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Wells Fargo Donates $2 Million to Main Street Launch in Oakland

OAKLAND POST — Wells Fargo Bank gave a $2 million grant to an Oakland-based small business lender on Monday morning, according to bank officials. The donation to Main Street Launch, described as a Community Development Financial Institution, was announced at a news conference at a small business in Oakland – McMullen Boutique at 2257 Broadway in Oakland.

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By The Oakland Post

Wells Fargo Bank gave a $2 million grant to an Oakland-based small business lender on Monday morning, according to bank officials.

The donation to Main Street Launch, described as a Community Development Financial Institution, was announced at a news conference at a small business in Oakland – McMullen Boutique at 2257 Broadway in Oakland.

Sherri McMullen, the boutique owner, spoke about the importance of small business loans, and her experience as a Main Street Launch client.

“An investment in a small business, like McMullen, is an investment in someone’s dream and in the growth of the local economy,” she said in a statement.

In an interview, McMullen noted that she had been uncomfortable attempting to get conventional funding when she decided to open her boutique. She ended up going to friends and using her savings. Eventually, she was introduced to Main Street Launch and applied for a microloan.

It made all the difference for her. Robert Lattimore, who helps provide access to capital for African American entrepreneurs at Main Street Launch,  understood small business in general, and specifically understood McMullen’s business and personal goals as a single mother trying to raise a son and maintain her Oakland roots.

“With that funding, I’ve been able to bring on people, you know, more staff management, employees who are employed in Oakland and live in Oakland. That’s also important to help my staff with their needs as well,” McMullen said.

Wells Fargo’s commitment at this time helps extend Main Street Launch’s reach. “And, (the grant) is helping support a community, it’s helping support people who are really grounded and rooted in helping the economic growth of a city that they care so much about,” McMullen said.

Lattimore,  Main Street Launch executive vice president of diverse markets, is also passionate about “small businesses in the Bay Area because small businesses are really the backbone of the economy of the United States. For example, there are about 2.85 million African-American small businesses located throughout this country. As we move toward the year 2046 the demographics of this country will change. And, it’s critically important that small businesses and particularly businesses of color are a part of a vibrant community, and by them being vibrant it will allow them to create assets, wealth, and income.”

For more information on Main Street Launch, please go to:  https://www.mainstreetlaunch.org/.

Bay City News, Internet sources contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared in the Oakland Post.

Bay Area

West Oakland Black Woman Owned Food Collective, “The Black Culinary Collective (BCC)”

“We are doing our part to change the narrative of excellence being categorized as an exception for black makers.

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   A group of Black women who own food businesses are rising from the devastation of the pandemic by sharing a commercial kitchen in West Oakland.

     The Black Culinary Collective (BCC) is led by Chef Reign Free, owner of Red Door Catering, which opened in 2006. 

    Red Door Catering has a 5,000-square-foot kitchen space.  During the pandemic Free’s catering business fell and her business was damaged during the protests.  

     Free also knew other Black chefs who didn’t have the money to rent commercial kitchen space during the pandemic.  

      And so, she applied to and received $50,000 from the Oakland Black Business Fund, which, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, is “an organization that aims to address Black entrepreneurs’ historical lack of access to capital, to help members join the collective rent-free.”

     The collective currently has four members (Teas With Meaning, Baby Bean Pie, Pound Business, and Final Sauce) and is looking for six more.  The members will share the kitchen, sell their goods to the public on-site, and collaborate on projects.  Members will also receive consultations, mentoring and advice on their food businesses.

     BCC hopes to open in August and will be located at 2925 Adeline St. Free continues to raise funds to help collective members have up to a year in the collective rent-free. 

     “It’s important for the people who work in the food and beverage industry to not only know how to cook, but to understand the history and the cultural significance of those that came before us,” Free told the Oakland Post. “We are doing our part to change the narrative of excellence being categorized as an exception for black makers. 

     “The companies that are a part of the collective have established the discipline that allows them to see their vision with clarity and purpose; having a beautiful space that supports learning, collaboration, and service allows us to continue to scale in ways that will positively affect the next generation. The more we share our gifts and talents within our community, the more our communities will thrive.”

 

     For more information, go to BlackCulinaryCollective.com

The San Francisco Chronicle, Mercury News, and Oaklandside.org were sources for this report.

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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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