OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Santa’s gift to Oakland, the renewed Broadway Corridor, which has created 300 new job and 30 new businesses, will be officially dedicated at 2 p.m. Thursday, December 12, in ceremonies at Pican Restaurant, 2295 Broadway, in Oakland.
The rebirth of the three-mile Broadway Corridor over the past several years is a result, in part, of an innovative initiative funded with the assistance of a $200,000 contribution from Citi Community Development.
Over the past 18 months, $4 million in small business loans have been originated. Another $11 million will be available for the continuation of the program over the next two years. Loan capital has come from a number of sources, including HUD Section 108 business loans, the SBA Community Advantage Loan Program and the Communities at Work Fund.
The Broadway Corridor is the commercial and cultural heart of the East Bay. It stretches 3.25 miles from Jack London Square on the Inner Harbor to the base of the Oakland Hills. However, the six census tracts that encompass the area are among the lowest income and most distressed in the Bay Area.
Median family incomes range from 19 percent ($19,000) to 37 percent ($25,313), of the Area Median Income. Oakland’s official unemployment rate stands at 14.4 percent. However, it is widely understood to exceed 30 percent for low-to-moderate income residents. The blue-collar manufacturing jobs which one characterized this upwardly-mobile working-class city have given way to decades of disinvestment and blight.
“The Oakland Business Development Corporation has done a tremendous job in using its loan products to create 300 jobs in a hard-hit area of the city and to drive high-impact community development along the Broadway Corridor,” said Bob Annibale, Citi Global Director of Community Development and Microfinance. “The dramatic revitalization of the Corridor has created a multiplier effect which will continue to draw new businesses to the Corridor.”
“This public/private collaboration among the City of Oakland, the OBDC, Citi, HUD, the SBA and the Communities at Work Fund is a powerful example of how small business lending has dynamically supported the City of Oakland’s economic development agenda, including job creation for low-income residents, blight elimination and economic revitalization,” said OBDC CEO Jacob Singer.