County Health Order, Updated Restaurant Operating Procedures, Free COVID-19 Testing, Digital Workshops for Arts & Arts Organizations

November 6, 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.
Flex Street Initiative Continues to Offer Streamlined Permits for Outdoor Dining, Retail
The City continues to accept applications through the Flex Streets Initiative for streamlined sidewalk and roadway encroachment permits. 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.

Under the Flex Streets initiative, a business can apply through a streamlined process to obtain a permit for five different uses:

   · The Sidewalk or Parking Lane
   · A Traffic Lane
   · Private Parking Lots or Other Private Outdoor Areas
   · A Food Truck, Trailer or Pushcart
   · City-owned Outdoor Property

See instructions for each of the five particular uses at:

We’re also waiving permit fees. It is important to apply for the permit before you start, even for privately owned or leased outdoor spaces – including parking lots. When designing outdoor areas, restaurant operators should review Alameda County’s updated Restaurant Operating Procedures (English, Chinese, Spanish), which provide clarifying guidance on outdoor dining, as well as safety tips from the Oakland Fire Department and ADA Accessibility Guidelines. 
Through a City of Oakland CARES Act-funded grant, the nonprofit Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF) is providing legal advice and assistance on lease negotiations to small businesses that have suffered revenue losses due to COVID-19. LCCRSF will provide legal assistance through commercial leasing webinars, one-hour consultations and longer-term legal assistance. Oakland small business owners will be able to request hour-long, one-on-one consultations with an attorney by completing an online application at:
Application Deadline for Home-Based Business Grants Extended
The deadline to apply to the Oakland CARES Act Home-Based Business Grant Program has been extended to Monday, November 9. The program will distribute $500,000 in grants of $2,000 to $4,000 to home-based, for-profit businesses in Oakland. Working Solutions, a Bay Area nonprofit, is administering the program. Online applications and eligibility requirements in four languages are available at:
Free COVID-19 Testing
On Tuesday, October 27, the County of Alameda and Alameda Health System launched a new COVID-19 testing site at the Henry J. Kaiser Center, 10 Tenth Street in Oakland. You do not need a doctor’s note or insurance and you will not be asked about immigration status. Any adult can receive a test on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Essential workers will be prioritized for appointments from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays. Children, two and older, can be tested on Saturdays. Appointments can be made at:

To learn about other free testing sites in Oakland, visit:

Free Digital Workshops to Strengthen Oakland’s Cultural Community
To help Oakland-based arts organizations and artists develop a robust online digital presence, 14 free, virtual workshops will be held from November 9 to December 10. Through the City’s CARES Act funding, Youth Speaks, in partnership with YR Media and Zoo Labs, will offer classes on:
   · Available tools for programming and production
   · Producing content utilizing low-cost tools and technology
   · The aesthetic associated with virtual presentations
   · Social media and marketing strategies
   · Strategies on how to monetize one’s presence

For details on the workshop offerings and registration, please visit:
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

SEO Optimization for Small Businesses
Tuesday, November 10, 1 – 4 p.m.
East Bay SCORE

Commercial Lease Negotiation Webinar (Vietnamese and English)
Tuesday, November 10, 5 p.m.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

Planning Your Business
Wednesday, November 11, 2 – 4 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC

Growing Your Business Without Selling
Wednesday, November 11, 3 – 5 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC

COVID-19 Business Reopening-Understanding and Managing the Process
Thursday, November 12, 11 a.m. Noon
AnewAmerica Women's Business Center

Tuesday, November 17, 10 – 11 a.m.
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Finding Customers/Marketing Your Idea
Wednesday, November 18, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
East Bay SCORE

Thursday, November 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
City of Oakland Workforce Development Board

Thursday, November 19, 3 p.m.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

Thursday, November 19, 3 – 4 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women's Business Center

Monday, November 23, 3 – 5 p.m.
Alameda County SBDC

Commercial Lease Negotiation Webinar (Cantonese and English)
Wednesday, December 2, 5 p.m.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights

COVID-19 Business Reopening-Understanding and Managing the Process
Thursday, December 3, 10 – 11 a.m.
AnewAmerica Women's Business Center

COVID-19 Business Reopening-Understanding and Managing the Process
Thursday, December 10, 2 – 3 p.m.
AnewAmerica Women's Business Center

Wednesday, December 16, Noon
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
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
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.
   · Take the COVID-19 Business Impact Data Survey, which services as the City’s intake pathway to request one-on-one business assistance
   · Take our brief Business Re-opening and Recovery Survey to help the City gauge COVID-19 impacts to your business and what resources would help


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