Cycle


To better assist entrepreneurs, creatives, and micro businesses, the Penny Foundation has established Future Forward – a grant fund that provides relief to black-owned businesses throughout greater Birmingham. In support of the organization’s initiative Verizon, Wells Fargo and Maurice Oliver Insurance Agency Inc./State Farm have partnered with the Foundation to provide financial assistance.


“We believe local entrepreneurs should be supported with beneficial resources,” said Penny Foundation Founder and CEO Lyord Watson. “Our focus is to continue the growth of small business ecosystems throughout greater Birmingham.”

Future Forward Grant Application



Grants are to be used for business needs and operations. Awards will be dispersed in $500 and $1,000 increments. Organizations who apply must have a dedicated checking account for the business.

The purpose of the grants is to help with loss of income due to business disruptions for public facing businesses. It will also assist with rent and utilities, debt service payments and business model pivots.



The Future Forward Business Grant Cycle will be open from February 1 – 15, 2021.

Winners will be announced March 1, 2021.


Individuals can remain up-to-date by following the Penny Foundation’s social media pages, @thepennyfdn on Facebook and @thepennyfoundation on Instagram.



Businesses will be awarded in three categories, which include businesses in the concept stage, businesses established for one to five years, as well as businesses established for more than five years.

Applicants will have the chance to share their story via written or video submissions. To apply organizations will register their business and complete the business checklist, which will be available February 1, 2021.