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Latest U.S. Payroll Protection Program Can Help Minority-Owned Businesses

GTCF was launched by the Emmy award-winning GIVE TV creators Gary Reeves and acclaimed actor Blair Underwood to continue the philanthropic mission of this innovative television show currently appearing on Discovery Channel (OWN).

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  With the U.S. economy struggling through the impacts of the COVID-19, Congress passed a broad Coronavirus Relief Act that went into law at the end of 2020, which included $284billion in funding for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

   These funds are now being released, providing a lifeline to businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and those who are self-employed, to get through these difficult economic times.

    PPP, first introduced in 2020 as part of the CARES Act, provides businesses with “forgivable” loans, which will not have to be paid back if funds are used as outlined by the SBA to pay wages, rent, utilities, and other specified expenses. 

     Businesses can apply for a PPP loan, whether they received funds in the first round or not. And unlike traditional loans, qualifying for this program is not based on the borrower’s credit-worthiness, and there is no collateral or personal guarantee required. To qualify, businesses needed to have been operating before Feb. 15, 2020, and be within SBA PPP size guidelines. It is available to businesses that have employees and those that don’t, including independent contractors.  It is also open to non-profit and faith-based organizations.

   Many small businesses, especially minority/women-owned,did not take advantage of the PPP during the first round.  It’s been well documented that minority-owned businesses, in particular, participated in PPP at a much lower rate than the rest of the country, and were often among the last to get PPP funds.  This, despite the fact that African-American and Latinoowned businesses were among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

   A lack of program awareness or misconceptions about eligibility were factors driving low participation.  Limited access to banks offering PPP was another primary driver cited in a study conducted by the Brookings Institute, noting a reduction in community banks serving minority communities and a higher level of underbanked business owners.

   This fact resonated with Damon Maletta, CEO of AdessoCapital, a business loan brokerage house, that has been helping businesses access capital since 2007. “During the first round, our existing clients approached us because they couldn’t find a bank that would take their application,” said Maletta. “Most banks were not equipped to process such high volumes of applications and didn’t have the capital, so they restricted applications to existing customers.”

   Recognizing the significant impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the nonprofit “Give to Change” Foundation (GTCF) is quickly ramping up efforts to break down these barriers and help small businesses, nonprofits and faith-based organizations  across all communities gain access to this program.

    GTCF was launched by the Emmy award-winning GIVE TV creators Gary Reeves and acclaimed actor Blair Underwood to continue the philanthropic mission of this innovative television show currently appearing on Discovery Channel (OWN). 

   GTCF is partnering with Adesso Capital to help provide these organizations with streamlined program information, access to a leading SBA-Certified bank, a straight-forward online application, and a PPP helpline with experts who can help applicants with any program or application questions they may have. 

  This is all available to applicants at absolutely no cost, and accessible at www.giveppp.com. There you will find more details on program eligibility, how much money your business will qualify for, and program forgiveness.

   A criticism of the PPP during the first round was that most of the funds went to large companies.  Several changes made in this round, including reduction in the maximum loan amount from $10 million to $2 million, and a set-asides for minority-owned businesses will allow funding to go further and reach those that need it most.

  However, funding is still limited and available on a first-come,first-serve basis and may be allocated before the program expires on 3/31/2020.  Therefore, small business owners are encouraged to apply right away.

For PPP program details, online application, and access to the Give/Adesso PPP Helpline, go to www.giveppp.com.

Bay Area

Good Day Cafe

Good Day Cafe is a black-owned business located in Vallejo,Ca

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 Good Day Cafe is a Black-owned cafe  located at 304 Georgia St. in Vallejo. Their hours are from 7:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Good Day Cafe serves Southern-style breakfast and lunch meals. They offer online orders, dine in, and delivery. Visit their website to learn more information https://gooddaycafevallejo.com/ and follow their instagram @gooddaycafevallejo

 

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Bay Area

Rush bowls

The perfect blend of all-natural fruits and veggies topped with delightfully crunchy, organic granola, a drizzle of honey, and your choice of fresh fruits and toppers.

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Rush bowls are the perfect blend of all-natural fruits and veggies topped with delightfully crunchy, organic granola, a drizzle of honey, and your choice of fresh fruits and toppers. Packed with nutrients and fully customizable, Rush bowls offer healthy, delicious alternatives to standard fast-casual fare. Rush bowls is open Mondays-Fridays from 10am-6pm at 350 17th Street, Oakland,CA 94619. Available for indoor dining, and delivery through GRUBHUBhttps://rushbowls.com/oakland

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Bay Area

A Deep East Oakland Based Grocery Coop is Opening

​“The community here deserves life and good health,” said Romo. “And so much of that is literally what we eat.”

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The DEEP Grocery Coop worker owners (left to right) Daniel Harris-Lucas, Jameelah Lane, Yolanda Romo and Erin Higginbotham stand at Acta Non Verba’s Youth Urban Farm Project in deep East Oakland. Photo taken by Fox Nakai in October, 2020.

The four worker owners of a new grocery store in deep East Oakland want to bring more healthy food options to the area through a cooperative model. The DEEP Grocery Coop opened for online sales on April 7. By Fall, the worker owners plan to open a storefront.

“We’re coming together for the cause of changing food access in the deep East Oakland community,” said worker owner Daniel Harris-Lucas. “We’re trying to create social change and not necessarily getting into it for profit.”

   Deep East Oakland currently has limited options for healthy food. While a large chain grocery store, Foods Co., operates in the area, its organic and fresh foods sections are limited, and the store is still several miles from where many deep East Oakland residents live.

      Deep East Oaklanders largely find themselves eating what’s most accessible: highly processed foods sold in the many liquor stores in or near their neighborhoods. Worker owners of the DEEP Grocery Coop plan to stock lots of healthy foods including fresh, local and organic vegetables and fruits.

All four DEEP Grocery Coop worker owners live in deep East Oakland and are passionate about eating healthy, which can be challenging. Worker owner Yolanda Romo drives out to Berkeley Bowl to buy her groceries. She says she never sees her neighbors there, and is saddened that she has to shop at a business in a more affluent city instead of being able to get healthy foods near her neighborhood. 

“The community here deserves life and good health,” said Romo. “And so much of that is literally what we eat.”

The DEEP Grocery Coop’s worker owners acknowledge that price is an important part of making healthy food accessible, and they want their foods to be affordable for local residents.  

     They have plans to receive grant funding that will allow those with food stamps to buy California grown produce at a 50% discount. As a small cooperative, with no boss that expects a large profit, the worker owners can focus instead on sustaining the store and themselves while keeping prices as low as they can for the community.

    They also are making connections with small local Black and Brownled farms, like Raised Roots, who find it difficult to get their products into larger chain stores.

Education is key to The DEEP Grocery Coop’s project, as the knowledge of how to eat healthy is less accessible to the largely Black and Brown population of East Oakland, and is falsely associated as only being for white people. As an example, Romo points out quinoa, a wholegrain seed that is high in protein fiber and B vitamin.

“Quinoa is a supercheap Peruvian necessity and someone branded it,” Romo said. “That branding isn’t catered to communities of color but to white people who have more choices.”

To share knowledge, worker owners have done free cooking demonstrations and informative healthy food discussions. They share knowledge about healthy foods through instagram

Their instagram account also serves as a place to educate the public about the cooperative model, which worker owners say allows them more autonomy. As they begin to sell foods online and eventually open their in-person store, they hope to serve as a model for other deep East Oakland residents who want to create businesses that better serve their community. 

“I hope this inspires others in the community to be worker owners and to make decisions and run their businesses the way they want to do it,” said Romo. “The topdown model that we see everywhere and the huge corporate chains that surround East Oakland haven’t helped.”

Decision making in the DEEP Grocery Coop will be more localized, allowing it to cater to the deep East Oakland Community. Worker owner Jameelah Lane expects the store to be full of “things that resemble East Oakland” like vibrant colors, graffiti painting and good music. She wants the store to have “culturally recognizable foods” like bean pies and tamales. 

The DEEP Grocery Coop worker owners are not the only people who helped create the store. Mandela Grocery Cooperative, a non-profit youth urban farm project called Acta Non Verba, and an organization that helps launch Bay Area Blackled cooperatives called Repaired Nation, all acted as a steering committee to help train and guide the worker owners during the projects formation.

    But, as originally planned, all those organizations have given full control to the worker owners at this point. The workerowner staff are still relatively new to each other, with the full fourperson crew not coming together until last summer. They are excited about what they have been able accomplish in such a short time and about starting to bring more healthy foods to deep East Oakland.

“We want to inspire people to be change-makers instead of waiting for it,” said Harris-Lucas. “We’ve been able to really grow something just from the common love for our community.”

Anyone throughout the Bay Area who wants to support the coop can now order food on their website: https://thedeepgrocery.coop, and arrange a curbside pickup. People can also donate to support the project through the store’s gofundme campaign.

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