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

August 14, 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.

As of Wednesday, August 12, when this copy went for translation, we have not received clear guidance from the state or federal government on the actions taken by President Trump around enhanced unemployment benefits and payroll tax deferral. When details are received, we’ll share in a future email update.

The Alameda County Health Officer Orders issued on July 19 remain in effect. Local orders prevail in areas where they are more restrictive than the State Order. See the County Order’s Appendix C for permitted businesses and activities.

We remain focused on the shared goal of ensuring that we re-open in a manner that is safe and sustainable for businesses, their employees, and our community as a whole.

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:
  ·  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 the 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.

Applications Continue for Use of Outdoor Spaces for Retail, Dining
Since Flex Streets launched in June, we have received the following applications:
  • 228 businesses have applied for use of Sidewalk or Parking Lanes.
  • There are 14 active applications for Street Use - 6 are for Parklets, 8 for Street closures. The Chinatown Chamber launched their weekly street closure on Friday, August 7.
  • 8 applications for use of Private Parking Lots or Other Private Property have been received.
  • 5 businesses have applied for use of City-Owned Outdoor property.

The initiative’s 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 by streamlining permitting requirements.

Businesses can 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 step-by-step instructions at:

Help us gather community input on the Flex Streets Initiative. Print out and post a flyer for the text-based survey at:

Application Deadline for Payroll Protection Program is August 8
The City of Oakland is seeking community priorities and input to identify and select capital projects for funding. Capital projects improve and maintain Oakland’s public facilities and infrastructure. They can range from restoring aging fire stations to repaving broken streets to building new recreation centers. In the coming weeks, the City of Oakland will be working toward our next Capital Improvement Project cycle and the process for FY 2021-2023. To get involved, go online to or text “Hello” to (510) 804-3948 and take a brief survey.
Low-Interest Loans for Businesses Damaged during Protests
Low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are now available to businesses and nonprofits that were damaged during protests since May 26, 2020.

For businesses of any size and private nonprofits that suffered uninsured damage to their building, inventory, supplies or equipment, a Physical Disaster Loan of up to $2 million can help repair windows and doors and replace stolen merchandise. The deadline to apply for Physical Disaster Loans is September 16, 2020.

Working capital loans in the form of Economic Injury Disaster Loans help small businesses and most private nonprofits meet ordinary and necessary financial obligations (i.e., rent, utilities, payroll, etc.) that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. The deadline to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is March 17, 2021.

Interest rates can be as low as 3% for businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Fact sheets in multiple languages have details on interest rates, loan terms, and application requirements and are posted on the City’s website at:

Need help applying? The SBA has established a virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center that operates from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. Assistance is available in multiple languages. Contact the Outreach Center at:
  ·  (916) 735-1500

The Disaster Loan Outreach Center and the two loan products are only available to businesses impacted by the civil unrest that began May 26, 2020, and not for COVID-19 related assistance.
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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