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.

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Prepare for Additional Funding for Payroll Protection Program
In preparation for a second round of funding for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Oakland businesses are encouraged to prepare to submit applications now. The PPP offers forgivable loans up to $10 million to keep employees on payroll or quickly rehire employees and maintain salary levels. To be forgiven, 75% of the loan must be used for payroll. We expect demand will again be high and recommend early applications.

Find a PPP Lender
You must apply for PPP through a participating lender. Contact your bank to see if they are taking applications, or use SBA’s find a lender tool at   

If you are a Square, PayPal, or Intuit customer, they are now authorized lenders and you can apply for a forgivable PPP loan through their websites. PayPal is currently accepting applications in anticipation of funding.

If you have laid off your employees due to lost revenue and qualify, this loan is also an opportunity to hire them back. SBA will forgive the portion of the loan that is used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses, including employer-provided health benefits, paid leave, rent, utilities and mortgage interest. Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed may also qualify. Even if your business is closed as a result of the Shelter in Place order, you may be able to use the Payroll Protection Program to rehire and retain employees, and keep them on your payroll.

The new federal legislation is also likely to include additional funds for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, that provides a cash advance grant of up to $10,000. Owners who decide not to take the loan or who are declined still keep this cash advance as a grant. The amount of the advance will be determined by the number of your pre-disaster (i.e., as of January 31, 2020) employees. The advance will provide $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000.
Grant Opportunities of the Week
LISC Small Business Relief Grant will provide small business grants in the amounts of $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000 to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies through this challenging period. The grants will support small businesses and enterprises affected the Covid-19 across the country, especially those in underserved communities, including entrepreneurs of color and women- and veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital. The application period closes April 28. Español

Salesforce Care Small Business Grants will provide $10,000 grants to eligible for-profit small businesses with between 2 and 50 employees and annual revenue between $250,000 and $2 million. The application period in California opens April 27 and closes May 4.

The Facebook Small Business Grants Program offers both cash grants and Facebook ad credits. You do not need to be on Facebook or Instagram to receive a grant. The application period closes on May 6.
City of Oakland, Working Solutions Announce Disbursement of $500,000 in Emergency Grants to Small Businesses
On Wednesday, April 21, the City of Oakland and Working Solutions announced the disbursement of emergency grants to 90 extremely low-income small businesses in Oakland to help them weather the COVID-19 crisis. The Oakland Small Business Emergency Grant Program was administered by Working Solutions, with $500,000 in private philanthropic dollars from the recently established Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund.

All 90 grants went to extremely low-income business owners, earning 35 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) or less. Other characteristics of the grantees:
     86% of the businesses are owned by people of color

     69% of the businesses are owned by women

     84% of the businesses generate less than $250,000 in annual revenue

     22% went to business owners that used a non-English application

     90% of the businesses rent their space

Grants went to businesses throughout Oakland, with a majority going to businesses located in East Oakland, Chinatown, West Oakland, Fruitvale, and Downtown neighborhoods. The grants will support a wide range of businesses, from retail shops, beauty salons, and bakeries to fitness, car repair, and arts-related businesses. For more information on the grant recipients, please read the media release.

Hear from three grant recipients on what this funding means for their businesses.
English        Mandarin        Spanish

Demand was overwhelming; more than 900 individual businesses applied to Working Solutions for the 90 available grants, representing a total demand of more than $5 million. More funding is needed to provide additional grants to Oakland’s most vulnerable businesses. To donate to the Oakland Small Business Emergency Grant Program, please visit the Working Solutions website at or contact Working Solutions at or (415) 780-1217.  
East Bay Business Recovery Survey
The East Bay Economic Development Alliance is dedicated to serving as a resource to support economic relief and recovery as our region continues to grapple with COVID-19. As business owners and leaders in our region, East Bay EDA asks for your help in gathering crucial information about various impacts to your business so that they can effectively advocate for resources that can address your most important needs. Your participation will help our region effectively plan recovery efforts and advocate for high priority needs. Please take a moment to fill out the survey at
OAKDoT seeks Feedback on Slow Streets
The City of Oakland rolled out the Slow Streets program in response to the need for additional space for Oaklanders to have space to practice social distancing while on essential outdoor trips, and to reduce foot traffic at parks and outdoor trails. 

The Oakland Slow Streets program rolled out quickly in response to the unprecedented and ongoing COVID-19 emergency, and will require communication and partnership with the communities it seeks to serve. Solutions that work for Oaklanders need neighbors’ feedback and participation. The City is seeking out and inviting ongoing community feedback, and will work to make responsive adjustments to the program implementation, as possible. Businesses are encouraged to take the survey at
Ongoing Business Support
A list of up-to-date resources, including information about worker benefits and public and private sources of funding 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:  

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