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"This has been profound," said Newsom. "This has been existential. And some folks literally aren't here with us. They're not standing. They're out of business."
Newsom spent a few minutes at Beast Mode Barbershop before showing off his crust-making skills at Graffitti Pizza, both minority-owned business.
#HAPPENINGNOW @GavinNewsom in @Oakland talking support for small business post-pandemic. “We want to be there for those who are just limping along…” Says current budget has $4 billion in grants for small biz, 62 % to minority-owned #abc7now @LibbySchaaf pic.twitter.com/By8zG3z67T— Laura Anthony (@LauraAnthony7) June 17, 2021
"We are working diligently everyday to empower Black business owners to be encouraged and letting them know we are open for business baby!" said Cathy Adams, President of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce.
"What a day to reopen," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, "to come back to our incredible small businesses and especially our Black-owned small businesses."
California has committed $4 billion to grants specifically for small businesses forced to close during the pandemic, along with $6 billion in tax cuts.
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"Because when we talk about California roaring back, we can't come roaring back unless small businesses are fully back," said Newsom.
In Oakland, there's a strong awareness that for all the businesses that made it through the pandemic, there are many that did not survive.
"COVID wiped out a lot of people," said Tyranny Allen. "There are a lot of businesses that shut down, and it's important. We have to come together."