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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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Drive Through Test Site for Your Workers
The City of Oakland opened a second COVID-19 test site for workers and volunteers who continue to leave their homes to serve our community. Per CDC guidelines, in order to use this free testing service, individuals must be exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) or have had confirmed exposure to COVID-19.

The drive-thru site will serve those who work or volunteer in the following areas:
   Healthcare providers, including all hospital, clinic or community health center workers
   Grocery stores, restaurants and food banks
   Homeless service providers, including shelter and outreach workers
   Funeral home providers
   Childcare facilities
   Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children
   Delivery and transportation, including Gig workers

If your business falls into one of these sectors and you have not yet made arrangements for testing of your employees, please visit www.oaklandca.gov/testing to learn more.

If you have had a confirmed COVID-19 case within your workforce and need to have other staff members tested, please also visit www.oaklandca.gov/testing.

The testing is free for businesses located in Alameda County, regardless of whether your employees have health insurance coverage.

Members of the public should not arrive at the site without a referral and confirmed appointment.

Read the press release here: https://bit.ly/2x63Ou4
Facebook Grant Application for Small Businesses Opens April 20
Tech giant Facebook has pledged $15 million in cash grants and ad credits to support small businesses in the Bay Area. Funds from the Small Business Grants Program can be used to keep your workforce on payroll, help with rent, cover operational costs, and – in case of the ad credits – connect with customers. Eligibility requirements are:
   Be a for-profit company
   Have between 2 and 50 employees
   Have been in business for more a year
   Have experienced challenges from COVID-19

The application period for the San Francisco Bay Area opens on April 20. In preparation for applying, check out their application guide.
Update on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
As we previously shared, the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program will expand Unemployment Insurance to cover gig workers, independent contractors and self-employed individuals. This week, California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su issued an open letter on the launch of PUA in California. An exact launch date was not provided, but the technology driving the system is expected to take two weeks to stand up and test. This new one-stop shop will allow eligible individuals to apply for both regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) and PUA, and will be able to pay individuals within 24 to 48 hours of their application.

Under PUA, individuals can receive weekly unemployment assistance that may be equivalent to what individuals would get under UI (depending on their earnings and whether earnings can be verified). Those who get PUA will also get the $600 per week additional payment coming from the federal government as part of the federal CARES Act added to UI for weeks they are unemployed from March 29 until the end of July.

PUA benefits can cover people unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19 from January 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020 depending on date of actual impact. In other words, it is retroactive to the time before the federal stimulus bill was passed and before funding was made available. When you apply and your application is approved, you will get PUA benefits going back to the first full week of February as long as you can show that your inability to work was COVID-19 related.

We will include additional details on the new system in an email update once the new PUA system launches.
Update from the SBA
Late on Wednesday, April 16, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced they are unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

On Thursday, April 17, a message appeared on the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program website: The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding.

The City of Oakland will monitor federal legislation that might provide additional funding for these programs and provide updates in future emails.

Visit www.OaklandBusinessCenter.com for a listing of other financial resources that may be available to support your business.
 
 

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