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Important updates to businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations
Oakland Small Business Week Launches Next Week! Features Free Virtual Workshops, Marketplace, Music
While shelter-in-place orders prevented a traditional Small Business Week with in-person workshops in early May, the creative forces at The Town Experience, Kapor Center, Oakland Startup Network, Square and ICA Fund Good Jobs have organized a virtual Small Business Week for June 23 to 26. Topics were chosen as urgent, relevant responses to the COVID-19 crisis with virtual workshops on how to pivot to digital sales, draw new customers to your business and succeed beyond the pandemic. In addition to workshops on digital marketing, eCommerce and other tech essentials, one-on-one coaching sessions, a virtual marketplace and live entertainment are planned. See the full roster of free activities at: https://oaklandfwd.splashthat.com/
SBA Disaster Loan Program Reopened
The SBA has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. Additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive long-term, low-interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, employees and the communities they support.

The SBA has advised the City that businesses who applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) prior to March 30, should re-apply using the online portal.

  ·   Apply online at SBA’s Disaster Loan Assistance Portal
  ·   Be sure to check the box at end of the application for up to $10,000 advance grant, grant total is based on pre-disaster employee count ($1,000 per employee)
  ·    This is the fastest way to get quick financial support. Even if you decide not to take the loan or are declined, you still keep the cash advance as a grant

Who is generally eligible for EIDL:
  ·    Small businesses (generally those with fewer than 500 employees)
  ·    Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed persons
  ·    Cooperatives
  ·    Nonprofits – 501(c), 501(d) or 501 (e)
  ·    Faith-based organizations, regardless of whether they provide secular social services

Need Assistance navigating the EIDL 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
  ·    Berkeley Law students help small businesses navigate the federal CARES Act
  ·    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
  ·    Join the Small Business EIDL & PPP Alameda County Update webinar from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Register at: https://nc.ecenterdirect.com/events/46712
PPP Loans for Black-Owned Small Businesses
The Opportunity Fund recently received $10 million in additional Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration. They are doubling down on finding small businesses owned by African Americans who have not been able to access PPP Loans. This is a forgivable loan to keep employees on payroll and maintain salary levels for up to 24 weeks. If you've already laid off your employees, this loan provides the opportunity to hire them back.

To be eligible:
  ·    Your business was must have been in operation as of February 15, 2020
  ·    You’re an independent contractor or sole proprietor or your business/organization has employees who reside in the U.S.

The Opportunity Fund is not able to fund non-profit organizations and certain industries.

To apply, 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
On Friday, June 12, Alameda County announced that as of June 19, the Health Officer Orders will relax restrictions by reopening outdoor museums, outdoor restaurant dining, religious services, indoor/outdoor retail and outdoor fitness classes. Indoor and outdoor retail and outdoor dining will be allowed at reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing and safety plans are in place.

In anticipation of outdoor dining and retail, 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 recovery by making it easier for retailers, restaurants and other allowed businesses to use larger portions of the sidewalk, parking lanes and streets.

On Thursday, details were shared on the streamlined steps that businesses need to take in order to use the public sidewalk, curbside parking or street to meet the physical distancing requirements required by Alameda County’s Site-Specific Protection Plan Guidance.

See instructions at: www.oaklandca.gov/FlexStreets
Share How Your Business is Re-Opening on Visit Oakland’s website
Visit Oakland launched the Oakland Partner Portal as a free resource for local hotels, restaurants, retailers and other hospitality-related merchants. Visit Oakland’s website receives about 65,000 visits per month and the Partner Portal will allow any business with a free account to create a presence. Businesses can:
  ·    Create website listings
  ·    Post events to their online calendar page, which is the most popular page on their website for both visitors and locals
  ·    Sign up for free promotions such as Oakland Restaurant Week, Hotel Packages, etc.
  ·    Share COVID Recovery: Update your listing to show consumers how you are reopening and COVID compliant with new ‘Business Continuity’ amenities. Consumers are searching for this information as Visit Oakland’s current COVID Resources webpage has over six minutes time on page with 8,500 visitors since March.
  ·    Opportunities for additional exposure on Visit Oakland’s social media channels and consumer email newsletters

Login information for new and existing members – click here.

Click here for specific instructions on how to update your business amenities to show COVID compliance.

If you have any questions about the Oakland Partner Portal, please email marketing@visitoakland.com.
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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