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.

اللغة العربیة       中文       Español     Tiếng Việt

Take the Re-opening & Recovery Survey
To help the City gauge COVID-19 impacts to your business and what resources would help as you plan for re-opening and recovery, please take our brief Business Re-opening and Recovery Survey. The survey is available in English, as well as Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Flex Streets Initiative
To further help businesses meet the physical distancing requirements of current and future County Health Orders, City departments have launched the Flex Streets Initiative to streamline the permitting process for sidewalk and roadway encroachments. The goal is to spur equitable economic revitalization by making it easier for retailers, restaurants and other businesses to use larger portions of the sidewalk, parking lanes and streets.

Help us create a program that meets the needs of businesses by sharing your interest, insight and needs. Please take the brief online survey to inform the program. The survey launched in English; additional languages will be added as translated copy is received.

Learn more at:  
Grant Opportunities of the Week
The East Bay/Oakland Relief Fund for Individuals in the Arts will distribute $625,000 to help artists, teaching artists, culture bearers, and nonprofit arts workers who comprise the various and diverse cultural communities of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, with $300,000 dedicated specifically to those in Oakland. The grants of up to $2,000 can be used in any way that alleviates financial hardship. The Fund will prioritize the financial needs of individuals who are particularly financially vulnerable –  Black, Indigenous, Latinx, foreign-born immigrant, trans, and people with disabilities. The COVID-19 crisis has had a disproportionate effect on these populations as well as the arts and culture community. The application period closes at 5 p.m. on June 5.

GoFundMe, in partnership with Intuit QuickBooks, Yelp, GoDaddy, and, to give small businesses a $500 grant if they raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. Learn more at:

The Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce has created a COVID-19 Resiliency Relief Program to provide grants to Oakland-based, Black-owned small businesses that are being adversely impacted. The application process is open; applications are due by Saturday, June 20. Learn more and apply at:

In partnership with Verizon, the digital fundraising and advocacy platform Hello Alice is offering emergency grants of up to $10,000 for companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The rules have recently been amended and the application period now ends on July 16. Learn more at:

The Red Backpack Fund is making grants of $5,000 to female entrepreneurs across the United States who have been impacted by COVID-19. The next application period will be open from June 1-8. Sign up for an email notification at:
Planning for Re-Opening of Businesses
Every organization and business, regardless of when it will be permitted to open, should be working on re-opening plans that include physical distancing, training for employees on limiting spread of COVID-19, and disinfection protocols.

In anticipation of continued phased openings, the City posted planning resources, including federal, state and county guidelines at:

An important factor in re-opening is continued vigilance to support measured progress on five key indicators. Do your part and wear a face covering or mask. The Alameda County Health Order issued on April 17, 2020, requires all residents and workers to wear face coverings when conducting essential business and when around others outside of their immediate household. Combined with physical distancing and frequent handwashing, face coverings may reduce the risk of infection posed by people who are infected and without symptoms. Be sure to post the Face Covering Signs for Essential Businesses. The poster is available in multiple languages at:

The May 18th Order issued by Alameda County remains in effect until amended, suspended or rescinded. As of Thursday, May 28 when this copy was sent for translation, no modification had been issued.
City Awarded Three Workforce Grants to help Oakland Workers Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic
The City of Oakland was awarded $1,328,000 in three separate grants from the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD) to support laid-off, low-wage workers impacted by COVID-19.

Funding for the three grants comes from the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and is administered by the EDD and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Through this funding, the Oakland Workforce Development Board anticipates more than 350 workers will receive career development and supportive services. For details on the three grants, please read the media release.

To access any of the job training resources or supportive services, impacted workers should contact one of the following three America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs):
Lao Family Community Development
Languages: Spanish, Chinese, Burmese, English
Unemployment Claims Assistance: (510) 533-8850
Adult Services: (510) 290-2578
Other Services: (510) 533-8850

Oakland Private Industry Council
Languages: English, Spanish
Unemployment Claims Assistance: (510) 910-0986
Additional Services Phone Number: (510) 858-6742

The Unity Council
Languages: English, Spanish, Mam
Call (510) 535-6101, Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to Noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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:  

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign