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Important updates to businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations
July 10, 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.
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.
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 State and local planning guidance, information on cleaning/disinfecting and workplace safety, a printable face covering sign for businesses in eight languages and the newly created ReOpening Guide signs by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Oaklandish and the Economic Recovery Advisory Council, 11” x 17” signs for download in four languages. Pick up hard copies from any Oakland Chamber, Business Improvement District or City Council office.
Federal & State Income Tax Deadlines on July 15
To help individuals and businesses, the federal and state governments extended the filing and payment deadlines for tax returns from April 15 to July 15. This relief also included estimated federal tax payments (including tax on self-employment income) for tax year 2020 that were due on April 15, 2020.

Free tax preparation assistance for qualifying self-employed individuals and households earning less than $56,000 a year is available through Earn It! Keep It! Save It!

Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15th deadline can request a filing extension for federal taxes by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on ww.IRS.gov. Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004. For information on filing an extension with the California Franchise Tax Board, visit https://www.ftb.ca.gov/file/when-to-file/extension-to-file.html. Requests for extension must be filed by July 15. Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020.
PPP Loan Application Deadline Extended to August 8
The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is August 8, 2020. SBA data shows that more than 6,700 Oakland businesses were approved for PPP loans. If you have not yet applied, please do so today through a participating lender. If you’ve been turned down by one lender, please reach out to another participating lender today.
   
·  Use the SBA’s find-a-lender tool at www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find
   ·  Check out this roster of local partners
   
·  Call the Business Assistance Center at (510) 238-7398

These are forgivable loans to keep employees on payroll and maintain salary levels. If you’ve already laid off your employees, this loan provides the opportunity to hire them back.

Significant changes were made to the Payroll Protection Program.
   ·  Less money is required to be spent on payroll. The payroll requirement threshold is now 60% – allowing up to 40% to be used on rent, mortgage, interest and utilities.
   ·  More time to spend the money. Borrowers will now have 24 weeks to use their PPP funds, instead of the original 8 weeks.   
   ·  More time to rehire staff. Borrowers now have until December 31 to achieve the staffing mandate of maintaining the average number of employees they had on payroll as of February 15.
   ·  More time to repay. For those loans that are not fully forgiven, borrowers now have five years to pay back loans made on or after June 5. For those with loans made prior to June 5, check with your lender about entering an agreement to extend your repayment period.

Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed may qualify
for PPP loans.

Need Assistance navigating the Payroll Protection Program? Reach out to one of these local support partners.
   ·  AnewAmerica (English and Spanish)
For an appointment, call (510) 540-7785 ext. 303 or email ivalerio@anewamerica.org
   ·  Alameda County SBDC (Multi-lingual counselors) Can assist those without a computer
For an appointment, visit www.acsbdc.org, email acsbdc@ohlone.edu or call (510) 516-4118
   ·  Join in one of NorCal Region SBDC’s three weekly online sessions about Disaster Loans and the Payroll Protection Program at 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. At the scheduled time, join at: https://norcalsbdc.zoom.us/j/835182602
   ·  The Opportunity Fund is doubling down on finding small businesses owned by African Americans who have not been able to access PPP Loans. To connect with them, call (888) 720-3215, email ppphelp@opportunityfund.org or visit https://opportunityfund.venturesgo.com/portal/borrowerapplication
City Streamlines Permitting for Use of Outdoor Retail, Dining
City departments launched the Flex Streets Initiative to streamline the permitting process for sidewalk and roadway encroachments. The 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.

The City of Oakland is helping businesses meet physical distancing requirements for their customers by streamlining permitting requirements for use of:
   ·  The Sidewalk or Parking Lane
   ·  A Traffic Lane
   · Private Parking Lots or Other Private Outdoor Areas
   ·  A Food Truck, Trailer or Pushcart
   ·  City-owned Outdoor Property

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 instructions for each of the five particular uses 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
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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