Important updates to businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations

September 4, 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.

There will be no business update email on September 11.

Updated Alameda County Health Order Allows Indoor Salons/Barbershops
Effective Friday, September 4, updated Alameda County Health Orders allow:
  · Hair salons and barbershops to operate indoors, see County Guidance
  · Outdoor dance classes as part of outdoor non-contact fitness classes
  · Mini-golf, batting cages, driving ranges, and kart racing, as allowed by the State’s Family Entertainment Center Guidance
  · Shared play structures continue to be closed, including bounce houses, ball pits and playgrounds.
  · Retail stores may operate indoors at a 25% capacity limit
  · Grocery stores may operate indoors with a 50% capacity limit
  · Nail, Non-Medical Massages, Skin Care and Waxing Services may only operate outdoors

Other activities that may be allowed in the Purple Tier by the State are still not permitted in Alameda County at this time. For a roster of allowed business activities, please view Alameda County Openings at a Glance

To help Alameda County move to a less restrictive tier, please wear a mask in public, wash your hands regularly, keep at least six feet of physical distance when in public, and limit mixing with people outside your household.

The Alameda County Public Health Department encourages residents and businesses to adjust activities and plans as needed in response to changes in air quality during wildfire season. When air quality is poor, residents should stay inside when possible with doors and windows shut. For air quality updates and forecasts, visit the Bay Area Air Quality Management District or
Essential Business Support Fund and Returning California to Work COVID-19 Safety Protocol Fund is offering grants of up to $10,000 to State Fund policyholders to help defray the cost of safety expenses related to COVID-19 such as the purchase of googles, masks, gloves, cleaning supplies and services, and worksite modifications. Costs must be primarily related to employee safety. See their FAQ’s for more information. Grants are available until September 30.
Upcoming Online Workshops & Seminars
Finding Customers/Marketing Your Idea
Wednesday, September 16, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
East Bay SCORE
Regular Price: $40; Discounted Price: $15

Increasing Restaurant Online Food Orders
Wednesday, September 16, 3 – 5 p.m.

Alameda County SBDC

Seminario Virtual Gratuito en Español para Emprendedores
miércoles, 23 de septiembre, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

How to Stay Visible and Relevant in Troubled Times
Thursday, September 24, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
East Bay SCORE
Regular Price: $40; Discounted Price: $15

Increasing Customer Engagement During Challenging Times
Monday, September 28, 3 – 5 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC

Restaurant Current Best Practices During COVID
Tuesday, September 29, 9 a.m. – noon
East Bay SCORE
Regular Price: $40; Discounted Price: $15

To assist businesses allowed to only reopen with outdoor services – such as nail, non-medical massage, skin care and waxing services – under the County Health Orders, the City of Oakland has waived all fees and streamlined permitting for business’ use of public rights-of-way under the Flex Streets program.

Flex Streets allows businesses to expand allowed business activities outdoors in five ways:
· Use the Sidewalks or Parking Lanes
· Use Traffic Lanes
· Use Private Parking Lots or Other Private Outdoor Areas
  · Vend from Food Trucks, Trailers or Pushcarts
  · Use City-owned Outdoor Property

See step-by-step instructions for each of these five uses at:

Businesses should apply for the permit before using outdoor space, even for privately owned or leased spaces – including parking lots.

Businesses are reminded to review the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for the Flex Streets Program for important details on sidewalk clearances and accessible table requirements and the Fire Safety Tips for Businesses Operating Outdoors.

Help us gather community input on the Flex Streets Initiative. Print out and post a flyer for the text-based survey at:
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:
  · Alameda County Public Health Department’s Guidance on Not Requiring Negative COVID-19 Test Results for Return to Work
  · Site-Specific Protection Plan templates in multiple languages
  · County screening guidance for employers in multiple languages
  · Self-assessment guidance for workers in multiple languages
  · Information on cleaning/disinfecting businesses
  · Workplace Safety
  · A printable face covering sign for businesses in eight languages
  · ReOpening Guide signs by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Oaklandish and the Economic Recovery Advisory Council, in four languages.

If one of your employees tests positive, please contact Alameda County’s COVID Workplace team at or call (510) 268-2101 to submit a case report and for guidance and next steps. Businesses are required to notify the Alameda County Public Health Department of all positive COVID-19 cases. To learn about COVID-19 testing sites in Oakland, visit

To help the City gauge COVID-19 impacts to your business and what resources would help, please take our brief Business Re-opening and Recovery Survey.
Visit Oakland’s new marketing campaign “Spend. Stay. Love. Oakland.”
From August, Visit Oakland will be hosting a “Spend. Stay. Love. Oakland” digital marketing and social media campaign, encouraging locals to spend their time and money in The Town.
Visit Oakland is creating a new landing page that will link to all of their business directories – from restaurants and retail to outdoors and events – that are pivoting during COVID-19.

The campaign will also focus social media and public relations efforts in support of upcoming events like:
  · Oakland Restaurant Week: Late Summer Edition: Through September 13
  · Oakland Pride-in-Place: September 6-13
  · Oakland Cocktail Week: September 10-October 11
  · Dia de los Muertos Festivities: late October

If you have an upcoming event or outdoor dining special that you would like promoted through the “Spend. Stay. Love. Oakland.” campaign, please log into the Visit Oakland Partner Portal to update your listing.

If you need further assistance, email and a Visit Oakland team member will be in touch.

Oakland restaurant are encouraged to use digital banners and artwork on their social media channels to promote Restaurant Week.

If you have any exciting news about your businesses or are planning any events, please be sure to share the good news with so they can pitch it to local news outlets. Tag relevant social media content with #OaklandLoveIt so they can see your content.
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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