Important updates to businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations
Periodically, the City of Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department will send important updates to businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations who support them. These are just highlights of available resources. For information on all of the support programs available, please visit our Business & Worker Resource web page.
Take the Re-opening & Recovery Survey
To help the City gauge COVID-19 impacts to your business and what resources would help as you plan for re-opening and recovery, please take our brief Business Re-opening and Recovery Survey.
Resources for Re-Opening
Visit the City’s Planning Resources for Business Re-Opening website for the latest information on resources to support re-opening, including State and local planning guidance, information on cleaning/disinfecting and workplace safety, a printable face covering sign for businesses in eight languages and the newly created ReOpening Guide signs by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Oaklandish and the Economic Recovery Advisory Council, 11” x 17” signs for download in four languages. Pick up hard copies from any Oakland Chamber, Business Improvement District or City Council office.
Alameda County Hits Pause on Reopening
On Monday, June 29, Alameda County announced that it was temporarily pausing reopening plans due to recent increases in COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates in our county and region. This means extending the timeline for the next phase of reopening in Alameda County.

A safe reopening of businesses in our county is critical for both public health and economic recovery. To guide reopening, Alameda County health officials rely on the following data indicators to measure progress against the pandemic:
  1) rates of new cases and hospitalizations
  2) hospital inpatient bed capacity and surge capacity
  3) testing capacity
  4) disease containment capacity
  5) supply of personal protective equipment for health care providers

While indicators 2, 3, 4 and 5 have moved in the positive direction or remained stable over the past several weeks, Alameda County is seeing unfavorable trends for new cases and hospitalizations.

Alameda County’s case rate per 100,000 people has increased from 63.2 to 71.1 over the past seven days. Daily hospitalizations were decreasing through June 22, but since then Alameda County has seen a daily increase in hospitalizations.

Alameda County health officials are concerned by the increase in local cases, disproportionate impact on communities of color, local impact of the outbreak at San Quentin State Prison, and the alarming disease trends seen in counties that have opened at a faster rate. This week and next will be critical for assessing the impact of activities authorized to resume in Alameda County on June 19, and they will continue to closely monitor data to inform next steps regarding reopening.

In their statement, Alameda County health officials recognized the multifaceted challenges presented by a slow reopening and their gratitude for the sustained effort and sacrifices made by Alameda County residents and businesses. Please continue to protect yourself and others by wearing face coverings and staying six feet away from others in public, staying home as much as possible and particularly when ill, and washing your hands frequently.
Funding Remains for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
The SBA reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. Additional small businesses and non-profits are able to receive long-term, low-interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, employees and the communities they support.
  ·  Apply online at SBA’s Disaster Loan Assistance Portal
  ·  Be sure to check the box at end of the application for up to $10,000 advance grant, grant total is based on pre-disaster employee count ($1,000 per employee)
  ·  This is the fastest way to get quick financial support. Even if you decide not to take the loan or are declined, you still keep the cash advance as a grant

Who is generally eligible for EIDL:
  ·  Small businesses (generally those with fewer than 500 employees)
  ·  Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed persons
  ·  Cooperatives
  ·  Nonprofits – 501(c), 501(d) or 501 (e)
  ·  Faith-based organizations, regardless of whether they provide secular social services

Need Assistance navigating the EIDL program? Reach out to one of these local support partners.
  ·  AnewAmerica (English and Spanish)
For an appointment, call (510) 540-7785 ext. 303 or email
  ·  Alameda County SBDC (Multi-lingual counselors) Can assist those without a computer
For an appointment, visit, email or call (510) 516-4118
  ·  Join in one of NorCal Region SBDC's three weekly online sessions about Disaster Loans at 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
City Streamlines Permitting for Use of Outdoor Retail, Dining
As of June 19, the Alameda County Health Officer relaxed restrictions by reopening outdoor museums, outdoor restaurant dining, religious services, indoor/outdoor retail and outdoor fitness classes. Indoor and outdoor retail and outdoor dining are allowed at reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing and safety plans are in place.

In anticipation of outdoor dining and retail, City departments launched the Flex Streets Initiative to streamline the permitting process for sidewalk and roadway encroachments. The goal is to spur equitable economic recovery by making it easier for retailers, restaurants and other allowed businesses to use larger portions of the sidewalk, parking lanes and streets.

The City of Oakland is helping businesses meet physical distancing requirements for their customers by streamlining permitting requirements for use of:
  ·  The Sidewalk or Parking Lane
  ·  A Traffic Lane
  ·  Private Parking Lots or Other Private Outdoor Areas
  ·  A Food Truck, Trailer or Pushcart
  ·  City-owned Outdoor Property

Use the public right-of-way for extra seating, expanded merchandise displays or customer queuing. We’re also waiving permit fees. The important step is to apply for the permit before you start, even for privately owned or leased outdoor spaces – including parking lots.

See instructions for each of the five particular uses at:

Help us gather community input on the Flex Streets Initiative. Print out and post a flyer for the text-based survey at:
Ongoing Business Support
A list of up-to-date resources, including information about worker benefits, grants, loans and support services for small businesses, nonprofits and independent contractors, can be found on the City of Oakland’s Business & Worker Resource web page. The site is updated regularly as more information becomes available, so please check it often. You are encouraged to: 
  ·   Take the COVID-19 Business Impact Data Survey, which services as the City’s intake pathway to request one-on-one business assistance

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