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

August 21, 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.

The Alameda County Health Officer Orders issued on July 19 remain in effect. Local orders prevail in areas where they are more restrictive than the State Order. See the County Order’s Appendix C for permitted businesses and activities.

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:
  · Alameda County Public Health Department’s Guidance on Not Requiring Negative COVID-19 Test Results for Return to Work
  ·  Site-Specific Protection Plan templates in multiple languages
  ·  County screening guidance for employers in multiple languages
  ·  Self-assessment guidance for workers in multiple languages
  ·  Information on cleaning/disinfecting businesses
  ·  Workplace Safety
  ·  A printable face covering sign for businesses in eight languages
  ·  ReOpening Guide signs by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Oaklandish and the Economic Recovery Advisory Council, in four languages.

If one of your employees tests positive, please contact Alameda County’s COVID Workplace team at COVIDWorkplace@acgov.org or call (510) 268-2101 to submit a case report and for guidance and next steps. Businesses are required to notify the Alameda County Public Health Department of all positive COVID-19 cases. To learn about COVID-19 testing sites in Oakland, visit https://www.oaklandca.gov/resources/how-to-get-tested.

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.

Grant Opportunities
LISC's Neighborhood Business Grants program will focus on underserved communities that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital. The program will award $20,000 grants to 750 businesses in 15 cities nationwide, including the Bay Area. Grant funds may be used to pay rent and utilities, meet payroll, pay outstanding debt to vendors, upgrade technology, and pay immediate operational costs. The application period closes on Sunday, August 23 at 8:59 p.m. (Pacific Time).

Facebook Small Business Grants for Black-Owned Businesses is part of their $100 million pledge to the Black community in the United States. This pledge includes cash and ad credits to support Black-owned small businesses. To learn more, attend the online webinar:

· Monday, August 24, 2020
  10:00-10:30 a.m. Pacific Time
  R.S.V.P. Online: https://blackbizgrants.splashthat.com/

Visit Oakland launches new marketing campaign “Spend. Stay. Love. Oakland.” marketing campaign
From August, Visit Oakland will be hosting a “Spend. Stay. Love. Oakland” digital marketing and social media campaign, encouraging locals to spend their time and money in The Town.
Visit Oakland is creating a new landing page that will link to all of their business directories – from restaurants and retail to outdoors and events – that are pivoting during COVID-19.

The campaign will also focus social media and public relations efforts in support of upcoming events like:
  ·  Black Restaurant Week: August 21-30
  ·  Oakland Restaurant Week: Late Summer Edition: September 1-13
  ·  Oakland Pride-in-Place: September 6-13
  ·  Oakland Cocktail Week: September 10-October 11
  ·  Dia de los Muertos Festivities: late October

If you have an upcoming event or outdoor dining special that you would like promoted through the “Spend. Stay. Love. Oakland.” campaign, please log into the Visit Oakland Partner Portal to update your listing.

If you need further assistance, email partnerships@visitoakland.com and a Visit Oakland team member will be in touch.

Upcoming Workshops
How to Make your Business Virtual
August 24, 2020; 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC
Free

COVID-19 Updates and Live Q&A
August 24, 26 & 31, 2020; 10:30 a.m.
Northern California SBDC
Free

Restaurant Current Best Practices During COVID
August 25, 2020; 9:00 a.m. to Noon
East Bay SCORE
Regular Price: $40.00; Discounted Price: $15.00

Pop-up Small Business EIDL & PPP Allowable Use
August 28, 2020; 10:00 a.m. to Noon
Alameda County SBDC
Free
Applications Continue for Use of Outdoor Spaces for Retail, Dining
Since Flex Streets launched in June, we have received the following applications:
  • 228 businesses have applied for use of Sidewalk or Parking Lanes.
  • There are 15 active applications for Street Use - 6 are for Parklets, 9 for Street closures. The Chinatown Chamber launched their weekly Friday afternoon street closure on August 7.
  • 8 applications for use of Private Parking Lots or Other Private Property have been received.
  • 5 businesses have applied for use of City-Owned Outdoor property.

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.

Businesses can 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 step-by-step instructions at: www.oaklandca.gov/FlexStreets

Help us gather community input on the Flex Streets Initiative. Print out and post a flyer for the text-based survey at: https://www.oaklandca.gov/documents/posters-for-flex-streets-text-survey
Low-Interest Loans for Businesses Damaged during Protests
Low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are now available to businesses and nonprofits that were damaged during protests since May 26, 2020.

For businesses of any size and private nonprofits that suffered uninsured damage to their building, inventory, supplies or equipment, a Physical Disaster Loan of up to $2 million can help repair windows and doors and replace stolen merchandise. The deadline to apply for Physical Disaster Loans is September 16, 2020.

Working capital loans in the form of Economic Injury Disaster Loans help small businesses and most private nonprofits meet ordinary and necessary financial obligations (i.e., rent, utilities, payroll, etc.) that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. The deadline to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is March 17, 2021.

Interest rates can be as low as 3% for businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Fact sheets in multiple languages have details on interest rates, loan terms, and application requirements and are posted on the City’s website at: https://www.oaklandca.gov/resources/low-interest-federal-disaster-loans

Need help applying? The SBA has established a virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center that operates from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. Assistance is available in multiple languages. Contact the Outreach Center at:
  ·  FOCWAssistance@sba.gov
  ·  (916) 735-1500

The Disaster Loan Outreach Center and the two loan products are only available to businesses impacted by the civil unrest that began May 26, 2020, and not for COVID-19 related assistance.

Read the Informational Memo about the low-interest federal loans.
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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