easier access to PPP for small businesses, Golden State Stimulus Package, Lake Merritt Survey, New Online Training Platform, Waste Prevention Grants, Vaccine Planning
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February 26, 2021

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Periodically, the City of Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) 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.
In this email: Recent Changes Make it Easier for Small Businesses, Sole Proprietors to Access PPP Loans | Golden State Stimulus Package | Love the Lake? Share your Ideas! | Community Town Halls on Violence Prevention | City Launches Free Employment Training Platform | Apply Now for Grants to Prevent Waste | Alameda County Vaccine Planning | Resources for Re-Opening | Ongoing Business Support | Upcoming Online Workshops & Webinars
Recent Changes Make it Easier for Small Businesses, Sole Proprietors to Access PPP Loans
In order to reach the smallest businesses, the SBA is providing an exclusive application period for businesses and nonprofits with 20 or less employees and sole proprietors through Wednesday, March 10, 2021 to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications, while also ensuring that larger PPP-eligible businesses will still have plenty of time to apply for and receive support before the program expires on March 31, 2021.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. For most borrowers, the maximum loan amount is 2.5 times their average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million. For borrowers in the Accommodation and Food Services sector the maximum loan amount is 3.5 times their average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million. SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

President Biden also announced additional program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable. SBA will:
  • Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants;
  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal;
  • Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier to participating in the PPP; and
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

Ask your banking partner if they are participating in the PPP program. If they are not participating, then connect with a lender using SBA’s Lender Match tool or one on this roster of participating local lenders.
    On Tuesday, February 23, Governor Newsom signed a $7.6 billion relief package that included $2 billion in additional small business grants and $600 stimulus payments to low-income residents. The package also includes financial support for people who earn less than $75,000 per year and use an ITIN to file their income taxes, including immigrants who were ineligible for last year’s federal stimulus payments.

    Businesses with annual revenues between $1,000 and $2.5 million will be eligible for the grants, with a priority given to businesses owned by women and minorities and businesses in areas with high unemployment rates. The grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000. About $50 million will be allocated for non-profit cultural institutions.

    The package signed by the Governor will also cancel the fees associated with licenses like cosmetology, barbering, and alcoholic beverages, for the next two years.

    As of Tuesday when this copy was finalized, details on how to apply for the business grants have not been posted. Businesses are encouraged to monitor for additional details.
    Following the Lake Merritt Vendor Pilot Program, the City of Oakland is looking for feedback about Lake Merritt. Share your thoughts about:
    • Street Vending
    • Traffic and Parking
    • Cleanliness and the Environment
    • Quality of Life Issues
    • The Top Issues You Care About

    Take the survey at:
    Community Town Halls on Violence Prevention
    In an effort to hear directly from Oakland’s communities and residents, the Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) will host three open-to-the-public community town halls to discuss how the City of Oakland can improve efforts to prevent and interrupt violence in our city.  The information collected will inform DVP’s strategic planning and future investments in programs and services towards reducing violence and trauma.

    Each town hall will target a specific area of Oakland – west, central east, deep east – to help focus the conversation to that area’s unique concerns:
    • West Oakland: Thursday, Feb 25, 5 - 7 p.m. Register here
    • Central East Oakland: Thursday, March 11, 5 - 7 p.m.
    • Deep East Oakland: Thursday, March 18, 5 – 7 p.m.

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Registration links for the two virtual events in March will be coming soon, please check the website for details.
    The City of Oakland’s Workforce Development Board has launched a free, online skills training platform offered by Metrix Learning. Taking courses can help Oaklanders improve a wide variety of skills, earn industry certificates, launch into new careers or advance up the career ladder. Metrix Learning offers more than 5,000 courses leading to over 180 industry certificates, with online classes in English, Spanish and Cantonese. Accessible 24/7, the self-paced courses allow users to take the classes when it is convenient for them. This training resource is available to any Oakland resident or business owner. Register at:
    StopWaste is offering grants with total funding up to $475,000 for projects that focus on preventing waste in Alameda County and supporting local communities in the following four categories:
    • Reuse & Repair: Up to $20,000 per grant for projects that prevent disposal or recycling in favor of repair, reuse, recovery and redistribution of goods and materials. For businesses and nonprofits.
    • Food Waste Prevention: Up to $20,000 for projects that prevent food waste through product or process redesign or recover and redistribute surplus edible food to feed people. For businesses and nonprofits.
    • Surplus Food Donation Equipment: Up to $10,000 for storage and transport equipment to recover or donate surplus edible food that would otherwise go to waste. For nonprofits only.
    • Reusable Transport Packaging: Up to $10,000 for reusable equipment such as crates, bins and pallet wrap to replace limited-life packaging used in manufacturing, transportation and/or distribution. For businesses and nonprofits.

    For details, visit The application deadline is March 15, 2021.
    Alameda County Vaccine Planning
    The current COVID-19 vaccine supply is limited, and Alameda County is following the State’s vaccine prioritization guidance. As vaccine supplies increase, you will be able to get a vaccine through a County-administered point of dispensing (POD) or your health care provider.

    Alameda County is currently in Phase 1a and 1b. Please visit this web site for vaccination information and to sign up to be notified of your turn:

    Please note, this is NOT a registration to receive vaccine. The information you provide is kept confidential and will help Alameda County in its planning. The County will contact you with further details about where vaccines will be available when it is your turn. In the meantime, please protect yourself from COVID-19 by wearing a mask, keeping your distance from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands frequently.  

    You are also encouraged to contact your healthcare provider to learn about their vaccination plan and to register with the State at:

    To learn more about vaccine planning in Alameda County, please visit their website.
    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:
    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.
    Upcoming Online Workshops & Webinars
    Below is a sampling of upcoming workshops and webinars. See additional listings and check for last-minute additions at:

    Cada lunes y miércoles, 6 – 9 p.m.
    California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
    Sin Costo Alguno

    Cada martes hasta el 20 de Abril, 6 – 9 p.m.
    Oakland Latino Chamber of Commerce
    Monday, March 1, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
    NorCal SBDC

    Tuesday, March 2, 9 – 10 a.m.
    NorCal SBDC
    Thursday, March 4, 1 – 3 p.m.
    Alameda County SBDC

    El Viernes, 5 de Marco, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
    AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center 

    Tuesday, March 9, 9 – 10 a.m.
    NorCal SBDC
    El Martes, 9 de Marco, 2 – 3 p.m.
    AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center

    Tuesday, March 9, 3 – 5 p.m.
    Alameda County SBDC

    March 10, 10 a.m. - Noon 
    SCORE East Bay

    Wednesday, March 10, 11 a.m. – Noon
    NorCal SBDC

    El Jueves, 11 de Marco, Noon – 1:00 p.m.
    AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center

    Tuesday, March 16, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
    Oakland Metro Chamber

    Thursday, March 18, 1 – 3 p.m.
    Alameda County SBDC

    Wednesday, March 24, 9 – 10 a.m.
    NorCal SBDC

    Wednesday, March 24, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
    NorCal SBDC

    Wednesday, March 24, 3 – 5 p.m.
    Alameda County SBDC

    Wednesday, March 31, 3 – 5 p.m.
    Alameda County SBDC

    Thursday, April 22, 3 – 5 p.m.
    NorCal SBDC

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