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

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Rehire your Staff through the Payroll Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is an SBA loan program implemented in partnership with select banks. This is a forgivable loan up to $10 million to keep employees on payroll and maintain salary levels. To be forgiven, 75% of the loan must be used for payroll.

If you have laid off your employees due to lost revenue and qualify, this loan is also an opportunity to hire them back. SBA will forgive the portion of the loan that is used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses, including employer-provided health benefits, paid leave, rent, utilities and mortgage interest. Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed may also qualify. Even if your business is closed as a result of the Shelter in Place order, you may be able to use the Payroll Protection Program to rehire and retain employees and keep them on your payroll.

Applications are now available through participating financial institutions. Check with your banking partner to see if they are participating.
Eviction Moratorium Adopted by City Council
On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Oakland City Council passed an eviction moratorium for residential, nonprofit, and small business renters (generally those with fewer than 100 employees).

This moratorium will prohibit most evictions, effective immediately and continuing through May 31, 2020, unless the City Council extends that date. The moratorium also prohibits residential rent increases above 3.5% (the Consumer Price Index, or CPI) and prohibits any late fees related to COVID-19 issues in residential units. The moratorium does not relieve tenants of the obligation to pay unpaid back rent in the future.

The full text of the ordinance is available at: https://bit.ly/2UQl52b

Also, the Superior Court in Alameda County has stayed all unlawful detainer (i.e., eviction) actions through May 3, 2020. You can read the County’s release.

Residential tenants and property owners may contact the Rent Adjustment Program with questions by calling (510) 238-3721 or sending an e-mail to RAP@oaklandca.gov. Rent Adjustment Program information is also online at http://www.oaklandca.gov/rap.

Commercial tenants seeking additional information and support can contact:

Commercial tenants and property owners who have questions not answered here should submit them to BusDev@oaklandca.gov and City staff will get in touch with you.
File an Unemployment Claim
Unemployment insurance (UI) provides partial income replacement when you are laid off or have your hours reduced. If you experience some form of job loss due to COVID-19, take the following steps:

File a claim in the first week that you lose your job or have your hours reduced, or as soon as you can.

File online before 10 p.m. on weekdays, before 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8 p.m. on Sundays at https://edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Filing_a_Claim.htm, or by calling 1-800-300-5616 between 8 a.m. and Noon.

• Be prepared to provide the following information:
        -Last employer information
        -Last date worked and the reason you are no longer working
        -Gross earnings before taxes in the last week you worked
        -Information on all employers you worked for during the past 18 months
        -Citizenship status

The new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program will expand Unemployment Insurance to cover gig workers, independent contractors and self-employed individuals, however, EDD has not provided guidance on how to access this new benefit. Individuals who have previously exhausted their Unemployment Insurance benefits or lack sufficient work history will also be covered by PUA. Stay tuned for more information.
Apply for a SBA Loan and Advance
Apply for a SBA Loan and Advance
Business owners can receive a cash advance grant of up to $10,000 when they apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan. This is the fastest, most secure way to get quick financial support for your business during the COVID-19 pandemic. The application, online at Covid19relief.sba.gov, has been simplified. You should be able to complete the application in about 20 minutes.

When applying online, be prepared to provide the following information:
•Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) for Sole Proprietorships

• Gross Revenues for 12 months prior to January 31, 2020
• Cost of Goods Sold for 12 months prior to January 31, 2020
• Lost Rents, if any, on Residential or Commercial Properties Due to the Disaster
• Number of Employees as of January 31, 2020
• Your bank account number and routing number, if you select the cash advance

There are no forms to upload. Owners who decide not to take the loan or who are declined still keep this cash advance as a grant. Typically, the cash advance is available within three to five days.

If you need assistance, call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.

Local assistance partner AnewAmerica can provide assistance, in English and Spanish, by appointment to walk you through the application by calling (510) 540-7785 ext. 303 or emailing ivalerio@anewamerica.org. Multi-lingual counselors at the Alameda County SBDC can also assist you with the application – including online filing for those without a computer; to schedule an appointment, visit www.acsbdc.org, email acsbdc@ohlone.edu or call (510) 516-4118.
Services for Businesses Reducing Staffing Levels & Employees Facing Layoffs
Oakland businesses that expect to lay off employees have access to the City’s Rapid Response team which provides coordinated services to help support affected employees, including information on career counseling and job search assistance, resume preparation and interviewing skills workshops, Unemployment Insurance information and much more. Employers also receive important information, including details on the state’s Work Sharing Program which helps employers minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs.

Rapid Response is carried out by the Oakland Workforce Development Board and state Employment Development Department (EDD) staff in partnership with Oakland’s American Job Center. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rapid Response services will be carried out online.

To access these Rapid Response services, contact Tamara Walker at twalker@oaklandca.gov or (510) 238-3630.
Help Share Important COVID-19 Messages
As the City develops messages around COVID-19, we created a repository of translated messages and graphics for use by partner organizations and the Oakland business community to help share important information. Current topics range from Stay at Home and Parking to the Eviction Moratorium and Street Sweeping. See the current resources at https://www.oaklandca.gov/resources/outreach-toolkit-for-covid-19
 
 

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