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Yelp Helps Businesses Communicate Vaccination Requirements, Grants for Qualifying Low-Income Business Owners, PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal, Upcoming Webinars & Other Resources
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August 16, 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. The County also recommends that businesses make face coverings available to individuals entering the business. The county’s FAQs for face covering indoors and in workplaces provides guidance on business responsibilities, including signage requirements.

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.
Yelp Helps Businesses Communicate Vaccination Requirements
For those that have a presence on Yelp, the platform is now helping businesses communicate their vaccination protocols with two new free attributes – “proof of vaccination required” and “all staff fully vaccinated.” Users will be able to filter by these attributes when searching. To help protect businesses that may experience backlash for their vaccination policies, the platform is proactively monitoring Yelp pages of businesses that activate these attributes. To add the attribute, log into your Yelp for Business account and follow these steps.
  • Go to the Business Information section
  • Click Add (or Edit if you have existing content here) next to “Amenities and more”
  • Click Yes next to the attribute you’d like to turn on
  • Click Save Changes

Businesses are also encouraged to check other online listings (i.e., Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to confirm that the current hours of operation are being displayed. In some cases, listings for businesses that were temporarily closed may not have been updated to reflect current hours of operation.
Grants for Qualifying Low-Income Business Owners
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center and the Alameda County-Oakland Community Action Partnership have partnered to offer relief grants of $1,500 to 60 qualifying Oakland business owners. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. To qualify, applicants must have:
  • A business operating in Oakland, CA
  • A 2021 City of Oakland business license
  • Business financials from 2019 or 2020 (tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, point-of-saleOS reports, quarterly taxes)
  • Low- to moderate household income in 2019 or 2020 as indicated in the chart on the program’s web page.
PPP Loan Forgiveness Portal
The SBA has launched a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program loans of up to $150,000 to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA. A borrower can apply for PPP loan forgiveness once all loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness have been used. Borrowers can apply for forgiveness any time up to the maturity date of the loan.

Check to see if your lender is participating in direct forgiveness through the SBA and use the SBA’s portal to apply. The questions in the portal correspond to those asked on SBA form 3508S. After submission, be sure to monitor your application for forgiveness.

If your lender is not participating in SBA’s portal, you must apply for forgiveness through your lender. Your lender can provide you with either the SBA Form 3508, SBA Form 3508EZ, SBA Form 3508S or a lender equivalent. Your lender can provide further guidance on how to submit the application and may follow up to request additional documentation.

Borrowers who need assistance with direct forgiveness can contact SBA’s dedicated forgiveness call center at (877) 552-2692, Monday to Friday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. The call center can only assist direct forgiveness applicants; All other borrowers should contact their PPP lender directly.
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: https://www.oaklandca.gov/resources/webinars-for-businesses-nonprofits-and-independent-contractors

COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Are They Right for You?!
Tuesday, August 17, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Community Conversation to Address Homelessness: Developing Successful Strategies
Tuesday, August 17, 10 11 a.m.
Oakland Chamber of Commerce
Free

PPP Direct Forgiveness Overview
Tuesday, August 17, 10:30 a.m. – Noon

NorCal SBDC
Free

Need Employees?! Practical Solutions for this Small Business Challenge
Wednesday, August 18, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Choosing Your E-Commerce Platform
Wednesday, August 18, 11 a.m. 12: 30 p.m.
Shasta-Cascade SBDC
Free                 

A Just East Bay: From Response to Transformation
Thursday, August 19, Noon
East Bay Community Foundation
Free

Hiring and People Development as part of COVID-19 Recovery
Thursday, August 19, 9 – 10 a.m.
Pacific Community Ventures
Free

Is NOT Having a Website Costing You Money? Create One Yourself! (Part 1)
Thursday, August 19, 2 – 3 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

LSE Virtual Legal Clinic
Thursday, August 19, 4 6 p.m.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Free

Payroll Protection Program: Time to Get Your Forgiveness Application Ready!
Friday, August 20, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Returning to Work: COVID-19 Update
Tuesday, August 24, 1 3 p.m.
NorCal SBDC
Free

Cómo financiar su negocio (en Español)
Tuesday, August 24, 6 9 p.m.
NorCal SBDC
Free

Must Know Insurance Needs for Small Business
Wednesday, August 25, 9 – 11 a.m.
East Bay SCORE
$15

Small Business Finance 101
Wednesday, August 25, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
NorCal SBDC
Free

Marketing Your Services During Challenging Times
Wednesday, August 25, 1 – 3 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC
Free

Can You Afford to Pay Ransom for Your Data? Learn About Cybersecurity NOW!
Wednesday, August 25, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Need Employees?! Practical Solutions for this Small Business Challenge
Thursday, August 26, 1 – 2 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Are They Right for You?!
Thursday, August 26, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Black Women in Business: Growth, Impact, and Community
Thursday, August 26 & Friday, August 27
CEO’s Making Waves
$47-$197

CA Relief Grant: Get Ready for the Next Open Round!
Monday, August 30, 3 – 4 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

CA Relief Grant: Get Ready for the Next Open Round!
Tuesday, August 31, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
AnewAmerica Women’s Business Center
Free

Planning your Business
Thursday, September 9, 10 a.m. – Noon
NorCal SBDC
Free

National Small Business Week 2021 Virtual Summit
Monday, September 13 - Wednesday, September 15, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
SBA
Free

Introduction to the Restaurant Business for Spanish Speakers
Wednesday, September 15, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC
Free

Equitable Access to Small Business Credit
Thursday, October 14, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Free
 
 

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