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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Economic Recovery Council Announced
On Wednesday, Mayor Libby Schaaf and Vice Mayor Larry Reid announced the Oakland Economic Recovery Advisory Council, which will identify strategies for an equitable economic reopening and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Grounded in the guiding principle that equity is the best economic model, the Advisory Council will be charged with identifying both short-term recommendations to facilitate the reopening and recovery of Oakland’s economic sectors from the COVID-19 crisis, and longer-term strategies for systemic change that creates a more equitable economy into the future.

The Advisory Council will be co-chaired by the Mayor and Vice Mayor, in partnership with Jose Corona, Eat. Learn. Play.; Barbara Leslie, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; and Michael McAfee, PolicyLink. The Advisory Council will be facilitated by James Head, East Bay Community Foundation, and Micah Weinberg, California Forward, with research support from the Mills College Center for Transformative Action and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. Participants will include a broad range of stakeholders across business sectors, labor, nonprofits, community-based organizations, the arts, State and regional government, and City departments.  

The Advisory Council will hold an initial convening next week, and meet for the next four to six months to develop recommendations. 
Planning for Re-Opening of Businesses
Based on the progress of local key indicators, with continued monitoring in place, and barring any big spikes in cases over the next few days, Alameda County Public Health officials anticipate that we will be able to safely move into Early Stage 2 activities next week, including
curbside retail and associated manufacturing and warehouses. For eligible businesses, Alameda County plans to align with the state’s guidance where possible.

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 measured openings, the City posted planning resources at: One of the listed resources is State of California industry guidelines to help businesses reduce risk and establish a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. Read the state guidelines, find industry-specific checklists and learn more at:

To help the City gauge COVID-19 impacts to your business and what resources would help you as you plan for re-opening and recovery, please take our brief Business Re-opening and Recovery Survey. The survey launched in English and translated copy will be added shortly.

Businesses seeking guidance on Alameda County guidelines for re-opening should email   
Grant Opportunities of the Week
The Verizon/LISC Small Business Recovery Fund offers grants of up to $10,000 to help small businesses, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises that don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital in historically underserved communities. The grants are meant to fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until more permanent financing becomes available. This application round opened on May 14.

The Beauty Changes Lives Nail Professional Relief Grant is available to licensed professionals who can not maintain their regular income during the COVID-19 pandemic. One-time grants of $1,000 are available to provide temporary financial relief to qualifying applicants that demonstrate financial hardships. The two-part application is not responsive to mobile devices, so please apply using a computer or tablet. Applications are now open.
Expanded Free Testing
The City of Oakland, in partnership with Roots Community Health Center and Community Organized Relief Effort, is operating a COVID-19 community-based testing site in East Oakland. This is the second City-sponsored testing site in Oakland and is one of the first walk-in only sites in the Bay Area. Testing at the Roots’ location, 9925 International Boulevard, is provided free of charge Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Testing is available and free regardless of insurance or immigration status.

If you or your employees work outside the home or are worried you have COVID-19, get a test. The City is working in partnership with Alameda County to bring on additional sites in East Oakland in the coming weeks.

Oakland business owners and residents can learn more about testing by visiting or calling 311.
Opportunity for Restaurants to Help Feed Oakland’s Hungry
The City is partnering with World Central Kitchen and others to provide meals to Oakland’s hungry. We are looking for restaurants that can provide up to 300 meals per day potentially starting as soon as next week.

World Central Kitchen’s goal is to engage 200+ restaurants to serve 2 million meals in Oakland through the end of July. Additionally, the state’s new Great Plates Delivered program will need restaurants to supply meals for seniors. Please note, you are not eligible for this new program if you are already participating in another state or federal meal service program.

Participating restaurants will need to be able to meet senior and/or general meal requirements:
1)  Senior meals:
·Breakfast must be low in sodium, no sugary drinks (<24 grams/8 oz., 100% fruit juice).

·Lunch and dinner: a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable on each dish, and low in sodium, no sugary drinks (<24 grams/8 oz., 100% fruit juice).

2) General meals: Lunch/Dinner type meals must contain 14-16 oz. of food, composed of 4 oz. protein, 6 oz. starch/grain, 6 oz. vegetable, and be free of peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish. 
Priority will be given to restaurants that are able to meet the stated volume and nutritional standards; source local produce/meats (if able); meet cultural needs; prioritize local jobs, worker retention, and worker health and safety; and meet standards of equity and fairness in employment practices, wages, hiring, and promotion.

The meal service program – not the restaurants – will arrange for delivery of meals. Restaurants are paid by the food operator for the meals in bulk purchases.

If your restaurant is interested in participating and can meet these criteria, please fill out this short survey form. Please also send a scan or photo of your menu to Meal service program staff will be in touch with restaurants that are the best fit.
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:  

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