Important updates to businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations
July 31, 2020

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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.

While the Governor announced plans for opening of outdoor salons last week, the current Alameda County Health Order does not allow salons, barbershops and personal services (nails, tattoos and massage) to operate. Local orders prevail in areas where they are more restrictive than the State order. See the Health Order’s Appendix C for permitted businesses and activities. 

With hospitalizations on the rise in Alameda County, we remain focused on the shared goal of ensuring that we re-open in a manner that is safe and sustainable for businesses, their employees, and our community as a whole.

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 County screening guidance for employers in multiple languages, information on cleaning/disinfecting, 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.

To help the City gauge COVID-19 impacts to your business and what resources would help, please take our brief Business Re-opening and Recovery Survey.

Cap on Food Delivery Fees Approved by City Council
At its meeting on July 28, 2020, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved an Ordinance that caps service charges at 15% on third-party food delivery. The emergence Ordinance takes immediate effect and will remain in place until 90 days after the City’s declared Local Emergency ends. Aimed to help small independent restaurants that have pivoted to delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, the service fee cap does not apply to “Formula Retail Restaurants” that have 20 or more employees in Oakland and at least 40 restaurants worldwide. View the agenda report and legislation.
Application Deadline for Payroll Protection Program is August 8
The deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is August 8, 2020. SBA data shows that more than 6,700 Oakland businesses were approved for PPP loans. If you have not yet applied, please do so today through a participating lender. If you’ve been turned down by one lender, please reach out to another participating lender today. 
  ·  Use the SBA’s find-a-lender tool at
  ·  Check out this roster of local partners
  ·  Call the Business Assistance Center at (510) 238-7398
These are forgivable loans to keep employees on payroll and maintain salary levels. If you’ve already laid off your employees, this loan provides the opportunity to hire them back.

Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed may qualify for PPP loans.

Need Assistance navigating the Payroll Protection 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 and the Payroll Protection Program at 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. At the scheduled time, join at:
  ·  The Opportunity Fund is doubling down on finding small businesses owned by African Americans who have not been able to access PPP Loans. To connect with them, call (888) 720-3215, email or visit

Eviction Moratorium Extended
On July 21, 2020, Oakland City Council amended the Ordinances on commercial and residential eviction moratoriums to conform to the Local Emergency and the Governor’s Executive Order.

  1. The commercial eviction moratorium will conform with the Governor’s Executive Order (currently set to expire on September 30, 2020) or any extensions of the order.
  2.  The residential eviction moratorium will expire at the end of the Local Emergency as declared by Oakland City Council.

The eviction moratorium covers residential renters, nonprofit organization renters, and small business renters (generally those with fewer than 100 employees) and prohibits most evictions. Unpaid rent will still be due, and the moratorium does not relieve tenants of the obligation to pay unpaid back rent in the future.

Learn more at:
City Council Adopts Ordinance to Support Travel and Hospitality Workers
As businesses recall workers, they should be aware of the Worker Right to Recall Ordinance passed by Oakland City Council on July 21, 2020. It ensures Oakland’s hospitality, restaurant, stadium and travel-related employers give recently laid-off employees priority for re-hiring when business operations resume.

Employees who were employed for six of the last 12 months before January 31, 2020, and who were laid off after January 31 due to an economic, non-disciplinary reason shall be offered all job positions which become available that they are qualified for.

Employers are required to notify laid-off employees of available positions by registered mail and, if email addresses and text-enabled cell numbers are available, by email and text message. The laid-off employee has 10 days to accept or decline the offer from the latest date of letter, email or text.

The Ordinance applies to:
  ·  Business that provide food and beverage, retail or other consumer goods or services to the public at the Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  ·  Businesses that contract with passenger airlines for food and beverage catering functions or functions on OAK property that are directly related to the air transportation of persons, property or mail
  ·  Publicly- or privately-owned Event Centers of more than 50,000 square feet or 5,000 seats, including food preparation facilities, concessions, retail stores, restaurants, bars and structure parking facilities operated in conjunction with the center’s purpose,
  ·  Hotels with 50 or more guest rooms
  ·  Full-Service and Limited-Service Restaurants
  ·  Cafes and Fast Food Restaurants
  ·  Alcoholic Beverage Sales Locations
  ·  A “Covered Restaurant Employer” such as a franchisor or franchisee that employees more than 500 employees

View the legislation for additional details.
Grant Opportunities
SoOakland’s Rebuild Oakland Black Business Fund offers grants of $1,500 to $2,000 to Black-owned businesses with storefronts damaged by the protests. Grants of $600 are available to businesses affected by COVID-19. Only small independently owned Black-owned businesses in Oakland are eligible. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
City Streamlines Permitting for Use of Outdoor Retail, Dining
Since launch, about 180 businesses have applied for sidewalk and roadway encroachments using Flex Streets’ streamlined permitting process. The initiative’s 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 by streamlining permitting requirements for five particular uses:
  ·  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
Enforcement of Bus Only Lanes
Beginning August 1, AC Transit will begin using cameras mounted on Tempo Bus Rapid Transit buses to cite vehicles – including delivery vehicles – illegally parked in Bus Only lanes. The fine for parking in the Bus Only lane is $110. Vehicles are also subject to towing, which imposes additional costs. Motorists driving in the Bus Only lane are also subject to citation and fine. A result of a $232 million investment, the BRT route runs along International Boulevard from 14th Avenue to the San Leandro border and parts of Broadway, 11th Street and 12th Street.

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