Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports will host a virtual concert Friday to raise cash that will help local businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus.

In a press release sent Tuesday, a TTS spokesperson said four area artists will perform a free concert on a live video stream Friday afternoon. Listeners tuning in can donate to a virtual tip jar, and 100 percent of the proceeds will be given to the Small Business Relief Fund, which was created by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama last month to give immediate assistance to area entrepreneurs whose businesses have been devastated by the pandemic and the shutdowns it has necessitated.

Since its creation, the SBRF has distributed more than $200,000 to small businesses in and around Tuscaloosa.

“We are so thrilled to be able to work with the Chamber to help lighten the load on our local businesses.” TTS CEO Don Staley said in the release “While we are waiting on the green light to bring events to Tuscaloosa again, we created this concept on the fly in hopes to give back to the community with a free, virtual concert plus promote returning to the Capstone once this pandemic is over!”

The virtual concert is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Friday and will feature four independent southern artists each playing an hourlong set. The lineup includes Tuscaloosa's Matt Jones, Wes Lee, J Edwards and Early James.

“I am so excited to be a part of the virtual music event," Jones said. "Music Has the ability and power to create positive emotion, it’s one we could all use more of.”

Additional information will be forthcoming including artist schedule and live stream details. Those who would like to learn more about the event can head to Visit Tuscaloosa’s Facebook event page or visittuscaloosa.com/events.

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