On September 13, representatives of black-owned businesses from throughout the County of San Mateo attended a Black Business Summit held in East Palo Alto at the Bloomhouse Center.   

The East Palo Alto Community Archive was invited to set up an information table as well as to display some of its collections.

‘’We were very happy to set up an information table in addition to a visual display of some of our archive collections,” said Sharifa Wilson, EPACA’s Executive Director who was accompanied by the EPACA board co-chair, Omowale Satterwhite.

The well-attended event was co-hosted by the locally-based Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center and the San Mateo Small Business Development Center.

“As for every event, when we set up an information table, we add to our ever-growing pool of potential interviewees and archive donors,” Ms Wilson noted, “And of course we make our existence known to all who attend,” she added.

The Summit hosted a panel discussion between Chris Norton, the District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in the San Francisco District and Claire Mack, a City of San Mateo business owner and former mayor of the City of San Mateo. 

EPACA currently has no information about the first Black business in East Palo Alto’s history, but with Blacks increasing in population in the 1950’s, the first black businesses would certainly have been established around that time.

San Mateo County, in 1870, had a population of approximately 6,600 according to census records, but by 1920, its population had grown to approximately 37,000.