February is Black History Month! We are honoring this nationwide celebration by spotlighting the stories of Downtown’s Black history and history in the making. We invite you to join us by amplifying the Black-owned businesses and contributions that Black Richmondites that we will be sharing in this weekly newsletter and on our social media.
Black History is American History. We hope you enjoy the stories and voices of your community!
Main Street Presents
Our Black History Month Spotlight
Downtown’s first Black-owned business, Cotright Grocery, was established in 1954 by Otis Cotright and Willie Mae Gilbert Cotright. Originally located at 5th and Barrett Avenue, the store later moved to 4th and Nevin Avenue and carried high quality fresh groceries, as well as canned goods and household items. Otis was very active in the community, organizing an ‘unofficial’ Black Chamber of Commerce, establishing a network of Black businesses to support each other and the next generation of entrepreneurs, and serving as councilmember. Willie Mae was an active partner in running the grocery store and member of the NAACP, Richmond Chapter.
The Rich Clothing Company is an example of Richmond’s own Black history in the making. Founder and co-owned Osaretin Ogbebor has deep roots in Richmond. His family has lived and played an active role in the community for generations. Osaretin’s pride in his hometown and purpose to contribute to the revitalization of downtown are the bedrock of this family-owned business. Visit their online store for unique apparel featuring original designs that tell and uplift the stories of our Downtown’s people, places, and spaces.
Want more Richmond Black History? Check out:
- Richmond Museum of History & SS Red Oak Victory
- Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park
- To Place our Deeds: The African American Community in Richmond, California, 1910-1963
- Rosie the Riveter World War II American Homefront Oral History Project: Willie Mae Cotright
Free Square E-commerce Program
Make your E-commerce site your top business New Years Resolution.
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Guides & Resources
California COVID19 Small Business Relief Grant – Round 2
What: Micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions. Funds are administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA); applications are processed by Lendistry.
Accepting Applications: February 2 – 8, 2021 (2nd and final round)
Note for Round 1 Applicants: Applicants who submitted their application and submitted all documentation in the first round do not need to reapply; qualified applications will be automatically rolled over into the next funding round for consideration.
Get Help: Tips for Applicants, On-Demand Webinars, Upcoming Free Webinars
*Pro Tip* We highly recommend that you Preview the Application and review the Application Guidance so that you can complete your application in one session.
Top COVID19 Resources for Small Business & Residents
- LATEST HEALTH ORDER January 25 Stay-At-Home Order & Face Covering Rules
- GET TESTED FREE COVID Testing for All County Residents Call 1 (844) 421-0804
- Richmond Cares Hotline Call (510) 620-6700, Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm
For Small Businesses
- DON’T MISS January 29 Small Business Mailer
- NEW GRANTS California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, Paycheck Protection Program
- GET LOCAL HELP COVID-19 Navigation Call Center: 1 (833) 320-1919, Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm
Section Spotlight: COVID19 Testing & Vaccinations And Healthcare & Mental Health Services