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Important updates to businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations
Resources for Businesses Damaged Following Protests
Over the last two weeks, 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.

What to do if your business was affected
1.     Take the Business Damage Survey at: https://oaklandca.formstack.com/forms/business_damage_survey

2.     Review the City’s commercial vandalism recovery guidelines

3.     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.

4.     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.

5.     Share video footage or still photographs that might help identify the individuals who committed vandalism and/or burglary of your business or a neighboring business. Email the name and address of the impacted business, police report number (if available) and your cell number to: BusinessCrimes@oaklandca.gov

Financial Assistance
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.

The Oakland Black Business Damage Fund is providing reimbursement grants of up to $5,000 to help ground-floor, Black-owned businesses to replace broken windows, repaint, replace damaged signage and abate graffiti.

OCCUR’s Black Business Relief Fund supports, rebuilds and stabilizes African American-owned businesses. Learn more by emailing: Email: info@occurnow.org

While we wanted to share the above resources for recovery from the damage, we also wanted to share the following important resources for COVID-19 Recovery.
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: www.oaklandca.gov/FlexStreets
Significant Changes to Payroll Protection Program, About $130 Billion Remains Available to Small Businesses
Significant funding – about $130 billion – 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 different lender:
  ·  Using the SBA’s find-a-lender tool at www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find 
  ·  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.

Recently, significant changes were made to the Payroll Protection Program.
  ·  Less money is required to be spent on payroll. Originally 75% of the loan had to be used for maintaining payroll in order for the loan to be forgiven. That 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 also qualify for PPP loans.

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: https://www.oaklandca.gov/resources/coronavirus-2019-covid-19-business-and-worker-resources.
Grant Opportunities of the Week
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: https://oaacc.org/resiliency-fund/

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: https://businessforall.helloalice.com/
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.

The Alameda County Public Health Order that went into effect on June 8 allows:
  · Small gatherings of 12 or fewer individuals from different households or living units who form a Social Bubble to take place in outdoor spaces, subject to certain conditions;
  · Childcare providers to provide care to all children, not just children of essential workers, and establishes conditions under which youth extracurricular activities may resume;
  ·
Educational institutions to offer career internship and pathways programs;
  ·
Libraries to open for curbside pickup of books and other media;
  ·
Certain businesses providing services with limited person-to-person contact, including appliance repair and pet grooming services, to resume operations. See Appendix C-1 for additional businesses permitted to operate.

The current Order also replaces the Prior Order’s Social Distancing Protocol with a Site-Specific Protection Plan (Appendix A) required for all businesses that are allowed to operate.

The Alameda County Reopening Plan, released on June 5, lays out what businesses and activities will be included in future updates to Shelter-in-Place, as well as an outline of the impact of increased social activity on the risk of exposure to infection.

The Alameda County Health Officer continuously monitors the COVID-19 indicators to determine when it’s safe to lift more restrictions. The current Order will continue to be in effect until it is rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer.

In anticipation of continued phased openings, the City posted planning resources, including federal, state and county guidelines at: https://www.oaklandca.gov/resources/re-opening-resources
Parking Meter Operations to be Restored Citywide on July 6
As Oakland businesses continue work to safely reopen under the terms of Alameda County’s shelter-in-place order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Oakland announced that it will continue supporting economic recovery and enable easier access to businesses by reactivating all parking meters citywide, effective July 6.

Metered parking is used to encourage turn-over of parking spots to better ensure availability for shoppers, both on-street and in off-street garages and lots. The City will maintain standard pricing at all street meters and in City-owned garages and lots.

All other temporary suspension of parking regulations announced in mid-March remains in effect. While the Alameda County shelter-in-place order is in effect, the City will not be enforcing:
  · Time-limited parking (example: one-hour or two-hour zones)
  ·
Residential permit parking
  ·
Street sweeping parking (NOTE: Street sweeping operations are continuing, and the City asks for vehicle owners’ voluntary compliance to allow street sweeper vehicles to access the curb.)

The City continues to enforce all other parking regulations in service of public safety and public health, including but not limited to:
  · Parking meters (beginning on July 6)
  · R
ed curbs, yellow curbs, white curbs and green curbs
  ·
Blue curbs and spaces
  ·
Fire hydrants
  ·
Sidewalk and crosswalk blocking
  ·
Double-parking and bike lane violations
  ·
Wheelchair ramp obstruction
  ·
Essential construction work and other “No Parking” signage
  ·
Unauthorized use of disabled person parking placards

When parking meter enforcement resumes on July 6, each vehicle will receive one warning ticket as a courtesy to educate the driving public of the change. After the initial courtesy warning, vehicles in violation will receive a regular parking citation. The courtesy warnings will only be given during July.  
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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