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HomeEntrepreneurshipBlack Business Relief Fund Awardee #10: Oakstop

Black Business Relief Fund Awardee #10: Oakstop

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We Buy Black and SheaMoisture have teamed up to bring the culture the Black Business Relief Fund. After reviewing 3588 applications carefully, we have settled on 20 awardees, each who’ve been awarded a $5,000 grant. The 10th business is Oakstop, an excellent business that is totally worthy of this honor.

Oakstop leverages commercial real estate in gentrifying areas to empower communities of color with accessible and affordable space. Oakstop supports a variety of Black artists and businesses that otherwise, couldn’t afford to operate in the Bay Area. As a for profit business, they offer affordable workspace, event space, and arts programming to catalyze collaboration, professional development, and economic sustainability for creative entrepreneurs and small local businesses. A 100% Black owned and operated for profit business, Oakstop currently operates three locations (28,000 square feet in total) in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Oakstop supports other Black businesses and artists, with an aim of creating an economically empowered ecosystem of Black leaders. The company offers their clients large coworking spaces, private offices, and virtual office services (mail service, receptionist, etc). Oakstop is known for having the most affordable rates for coworking in the Bay Area, with memberships starting at $50/month. Their 13 meeting and event spaces are offered at affordable hourly rates to the general public and range in capacity from 10 – 300 people, with some groups often combining multiple spaces for large 500+ person conferences, typically focused on themes of social/racial justice, economic justice, or arts/culture.

Oakstop’s social impact is rooted in its ability to secure commercial real estate in pricey real estate markets and make it accessible to historically marginalized communities, who need space for social justice and economic empowerment. To further its mission, Oakstop created a nonprofit subsidiary in 2020, Oakstop Alliance. The organization focuses on proactively using their spaces and partnering with local experts to offer free events, classes, and workshops that unite and uplift the local community in the areas of business, culture, wellness, and youth. All of this great work, however, has been threatened by COVID-19. Oakstop is dedicated to serving local Black businesses, which have all but shuttered, during this pandemic. Oakstop, as a result, has seen its revenues dry up and without assistance, the road forward is murky.

Oakstop was founded by Trevor Parham, a Black artist from Oakland. The company’s walls are used to display visual art from Black artists and all of the artwork is for sale. Oakstop regularly hosts exhibits in each of their buildings, giving local Black artists a platform that otherwise, they would never have. That aspect of Oakstop’s business gives a small window into the company’s value to the community: artists and entrepreneurs depend on Oakstop to do for them what others cannot. Thanks to We Buy Black and SheaMoisture, Oakstop has been granted new life which, in turn, they will give to others.

About Post Author

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D'Juan Hopewell
D'Juan Hopewell
I care about Black Power. Period. Currently working on creating jobs and funding new startups on the South Side of Chicago and writing here and there at HopewellThought.com. Follow me @HopewellThought.
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