*UPDATE 6/30/2020 - We are now the Oakland Black Business Fund, a fiscally sponsored organization in partnership with the Alliance for Community Development, a California 501(c)(3)! Please check out our website www.oaklandblackbusinessfund.org for more information, to apply for funding for your business or to sign up to our volunteer database*
(Originally posted 6/1/2020)
“A riot is the voice of the unheard” - MLK
On May 29,2020 in Oakland,many took to the streets in rage and sorrow to protest the killing of black people by police in America . While we are tired, many of us also hear the calls to action of this moment and want to do what we can to address the injustice experienced by George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many more.
As we navigate this time, I encourage everyone to VALUE LIVES FIRST - please prioritize donating to bail out funds, legal defense funds, social justice funds and other organizations continuing the daily fight to end structural racism rooted in white supremacy. A list of priority organizations to donate to is provided below.
If you are able to do more, there are other steps we can take to support the long-term economic viability of the black community in our city. While the majority of black-owned businesses were unharmed during the most recent protests, a few received superficial damages to their store fronts, including broken glass and graffiti. Our black business community is already suffering financially as a result of COVID-19 closures and they run the risk of long-term hardships or permanent closure. Repair costs can be significant— as a point of reference, it costs about $1,400 to replace a single piece of plate glass and insurance deductibles are often even more expensive for business owners. With this in mind, we know that small amounts will go a long way for our vital small businesses during this time.
As always, I believe in the resiliency of the black community here, both in the face of racist tyranny and economic uncertainty, however it is up to us to support our own. Please join me in raising funds to be used as small grants of between $100 - $500 (depending on how much is raised) to help reimburse expenses incurred by Black-owned businesses to repair damage caused by protests. The plan is for funds to be distributed as shown below starting June 1, 2020.
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
*If you are interested in co-sponsoring this fundraising effort, helping to distribute funds and/or helping with business outreach etc. please let me know.
Glass repair and replacement
Graffiti abatement (ex. cleaning supplies, painting supplies, graffiti coating replacement)
Facade and sidewalk cleaning (ex. cleaning supplies, painting supplies, graffiti coating replacement costs, trash removal)
Who is Eligible
Ground floor black owned businesses in Oakland damaged during the May 28-31st protests
How the Funds will be Disbursed
A Google forms application will be distributed via social media and other organizations in Oakland that support black businesses. The application will open May 31, 2020 at which time final grant amounts will be determined.
Applicants will be asked to:
Provide photos of damage
Provide receipts for reimbursable costs
Funds will be disbursed on a first come first served basis
Funds will be given as direct donations
Priority Donation Organizations:
- Alex Jones
- Christopher Lu
- David M Mayeri
Organizer and beneficiary
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