What is the Equity Loan Program?
In the spring of 2017, the Oakland City Council enacted landmark cannabis legislation. Along with prioritized permitting, exemption from application and permit fees, and technical assistance, the Council determined that a loan program was needed to assist historically-marginalized cannabis operators, given the lack of personal wealth in low-income communities and federal restrictions on bank lending. The Equity Loan Program re-invests cannabis tax revenue into economic opportunities for those most impacted by the War on Drugs. Through the program, the City of Oakland seeks to reduce the costly fallout that results from economic marginalization and to contribute to a more prosperous and resilient City of Oakland for all residents. To download a detailed description of the program, click here.
Loan Program Summary
The Equity Loan Program consists of public funds and repayments will be needed to make loans to equity applicants in the future. Accordingly, loan applicants must undergo a due diligence process and loan amounts will be disbursed in the following Tiers that are designed to help loan applicants build sustainable businesses.
Tier 1 – Establish the Business. Loan amount – Up to $5,000
Tier 2 – Get Compliant. Loan amount – Up to an additional $10,000; cumulative $15,000.
Tier 3 – Open the Business. Loan amount – Up to an additional $15,000; cumulative $30,000
Tier 4 – Start Operations. Loan amount – Up to an additional $25,000; cumulative $55,000
Tier 5 – Grow the Business. Loan amount – Up to an additional $60,000; cumulative $115,000. Tier 5 is only available to businesses that are either 100% owned by equity qualified individuals or businesses that match the City’s loan amount with an equal-sized loan or grant from a third-party. The full amount of Tier 5 is only available to businesses that have previously received a $50,000 equity loan.
Tier 6–Expand the Business. Loan amount: up to an additional $35,000; cumulative $150,000. Tier 6 is only available to businesses that have previously received a $50,000 equity loan and are either 100% owned by equity-qualified individuals or businesses that match the City’s loan amount with an equal-sized loan or grant from a third-party.