Quality Jobs Fund Gives $3.2 Million For Oakland Small Businesses


Chef Rashad Armstead discusses the origin of his business, Crave BBQ, at a press conference announcing a $3.2 million investment from the Quality Jobs Fund to Pacific Community Ventures on May 3 to support Bay Area small businesses. Photo by Sarah Carpenter.

The Quality Jobs Fund has invested $3.2 million in Pacific Community Ventures (PCV), a group that supports Bay Area small businesses.

“It’s an investment that’s close to home,” said Greg Seibly, president and chief executive officer of Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco—the company that seeded the Quality Jobs Fund with a $100 million charitable donation.
Rep. Barbara Lee, who spoke at the press conference announcing the fund, said she was pleased with this investment.

“We must place small business owners at the front of our economic growth plans, and initiatives such as this one…can provide small businesses—especially women- and minority-owned businesses—with the support needed to grow and thrive,” she said.

The Quality Jobs Fund is administered by the New World Foundation. One of the many businesses benefitting from this fund is Crave BBQ in Oakland. Chef Rashad Armstead was homeless in 2016 when he opened the restaurant with $908—first as a pop-up restaurant, and soon to be at 2608 Market St.

Armstead plans to hire several new employees and provide them with “quality jobs.” PCV defines a quality job by not only the income the job provides, but also the benefits, stability, and potential for upward mobility.

“As small business owners, we can’t just look at where we’re at now, we also have to look at the future,” Armstead said. “You have to hire good people—they are an investment into your future business, so you won’t always have to be a small business.”

Mary Jo Cook, president and chief executive officer of PCV, said that the PCV toolkit provides examples, resources, and advice to help small business owners create jobs that attract employees. “We can’t just say ‘hey small businesses, create quality jobs,’” she said. “You have to give them tools and examples and role models to show them how to do this.”


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