Important updates to businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations
Resources for Businesses Damaged Following Protests
Over the last week, our town has seen numerous planned and spontaneous demonstrations in response to the officer-involved killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Oakland has a proud tradition of peaceful protest, and the City will continue to facilitate safe spaces for our residents to demonstrate and express themselves.

The great majority of individuals that have been participating in these First Amendment activities have been doing so peacefully, even as they express their frustration and anger.

However, separate groups have used this moment of community pain, outrage and grief to engage in violent, destructive criminal activity. Between May 29 and June 1, more than 190 businesses were damaged and robbed, further threatening their survival already made precarious by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, June 1, the City of Oakland declared a local emergency and issued a curfew order from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.. This curfew was rescinded by the City on June 5 and is no longer in effect.

What to do if your business was affected
1.     Review the City’s commercial vandalism recovery guidelines

2.     Call the Office of Mayor Libby Schaaf at (510) 238-3141. Staff are available to provide guidance and assistance in English, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin.

3.     If your business experienced a loss of merchandise, complete a supplemental online report to document the theft or call (510) 777-3333 to file a report.

Oakland Indie Alliance Small Business Repair Fund

The Oakland Indie Alliance launched the Small Business Repair Fund on June 4 to provide $600 grants to businesses with storefronts damaged by protests between May 29 and June 2. The grants are available to independently owned, Oakland small businesses (fewer than 100 employees and annual revenue under $7 million). OIA will accept applications on a rolling basis, anticipates processing and distributing funds within two to three days, and plans to distribute $12,000 per day. You do not need to be an Oakland Indie Alliance member to apply. OIA is committed to the sustainability of all independent businesses and they are prioritizing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), Immigrant, Queer-owned, Woman-Owned, and legacy businesses (30+ years in operation)/Oakland-native.

Volunteer to Clean Up
Want to help? Consider volunteering.

Charlese Banks, who runs The Town Experience and administers the Oakland Startup Network, is organizing clean up volunteer teams. If you’re interested, email

The Chinatown Chamber of Commerce is organizing a volunteer clean-up on Sunday, June 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at Pacific Renaissance Plaza, near the fountain. R.S.V.P. to

The Oakland Downtown Business Association is organizing a cleanup this Monday, June 8. For more information and to sign up, visit:

The Black Cultural Zone is also seeking volunteers for its COVID-19 and Economic Recovery Efforts for Black and East Oakland Businesses. Sign up at:

While the main focus of this issue is recovery from the damage, we also wanted to share these important resources for COVID-19 Recovery.
Payroll Protection Program Loans Still Available
The funding from the second round of the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is still available, and we are encouraging every Oakland business to apply. If your bank isn’t participating or turned you down, find a lender:
·         Using the SBA’s find-a-lender tool at
·         Checking out this roster of local partners
·         Calling the Business Assistance Center at (510) 238-7398

If you are a Square, PayPal, or Intuit customer, they are now authorized lenders and you can apply for a forgivable PPP loan through their websites.

The PPP offers forgivable loans up to $10 million to keep employees on payroll or quickly rehire employees and maintain salary levels. To be forgiven, 75% of the loan must be used for payroll. Demand has been high, so don’t delay in submitting your application.

Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed may also qualify. Even if your business is closed as a result of the Shelter in Place order, you may be able to use the Payroll Protection Program to rehire and retain employees and keep them on your payroll.

Need assistance navigating the program and completing the application? Find local business support partners offering one-on-one assistance for this and other SBA products at:
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.
Grant Opportunities of the Week
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 current application period closes June 8. Sign up for an email notification 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:
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.

Learn more 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:
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