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March 4, 2022


اللغة العربیة       中文       Español       Tiếng Việt

This is an update from the City of Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) for businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations who support them. These are just highlights of available resources. For information about worker benefits, grants, loans and support services available, please visit our Business & Worker Resource web page. The site is updated regularly as more information becomes available, so please check it often.
As evidence continues to show, vaccinations and boosters remain the best defense against the virus. Alameda County has posted an Employer Vaccination Toolkit for businesses interested in supporting their employees in getting vaccinated.
State Masking Update
Effective March 1, the requirement for unvaccinated persons to mask in most indoor public settings and businesses was replaced by a strong recommendation that all persons, regardless of vaccination status, continue to mask while in indoor public settings and businesses. Alameda County has aligned with the State’s masking announcement.

Masks are still required in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare (through March 11, 2022). Alameda County will provide an update on alignment with this change shortly.
  • On public transit (e.g., airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (e.g., airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation)
  • Emergency shelters and cooling and heating centers
  • Healthcare settings (applies to all healthcare settings, including those that are not covered by the State Health Officer Order issued on July 26, 2021)
  • Homeless shelters
  • Long-Term Care Settings & Adult and Senior Care Facilities

Additionally, masks are strongly recommended for all persons, regardless of vaccine status, in indoor public settings and businesses (e.g., retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public, etc.). In settings where masks are strongly recommended, businesses, venue operators or hosts should consider:
  • Providing information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding masking recommendations for all persons, regardless of vaccine status.
  • Providing information to all patrons, guests and attendees to consider better fit and filtration for masks [Surgical masks or higher-level respirators (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s) with good fit are recommended over cloth masks].
  • Requiring all patrons to wear masks, especially when risk in the community may be high, or if those being served are at high-risk for severe disease or illness.
  • Requiring attendees who do not provide proof of vaccination to enter indoor Mega Events to continue masking during the event, especially when not actively eating or drinking.

No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.
State Supplemental Paid Sick Leave
Governor Newsom signed SB 114, which will provide covered employees up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave related to COVID through September 30, 2022. Retroactive to January 1, 2022, the supplemental paid sick leave is available to employees:
  • who have been advised to quarantine,
  • those caring for COVID-impacted family members,
  • attending a COVID-19 vaccination or booster appointment for themselves or a family member,
  • experiencing symptoms or caring for a family member experiencing symptoms related to a vaccine or booster

Learn more by reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/COVID19Resources/2022-SPSL-FAQs.html
State Releases California SMARTER
On February 17, Governor Newsom unveiled the California SMARTER plan to guide the next phase of California’s pandemic response. Building on lessons learned over the past two years and the state’s ongoing commitment to equity, the SMARTER Plan will guide California’s strategic approach to managing COVID-19 while moving the state’s recovery forward.

Emphasizing continued readiness, awareness, and flexibility, the Plan will ensure California can maintain its focus on communities that continue to be disproportionately impacted and stay prepared to swiftly and effectively respond to emerging COVID-19 variants and changing conditions.
Streamlined In-person, One-Stop Permit Center Opened
On Monday, February 28, the City of Oakland re-opened its permit counters to the public, offering a streamlined experience as a “One-Stop Permit Center.” Initially three departments will offer in-person, appointment-only permitting services in a newly designed space on the second floor of transit-friendly 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza: Planning & Building, Oakland Fire, and Transportation/OakDOT. Additional departments and services will be added in the future.

Available services include:
  • Planning/zoning-related issues or permits
  • Building-related issues or permits
  • Plan check-related questions
  • Fire prevention permits or questions
  • Transportation permits or questions        
  • Pay/discuss fee(s) with the cashier
  • Self-service computer workstations

Visit the Oakland Permit Center online to book an appointment or find more detailed information about the in-person and online services offered.
Apply for CalCompetes Tax Credit
The California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to stay and grow their business in California. Businesses of any industry, size or location compete for millions in available tax credits. Applications will be analyzed based on various factors, including the number of jobs being created or retained, amount of investment and strategic importance to the state or region. Since 2015, more than a dozen Oakland businesses have received tax credits of over $41 million to create quality full-time jobs.

To help businesses apply, California Competes Tax Credit webinars are scheduled for March 9, March 17 and March 22. An application guide, frequently asked questions and tutorial videos are also available. The application period opens March 7 and closes March 28, 2022.
Entrepreneurial Training Cohort
ESO Ventures’ next entrepreneurial cohort is starting March 30. Participants in the 10-week entrepreneurial training course have access to their network, including subsidized resources, technical assistance and access to capital. The course helps formalize your business while building the confidence, competence and capital for growth. The first step in participating in the ESO incubator is to apply here.
Launch of Neighborhood Business Assistance
The newly named Neighborhood Business Assistance program has added a sixth location and opened appointment dates through June 2022. Appointments can be booked online at oaklandca.gov/BizHelp or by calling (510) 238-7398.

The six locations for the Neighborhood Business Assistance program are:
  • 81st Avenue Library (every other Tuesday evening)
  • César E. Chávez Library (every other Wednesday evening)
  • Downtown’s Dalziel Building (every other Wednesday morning)
  • Eastmont Library (every other Friday afternoon)
  • Golden Gate Library (every other Thursday morning)
  • West Oakland Library (every other Monday morning)

Neighborhood Business Assistance appointments continue to be by reservation only at oaklandca.gov/BizHelp. Just click the “Visit the scheduling page” link and select a location to view available times. Non-English speakers, those without Internet access, or anyone who needs assistance can also make an appointment by calling (510) 238-7398.
Low-Interest Loans for Restaurants, Markets, Food Truck Vendors
Through March 2022, Feed The Hunger Fund is offering a special 6% interest rate on loans to restaurants, markets, food truck vendors and other food production entrepreneurs. Loan amounts range up to $50,000 to be repaid over a maximum of five years. In addition, they offer free business assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners in food production. To learn more, please contact Meche Sansores at meche@feed-hunger.com or (415) 433-7171.
Loans to Launch New Restaurants
Main Street Launch has loans specifically for new restaurants located in Oakland’s seven Community Development Block Grant Districts. The maximum loan amount is $120,000 and the loans are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more, contact Adrian Gomez Zavala at adrian@mainstreetlaunch.org or (510) 830-3230.
0% Business Financing Available
Zero-interest loans for low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs and businesses in low- to moderate-income areas of Oakland are available through Main Street Launch. Loan amounts up to $50,000 with terms up to five years may be used to buy furniture and equipment, to purchase inventory, for working capital, to refinance high-interest business debt and to pay startup expenses. No minimum credit score requirement. Complete the loan inquiry form to start the process.
Register for Oakland Restaurant Week Promotion
Oakland Restaurant Week (ORW), hosted by Visit Oakland, will run from March 18 to 27 and restaurants are invited to join in the promotion. Whether your restaurant has a special offer, custom menu or unique dish, Visit Oakland wants to hear from you. To participate, send an email by Tuesday, March 8, to Jaymee Rayford at jaymee@visitoakland.com with your contact name, email address, restaurant name and address, a photo of your food or restaurant, and details on your offer, menu or dish for ORW.
Franchise Funds Cohort Application Live
The Golden State Warriors and United Airlines are partnering to support Bay Area minority-owned small businesses by helping them become officially certified as Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs).

Official certification as an MBE generates incremental business exposure and significant revenue-generating opportunities. However, understanding how to achieve and retain certification amidst other obstacles like cost and support prevents many businesses from pursuing this accreditation.

Businesses are encouraged to apply by Saturday, March 5 for training, funds, and resources. Through this initiative, a cohort of 25 minority-owned businesses will receive the necessary support to complete official MBE certification and “Corporate Ready” designation. For a video explaining Franchise Funds, click here. Learn more and apply at nba.com/warriors/franchisefund.
Resources for Re-Opening
Upcoming Online Workshops & Webinars
Below is a sampling of upcoming workshops and webinars. See additional listings and check for last-minute additions at: https://www.oaklandca.gov/resources/webinars-for-businesses-nonprofits-and-independent-contractors

Virtual Lawyers in the Library
Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons
Oakland Public Library
Free

Digital Marketing on a Budget: An Overview for Small Businesses
Monday, March 7, 6 – 7 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Hiring Employees: First Things First
Tuesday, March 8, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
NorCal SBDC
Free

Bankruptcy Webinar (English & Spanish)
Tuesday, March 8, 3 – 4 p.m.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Free

Entendiendo su Reporte de Crédito y Pasos para Reparar su Crédito
Tuesday, March 8, 6 – 9 p.m.
NorCal SBDC
Free

Business Foundation Training Series - East Bay
Six sessions from March 8 to 31
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Credit and Loan Basics
Wednesday, March 9, 5 – 6 p.m.
TMC, REC, OAACC
Free

COVID Impacted Businesses! Still Looking for Money?
Thursday, March 10, Noon – 1 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

The Basics of E-Commerce
Friday, March 11, 6 – 7 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free         

COVID Impacted Businesses! Still Looking for Money?
Tuesday, March 15, 10 – 11 a.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center, 401 Roland Way, Suite #215
Free

Is NOT Having a Website Costing You Money? Create One Yourself! (Part 1)
Tuesday, March 15, Noon – 1 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center, 401 Roland Way, Suite #215
Free

Is NOT having a Website Costing You Money? Create One Yourself! (PART2)
Tuesday, March 15, 1:30 – 3 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center, 401 Roland Way, Suite #215
Free

Digital Marketing on a Budget: An Overview for Small Businesses
Tuesday, March 15, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center, 401 Roland Way, Suite #215
Free

Are you Loan Ready?
Wednesday, March 16, 10-11:30 a.m.
NorCal SBDC
Free

Access to Capital Panel & Workshop
Wednesday, March 16, 3 – 4:15 p.m.
Oakland’s Chambers of Commerce
Free

Tax Planning Tips for Microbusinesses
Wednesday, March 16, 6 – 7 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

The Basics of E-Commerce
Thursday, March 17, 1 – 2 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free              

Is NOT Having a Website Costing You Money? Create One Yourself! (Part 1)
Thursday, March 17, 1 – 2 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free            

Virtual Legal Clinic
Thursday, March 17, 4 – 6 p.m.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Free

Must Know Insurance for Small Businesses
Friday, March 18, 9 – 11 a.m.
SCORE East Bay
$23

Business Plans that Work
Tuesday, March 22, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
NorCal SBDC
Free

Is NOT Having a Website Costing You Money? Create One Yourself! (Part 1)
Tuesday, March 22, 11 a.m. – Noon
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Accessing Capital for Early-Stage Businesses
Wednesday, March 23, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
NorCal SBDC
Free

Is NOT having a Website Costing You Money? Create One Yourself! (PART2)
Wednesday, March 23, 2 – 3 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Digital Marketing on a Budget: An Overview for Small Businesses 
Friday, March 25, Noon – 1 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Is NOT having a Website Costing You Money? Create One Yourself! (PART2)
Monday, March 28, Noon – 1 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Tax Planning Tips for Microbusinesses
Wednesday, March 30, 6 – 7 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free
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