OAKLAND (KCBS) – Some Oakland small businesses have navigated the permit process and secured loans to expand with the help of a non-profit that teaches budding entrepreneurs how to grow an idea.

Elizabeth August credited the mobile food vendor program at La Placita with getting her Guerrilla Grub Food Cart up and running.

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“It’s given us lots of support,” she said, at every stage from buying equipment to marketing and promotion.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

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The services La Placita offers fit well with the federal government’s focus on giving business owners in under-served communities access to credit, said Marie Johns, deputy director of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Johns toured La Placita on Wednesday, meeting with August and other entrepreneurs.

Yolanda Harris said she struggled with how to the bills that started piling up as she tried to open the Psalms 91 Coffeehouse. The non-profit helped her apply for a federal loan and rent equipment she needed but could not yet purchase in order to get started.

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