Oakland Slow in Keeping Its Promise to Help Small Businesses Deal With Transit Changes

Oakland created a fund of $4 million dollars to aid small businesses affected by the construction of a new BRT line on International Blvd. So far, none of that money has been spent, though some of the funding was supposed to be spent by 2017.
April 24, 2018, 10am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Oakland is building a 9.5 mile bus rapid transit (BRT) system along International Boulevard. To accommodate small businesses along that stretch, the city set aside $4 million dollars: $2 million for consulting and $2 million for cash grants. So far none of that grant money has been awarded. "In fact, allocation of that money is at least a year behind schedule. The fund was approved in July two years ago. Half of it comes from federal money that was meant to be spent by June 2017," Eli Wirtschafter reports for KALW.

That's not for lack of interest, according to the city. Sixteen businesses are in line to get cash grants this year.

"Like the business-assistance grant program, construction on the BRT is also a year behind schedule. AC Transit has not confirmed a date for when construction will begin on Nguyen’s block," Wirtschafter reports. While the construction is not tied to the assistance program, both have yet to deliver.

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Published on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 in KALW
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