The City is experiencing a City wide phone outage, which is affecting the Oak311 phone line. We are currently working on a resolution.

Business Update Email – May 27, 2022

This is an update from the City of Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) highlighting available resources for businesses and our partner organizations who support them.

Date Posted: May 27th, 2022 @ 12:14 PM
Last Updated: May 27th, 2022 @ 12:18 PM

For additional 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.

If you need individualized business assistance, remember you can book a free, 30-minute appointment at 6 different Neighborhood Business Assistance locations.

Loans for Food and Wellness Businesses

Feed the Hunger Fund is supporting Oakland food and wellness businesses with loans of up to $100,000. Businesses must have a valid City of Oakland business license to qualify. The loans have a 5.5% interest rate and terms of up to 5 years. Food businesses include

restaurants, markets, food trucks, etc., while Wellness business can be chiropractic and massage therapy, vitamin stores, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Meche Sansores at meche@feed-hunger.com or (415) 533-7171.

Changes to the City’s Proof of Vaccination Ordinance

At its meeting on Tuesday, May 17, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to adopt changes to the Proof of Vaccination Ordinance. The requirement to show proof of vaccination to enter most indoor public locations was lifted. However, entry to Senior Adult Care Facilities and City of Oakland Senior Centers still requires proof of vaccination. While the requirement to show proof of vaccination to enter indoor events was removed, the revised Ordinance requires patrons attending a large indoor event (2,500 or more attendees) to wear a mask. See additional details on the changes at: www.oaklandca.gov/VaxOrdinance

CalSavers Retirement Savings Plan

By June 30, 2022, employers with five or more California-based employees are required to have a retirement plan in place for workers – either through a private-market option, like a 401(k) or Simple IRA retirement plan, or through the state-run CalSavers program. Your employee count is calculated by averaging the number of employees you report to the Employment Development Department on your filings from the previous calendar year. The State law is meant to help more people save for retirement with a convenient payroll deduction and applies to both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations with paid employees..

Employers can register through the CalSavers website or, if they are offering a qualified private-market alternative like a 401(k), file an exemption on the same site. After registering, the employer is required to add employees within 30 days of completing the registration.

Additional information in multiple languages, including frequently asked questions, webinars and step-by-step instructions, are available at: www.calsavers.com

Microbusiness Grants

The California Office of the Small Business Advocate has awarded funding to the Chabot - Las Positas Community College District for the Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program to provide $2,500 grants to microbusinesses in the counties of Alameda, Amador, Contra Costa, and El Dorado.

Eligible, microbusinesses are those that:

  • have fewer than 5 employees and earn less than $50,000 per year
  • were in operation in 2019 and are still in operation
  • were impacted by the COVID-19 public health restrictions
  • were the primary source of revenue for the business owner
  • did not receive a California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 12. Learn more at: https://sites.google.com/swccd.edu/clpccd/home

Grants for BIPOC-led Music Businesses

Zoo Labs will award unrestricted grants to Bay Area BIPOC and BIPOC-led artist teams whose music-based business is contributing to the region’s arts and culture environment in positive ways. Awards will range from $5,000 to $50,000. Selected teams will also receive focused mentorship and community support.

To be considered for funding, applicants must:

  • be BIPOC-led and based in the Bay Area
  • have a solid team of two or more people, with at least one artist member
  • be preparing to launch or have an already established music business
  • show that they are at a critical juncture – one where receiving funding could make a big difference in accelerating the growth of their business.

To help applicants, grant guidelines and a video with tips on applying are available. The deadline to apply is Noon on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Get a Free Website Redesign for Your Small Business

Hack the Hood helps future tech workers develop skills by providing small businesses and nonprofits with a free website redesign. With a website, you can establish your online presence, gain new customers and sell services or products. Businesses are responsible for the domain registration and web hosting fees, typically $130 per year. The small business website redesign is offered during Hack the Hood’s upcoming summer program starting July 2022. Apply today at https://www.tfaforms.com/4979728.

Take the Community Pledge

As emerge from the pandemic, the City of Oakland encourages residents and workers in Oakland to recommit to the community, reconnect with each other and rediscover what makes Oakland great by taking the Community Pledge. Recommit to spending your dollars locally to support Oakland’s economy and its beloved small businesses. Oaklanders can reconnect and rediscover Oakland through upcoming community events.

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:

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.

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

Virtual Lawyers in the Library
Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons
Oakland Public Library
Free

CalSavers Retirement Savings Program Workshop For Employers
Wednesday, June 1, Noon – 1 p.m.
Sacramento Valley SBDC
Free

ADA Forum
Wednesday, June 1, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Mandela Partners and Guardian ADA
Free

Comenzar un Negocio con Confianza
Wednesday, June 1, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Free

Intellectual Property Basics. Know Your Rights!
Thursday, June 2, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
East Bay SCORE
$23

First Fridays Preventive Business Law Office Hours for Entrepreneurs
Friday, June 3, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Free

Access to Capital for Small Businesses
Monday, June 6, 10 – 11 a.m.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Free

So you want to start a food business
Wednesday, June 8, 6 – 8 p.m.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Free

Business Accounting
Thursday, June 9, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
East Bay SCORE
$23

Business Law Basics
Tuesday, June 14, 3 – 4 p.m.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Free

Virtual Legal Clinic
Thursday, June 16, 4 – 6 p.m.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Free

East Bay Innovation Awards Block Party
Thursday, June 16, 5 – 8:30 p.m.
Bridge Yard, 210 Burma Rd.
$25 – $50

Oakland Chamber’s 117th Annual Meeting and Awards Celebration
Wednesday, June 22, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave.
$65 - $85