Oakland CARES Act: Home-Based Business Grant Program

The Oakland CARES Act Home-Based Business Grant Program distributed $500,000 in grants of $2,000 to $4,000 to home-based, for-profit businesses in Oakland.

Posted: February 4th, 2021 2:20 PM

Last Updated: March 31st, 2021 6:29 PM

Grant Program Overview

Through a $555,000 grant agreement between EWD and Working Solutions, the Oakland CARES Act Home-Based Business Grant Program distributed grants of $2,000 to $4,000 to 159 home-based, for-profit businesses in Oakland.

Home-based businesses provide essential income to many entrepreneurs who have yet to grow their business to a brick-and-mortar location.

Priority was given to home-based businesses representing a broad geographic diversity in Oakland, especially those located in low-income areas or otherwise historically vulnerable communities.

Recipient Demographics

chart showing race of the home-based business grant recipients

Of the 159 businesses that received grants, 70 percent were owned by people of color, 46 percent being Black-owned businesses and 67 percent of the grants went to businesses owned by women.

See the full demographic chart of grant recipients.


“You have no idea what a lifeline this grant is for my business – yes, it will be put to good use toward back rent, bills and needed business expenses,” shared Sandra Varner, owner of home-based business August Varner Media. She continued, “…this grant serves as a beacon of hope…”

“Thank you! Your assistance comes at a critical time as we head into this next round of COVID management and impacts," said Carroll Moore of Right Design Lab. "And I know my small business is just one of many that applied, so I’m very grateful that we were selected, and will make this money work hard to deserve this support.”

“Thank you so much! This made my day and helped me not to stress for this month,” explained Maceo Cabrera Estevez, founder of Booklandia.

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