Grant Application Deadline Extended, Free Legal Advice for Commercial Leaseholders, New County Health Order

October 9, 2020

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Periodically, the City of Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) 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.
Application Deadline for Individual Artists and Arts Nonprofit Grants Extended
The application deadline for the Oakland CARES Fund for Artists and Arts Nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended to 1 p.m. on Friday, October 23. The grant program with distribute awards of up to $20,000 to arts nonprofits with annual budgets of less than $2.5 million, while supporting individual artists with grants of up to $3,000 each. The online applications and eligibility criteria in four languages are available at:
Through a City of Oakland CARES Act-funded grant, the nonprofit Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF) will provide legal advice and assistance on lease negotiations to small businesses that have suffered revenue losses due to COVID-19. Many Oakland small businesses have struggled to pay rent and require legal advice to help negotiate lease terms with commercial landlords. LCCRSF will provide legal assistance through commercial leasing webinars, one-hour consultations, and longer-term legal assistance. Business owners can access these free legal services at

LCCRSF will hold webinars on commercial lease negotiations during COVID-19 through the end of 2020. While the 60- to 75-minute webinars are free, advance registration is required. Presented by volunteer attorneys from local law firms, the webinars will be offered in various languages as noted below.

Webinars are scheduled for:
    Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 5 p.m. (English)
    Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 5 p.m. (English)
    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 2 p.m. (Spanish)
    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at Noon (English)
    Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 5 p.m. (Vietnamese-Tentative)
    Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 3 p.m. (English)
    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 5 p.m. (Cantonese-Tentative)
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at Noon (English)

Webinar recordings in several languages will also be posted to LCCRSF’s and the City’s websites.

For more individualized legal advice, Oakland small business owners will be able to request hour-long, one-on-one consultations with an attorney. To access this free service, business owners complete an online application at LCCRSF staff will then contact the client to schedule a 30-minute intake call. The intake call facilitates client/attorney matching. Participation in a webinar prior to the one-on-one consultations is encouraged, but not required. The one-on-one consultation includes review of client's lease and related documents before the consultation.

Longer-term legal assistance, which may include lease negotiation, pre-litigation and settlement negotiations or representation in a court proceeding, will be available for up to 16 Oakland low-income small business owners who cannot afford to hire an attorney on their own. Participation in a one-hour consultation is not required prior to the request longer-term assistance, which is capped at $5,000 per client for payment of attorneys’ legal fees. Small business owners who wish to receive additional legal assistance will be responsible for attorney’s fees above $5,000.
New Alameda County Health Orders Allow Additional Business Operations
Effective October 9, 2020, Alameda County will allow:
    Hotels & lodging for tourism: fitness centers and indoor pools restricted
Museums, zoos, & aquariums: indoors < 25% capacity
Personal care services: indoors with modification; services requiring
     removal of face covering prohibited
yms and fitness centers: indoors < 10% capacity; restrictions on
     aerobic exercise and classes
    Outdoor film production per local guidance

While the Health Order allows for the partial reopening of libraries, the Oakland Public Library locations will remain closed for indoor services until plans are in place for safely reopening the buildings. Sixteen OPL sites continue to offer sidewalk service during limited hours.

Review Alameda County’s list of Approved Open & Closed Businesses at:
Guidance and resources to support safe opening are available at:

Public Works Seeks Business Insight on Capital Projects
The City of Oakland’s Capital Improvement Program guides investments in big projects that can range from restoring aging public buildings, to improving streets and sidewalks, to creating or improving our parks. Through Saturday, October 31, you can request a project in your neighborhood for consideration. Simply take a short survey or suggest a project idea online at:
Upcoming Online Workshops & Webinars
Serie de 12 Tallaeres para Emprendedores Hispanos
Jueves hasta el 17 de diciembre
California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Entrepreneurs Workshop Series
Thursdays through December 17
Mandela Partners
Sliding Scale: $25 - $100

How to Grow Your Business Online and Generate Sales
Tuesday, October 13, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Alameda County SBDC

Finding Customers/Marketing Your Idea (Online)
Wednesday, October 14, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
East Bay SCORE
Regular Price: $40; Discounted Price: $15

State Labor Law and Payroll Tax Seminar
Wednesday, October 14, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
California Department of Industrial Relations & Employment Development Department

Basic Resources and Tools in a COVID-19 World
Wednesday, October 14, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC

Branding Through Authenticity: How Being You Is Becoming the Best Way to Market
Wednesday, October 14, 3 – 5 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC

Get Your Business Online With Google
Thursday, October 15, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
East Bay SCORE

How to Bring Your Business and Brand Online with Square
Friday, October 16, Noon – 1 p.m.
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber

Search Marketing: They Are Looking for You!
Tuesday, October 20, 1 – 4 p.m.
East Bay SCORE
Regular Price: $40; Discounted Price: $15

Virtual Job Fair – Transportation, Distribution & Logistics, and Advanced Manufacturing
Thursday, October 22, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
City of Oakland Workforce Development Board
Business Registration

Restaurant Current Best Practices During COVID
Monday, November 16, 9 a.m. – Noon
East Bay SCORE
Regular Price: $40; Discounted Price: $15
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 Mask Required for Entry Posters
  ·  County screening guidance for employers in multiple languages
  ·  Self-assessment guidance for workers in multiple languages
  ·  Information on cleaning/disinfecting businesses
  ·  Workplace Safety
  ·  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.
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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