On September 3, the City of Oakland and OFN member Working Solutions announced the disbursement of $1.375 million in emergency grants to 275 low-income small business owners in Oakland to help them weather the COVID-19 crisis, as part of the Oakland Small Business Emergency Grant Program. The grants were made in three rounds beginning in April and ending last week. The City of Oakland also recently received new Federal CARES Act dollars, and will be launching another small business grant program later this month.
The Oakland Small Business Emergency Grant Program was administered by Working Solutions, with private philanthropic dollars from the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund, as well as donations from Union Bank and many generous individual donors. Demand was overwhelming; more than 900 individual businesses applied within six days. All 275 grants went to low-income business owners, earning 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) or less.
“Working Solutions has been proud to partner with the City of Oakland to get emergency relief grants into the hands of 275 low-income small business owners quickly and efficiently,” said Sara Razavi, CEO of Working Solutions and OFN board member. “The pandemic is having a profound and devastating effect on local small businesses, and we will continue to work with our partners to provide support in any way we can.”
Read the full press release.