Our team at Pacific Community Ventures is excited to announce the Oakland Restorative Loan Fund – $2.5 million in no fee, zero-interest small business loans. Loans are available from $10,000 – $100,000. This special program is thanks to community investments from UCSF and the City of Oakland, with grant support from Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program, Citi Foundation, Battery Powered, and GoFundMe. This fund can help combat gentrification and displacement, and support business owners as state and federal grant programs begin to end. As with all PCV loans, there are no application fees and no minimum credit score to apply.
If you have questions or need help in a language other than English, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work with you over the phone in Spanish, Cantonese, Tagalog, or any other language you need support in.
As much as 10% of California small businesses owned by people of color have permanently closed since 2020 — and at the same time, people of color have put in the highest number of new business applications in 2021. PCV is committed to doing everything we can to support an inclusive recovery. Through September 2021, 84% of PCV’s loan capital has gone to women and/or BIPOC-owned businesses, and 85% has gone to small businesses located in economically distressed areas. Even so, more needs to be done.
“The pandemic hit our Town hard, with the economic and health crises falling hardest on BIPOC communities,” says Bulbul Gupta, President and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures. “The hesitancy to take on debt is even more heightened, but entrepreneurs are striving to keep their companies open, and they need capital — they’re still being denied by banks every day. We hope the Oakland Restorative Loan Fund can serve as a model for community investment combining private capital with philanthropy to support restorative racial and economic justice.”
PCV’s loan program is there for small businesses that have been most excluded from the traditional financial system and many SBA programs, such as Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and AAPI-owned businesses, women and LGBTQI+ business owners, returning residents, immigrants and refugees, and other low-income communities.
These are business owners like Keba Konte of Oakland’s Red Bay Coffee. They’re successful, yet can’t secure bank loans large enough to grow their businesses, and the amount of funding available from most microlenders is simply not enough. Entrepreneurs like Keba create stronger jobs and stronger communities. “”I began my entrepreneurial journey to make specialty coffee more accessible to a broader audience of underserved people while building in fair relations along the entire value stream,” Keba says.
Red Bay Coffee’s business model comes at a crucial time in Oakland’s history when working-class people — and people of color, in particular — are getting priced out of their neighborhoods. Keba hopes that by building a successful business and paying livable wages, he can allow them to stay. PCV has been proud to work with Keba and the Red Bay team for several years now.
As a lender focused on restorative capital, PCV does not require a minimum credit score to apply. This special program is only available while funding lasts.
During this initial launch of the program, we are intending the first $2.5M to reach BIPOC + AAPI-owned businesses based in the Fruitvale area, West & East Oakland, North Oakland in the Temescal Business Improvement District, and Chinatown. We’re hoping to open the program to more small businesses in neighborhoods all across Oakland as we raise more capital. If you want to help by partnering with us, or funding the expansion of the Oakland Restorative Loan Fund, contact us here.