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Black Chamber of Commerce Resiliency Relief Program Helps Chef Leilani Baugh

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Chef Leilani Baugh. Photo provided by Jazmyne Woffard-Jones.

When the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) failed to support many Black businesses, the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce (OAACC) got busy.

Under the leadership of their president and CEO Cathy Adams, OAACC succeeded in raising $1 million for small, local, Black-owned businesses to help them reopen and sustain operations.

On Wednesday, OAACC celebrated their success with Chef Leilani Baugh, who not only moved her eatery but changed her business model and bought new equipment.

At her Magnolia Street Wine Lounge and Kitchen over at 3443 San Pablo Ave., near the California Hotel at 35th and San Pablo Avenue, Baugh and her employees prepared 300 meals for local residents in need.

Operating in a new, re-formatted restaurant to accommodate outdoor dining and takeout orders, Baugh is partnering with Chef José Andrés whose World Central Kitchen addresses hunger for communities in need, around the world.

In that context, Baugh is grateful for the grant and considers herself “blessed to be a blessing to others.”

Baugh is among the scores of Black business owners who received a proverbial lifeline, from the Resiliency Relief program thanks to OAACC.

Present at Baugh’s opening on Wednesday, Adams thanked participating sponsors and contributors, along with acknowledging other grant recipients during the “socially-distant” community feeding day.

“The $1 million goal was achieved through support from corporations, charitable funds, private businesses and individuals throughout the greater Bay Area,” Adams said.

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