WEST OAKLAND, Calif. — A group seeking to open a community-oriented market in a food desert here hopes to raise one-third of the funds needed to open the store from the community itself, according to Co.Exist, a Northern California blog site.
Brahm Ahmadi, founder and chief executive officer of People's Community Market, said his group has obtained a promise for two-thirds of its $3.6 million budget from California FreshWorks, a public-private partnership loan fund created to bring grocery stores and other forms of healthy food retail and distribution to communities that do not have them. However, FreshWorks will make the loan only if the group can raise the balance of $1.2 million first.
Having been unsuccessful in attracting private investors, Ahmadi said he hopes to raise the money via a direct public offering to the area's residents. He said he has already raised $200,000 from a large donor base, "but the direct public offering permit from the state is good for a year, so [we] have a bit of time to collect the rest of the money," he said on the blog. "Our thinking is that, if we can make significant progress and show momentum, a number of angel [investors] in a wait-and-see position will come in and help close it out."
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