Albany non-profit is finalist for Truist Foundation Inspire Award

Albany non-profit finalist for award highlighting organizations that help small businesses
Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 6:37 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - An Albany non-profit is a finalist for a prestigious award that helps local small businesses.

Albany Community Together (ACT) helps small businesses with financial assistance. WALB reports the success of this non-profit and how it will help others.

If you are a small business owner in need of financial assistance, then that is what non-profit, ACT, is designed to do. Helping these business owners land on their feet and even expand their business.

“The challenge explores how tech is being used by non-profits to adapt during kind of economic distributions, streamlining operations, and really trying to build and fortify the small business ecosystem,” Lynette Bell, Truist Foundation, said.

Non-profit ACT serves not only 38 counties in Southwest Georgia but also females, low-income families and small businesses.

“We are committed to providing access to the best of our ability for those individuals. And we do that by providing capital coaching and connections,” John Hamilton, VP of Business Lending for ACT, said.

ACT helps small businesses like the Gift Barn Boutique in Sylvester. Sheila Odom launched the business in 2013 but she needed financial help to do it. she says she couldn’t have done it otherwise.

“They were very much called you back and was in touch with you. Asking what they could do for you. It didn’t take long for the process to go through, funding was approved and I was able to finish funding,” Odom said.

Small Business owners like Odom in Sylvester say ACT was able to assist with funding when it came to building her first business.

“They have things out there where you can register to do online learning. I’ve gone back to them for a little bit of help since then and they have been wonderful,” Odom said.

The Truist Foundation Inspire Award goes to non-profits that help local business owners make their operations more lucrative. One benefit of this non-profit is that business owners can get help with cash flow.

“As a revenue-based program, it is one where the applicant business agrees to link their business bank account. So that we can look to see if there is available cash flow going throughout the business,” Hamilton said.

Odom started the process back in 2020 and she says that ACT was able to assist her even during a setback.

“It’s been really good. COVID did kind of kick us some and we are trying to still come back from that, but ACT was there through COVID and I was able to get us back on track,” Odom said.

Organizers encourage small business owners to apply for loans with ACT so that they can not only thrive but expand their businesses.