New Grant for Venues, Free HR Hotline, Business Support Services at Neighborhood Libraries, Commercial Eviction Moratorium, EIDL Advances and other Business Resources - October 29, 2021
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October 29, 2021

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This is an update from the City of Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) for businesses, nonprofits, independent contractors and our partner organizations who support them. These are just highlights of available resources. For information about worker benefits, grants, loans and support services available, please visit our Business & Worker Resource web page. The site is updated regularly as more information becomes available, so please check it often.

All individuals within Alameda County are required to wear face coverings – regardless of vaccination status – when indoors in workplaces and public settings, with limited exemptions.

county’s FAQs for face covering indoors and in workplaces provides guidance on business responsibilities, including signage requirements. The county recently issued the criteria for Lifting Indoor Masking Requirements in the future if certain conditions are met. While the county will ease masking requirements for fully vaccinated people in limited indoor settings on November 1, they indicated the earliest possible timeline for meeting mask-lifting criteria is mid- to late-December.

Note that lifting a local indoor mask mandate would not prevent businesses, nonprofits, churches, or others with public indoor spaces from imposing their own face covering requirements. The County also recommends that businesses make face coverings available to individuals entering the business.

Vaccinations remain the best protection against COVID-19, preventing most related hospitalizations and deaths. Alameda County has posted an Employer Vaccination Toolkit for businesses interested in supporting their employees in getting vaccinated.

Alameda County shared recommendations on how to celebrate Halloween and Día de los Muertos safely.
California Venues Grant Program
The $150 million California Venues Grant Program will support continued operation of eligible independent live events venues that have been affected by COVID-19. Eligible independent live events venues must have a physical address and operate in California, which will be validated through submitted business tax returns. Both non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses may apply. Grants amounts can be up to $250,000 or 20 percent of the applicant’s gross earned revenue in California for the 2019 taxable year. The application period is now open and runs through Friday, November 19, 2021.
Free Human Resources Hotline for COVID-19 Questions
The Alameda County Workforce Development Board, in partnership with the California Employers Association, provides Alameda County businesses with a free Human Resources Hotline at (888) 202-5668. Human resources experts provide guidance on:
  • Hiring & Firing Processes
  • Paid Sick Leave Laws & FMLA
  • Breaks, Lunches, & Overtime
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Harassment Prevention
  • COVID-19 Questions

The hotline operates Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Get Business Support Services at Neighborhood Libraries
Whether you’re starting a new business, expanding your business or just need business support, City staff are here to help. Through the Remote Business Assistance Center (BAC) pilot program, Business Development staff will be available for 30-minute appointments at five library locations:
  • West Oakland (every other Monday morning)
  • 81st Avenue (every other Tuesday evening)
  • César E. Chávez (every other Wednesday evening)
  • Golden Gate (every other Thursday morning)
  • Eastmont (every other Friday afternoon)

Appointments through December are by reservation only. To schedule an appointment, visit For help scheduling an appointment, call (510) 238-7398. If you can’t make it to one of the neighborhood locations, fill out our online request form and a staff member will call or email you within two business days.
Commercial Eviction Protection for Nonpayment of Rent Expired September 30
The Oakland City Ordinances on the local commercial eviction moratorium conformed with the Governor’s most recent Executive Order, which expired on Thursday, September 30, 2021. The protections that prevented commercial evictions of small businesses and non-profit organizations for nonpayment of rent ended on that date. Back rent may be due in full depending on the payment plan or other agreement negotiated between the tenant and landlord. The moratorium on residential evictions remains in effect until the end of the Local Emergency as declared by the Oakland City Council.

Through grants from the City of Oakland, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) continues to provide commercial lease negotiation assistance to small business owners.

Tenants seeking additional information and support as the commercial eviction moratorium ends, should visit:
SBA Targeted EIDL Advances up to $15,000 Still Available
If your business or nonprofit is in a low-income area, you may qualify for up to $15,000 in federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances. These “advances” are like grants, and do not need to be repaid. You do not have to qualify for or accept a loan to receive the advances. Much of Oakland below I-580 qualifies as a low-income area.
  1. Up to $10,000 Targeted EIDL Advance if your business or nonprofit is in a low-income area, lost more than 30 percent in revenue, and has 300 or fewer employees.
  2. Additional $5,000 Supplemental Targeted Advance if your business or nonprofit is in a low-income area, lost more than 50 percent in revenue, and has 10 or fewer employees.

The Supplemental Targeted Advance can combine with original EIDL and/or Targeted EIDL Advance for a total of up to $15,000.

If you have not previously applied for EIDL, apply now!

If you previously applied for EIDL, the SBA should have contacted you with details. If you cannot find that email, you can contact SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY 1-800-877-8339) or by email at to request a new invite. Be sure to include your application submission number.

While the applications must be submitted in English, the SBA provides documents in different languages to help you understand eligibility requirements, fill out applications and answer frequently asked questions.

Business support partners are offering ongoing application assistance.
Resources for Re-Opening
Upcoming Online Workshops & Webinars
Below is a sampling of upcoming workshops and webinars. See additional listings and check for last-minute additions at:

Pulse of Oakland Poll Results & Presentation
Tuesday, November 2, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Oakland Metro Chamber

Alameda County Human Resources Guidelines
Tuesday, November 2, 1 – 3 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC

Como estructurar la identidad de su negocio
Tuesday, November 2, 6 – 9 p.m.

How to do Business and Pre-Qualification with Peralta
Wednesday, November 3, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Peralta Community College District

Marketing your Business
Thursday, November 4, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

2021 Small Business Big Impact
Thursday, November 4, 7 – 8 p.m.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Coming Back Stronger: A Leadership Workshop development by Women for Women
Saturday, November 6, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Women’s Global Leadership Initiative & Comerica

SBA Overview and Access to Capital
Monday, November 8, 10 – 11 a.m.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Agencia Federal de Pequenos Negocios y Acceso a Capital
Tuesday, November 9, 1 – 2 p.m.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

How to Manage and Forecast Cash Flow for Small Businesses
Thursday, November 11, Noon – 2 p.m. 
Alameda County SBDC

Virtual Legal Services Clinic
Thursday, November 11, 4 – 6 p.m.
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights

Important Year-End Money Moves Before the New Year Kicks In
Monday, November 15, 5 – 7 p.m.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Tuesday, November 16, 1 – 3 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC

Análisis de Costo y Margen de Ganancia
Tuesday, November 16, 6 – 9 p.m.

Inside Oakland: Mayor Libby Schaaf
Thursday, November 18, 9 – 10 a.m.
Oakland Metro Chamber

Effective Marketing Strategies to Manage Customer Pitfalls and Boost Loyalty
Tuesday, November 30, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC


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