Important:

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the East Bay Hills from Friday May 7, 11pm thru 6AM Monday.

COVID-19 Business and Worker Resources

Resources for Oakland businesses, nonprofits and workers to plan, prepare and respond to Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Date Posted: March 11th, 2020 @ 1:28 PM
Last Updated: May 7th, 2021 @ 2:37 PM

For the latest Alameda County Public Health Order and approved open and closed businesses, please visit the Planning Resources for Business Re-Opening web page

For updates from the State of California, please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/.

Request one-on-one Business Assistance

Businesses, nonprofits and sole proprietors are asked to take the City's COVID-19 Business Impact Data Survey, to receive one-on-one assistance.

Help us develop an inclusive recovery plan by taking a brief survey.

Small businesses, nonprofits, sole proprietors and independent contractors may feel overwhelmed by the many support options available. Please consider:

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 7, 2021

Guide to Available Business and Nonprofit Resources Translated versions

Frequently Asked Questions

SBA Loans

SBA's Paycheck Protection Program

SBA is accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications through May 31, 2021. While most of the funds are exhausted, the SBA will be accepting new applications from Community Financial Institutions (CFI). Find a participating CFI by using SBA’s Lender Match tool or this roster of participating local lenders.

President Biden also announced additional program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable. SBA will:

  • Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants;
  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal;
  • Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make student loan payments by eliminating student loan debt delinquency as a disqualifier to participating in the PPP; and
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. For most borrowers, the maximum loan amount is 2.5 times their average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million. For borrowers in the Accommodation and Food Services sector the maximum loan amount is 3.5 times their average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million.

SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service will allow businesses that got their Paycheck Protection Program loans forgiven to write off expenses paid for with that money, aligning their policy with legislation passed by Congress in December 2020.

A recently passed State law will allow California businesses to avoid paying state taxes on forgiven loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program and to deduct the costs of expenses that those loans paid for.

Need Assistance navigating an SBA loan program?

SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan

March 26, 2021 Update: Starting the week of April 6, the SBA is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and non-profit organizations can borrow up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum amount of $500,000.

June 15, 2020 Update: The SBA has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. Now that the EIDL application portal is accepting new applications, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive long-term, low-interest loans – reducing the economic impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, employees and the communities they support.

The SBA has advised the City that businesses who applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) prior to March 30, 2020, should re-apply now using the online portal.

Prepping to apply for Emergency SBA Economic Injury Loans - Source: Northern California Small Business Development Centers

SBA Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources Espanol

Who is generally eligible:

  • Small businesses (generally those with less than 500 employees)
  • Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed persons
  • Cooperatives
  • Nonprofits – 501(c), 501(d) or 501 (e)
  • Faith-based organizations, regardless of whether they provide secular social services

California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

On Wednesday, March 3, the California Office of the Small Business Advocate announced four new funding rounds for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. Grant award amounts range from $5,000 – $25,000. The remaining rounds are:

Round 6: Wednesday, April 28 to May 4. Eligible applicants: current waitlisted small businesses and/or non-profits not selected in previous rounds and new applicants that meet eligibility criteria found at CAReliefGrant.com. Applicants not selected to receive a grant in previous rounds do not need to re-apply and will be automatically moved into Round 6. New applicants will need to apply at CAReliefGrant.com.

On-demand videos in multiple languages can guide you through the application process.

Need hands-on support? The Alliance for Community Development offers one-on-one sessions and a webinar on Tuesday, April 27, from noon to 1 p.m.

Grant Programs

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Entities that apply for a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, can also apply for an SVOG, with the eligible entity’s SVOG to be reduced by the PPP loan amount.

Independent food service or drinking establishments -- including caterers, brewpubs, taprooms, and tasting rooms -- that are eligible should prepare now to apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant program. The grant application window is expecting to open shortly.

The East Bay Community Energy’s (EBCE) COVID-19 Community Grant offers grants of up to $10,000 to for-profit or nonprofit organizations that offer support in at least one of the following areas: Assistance in Energy or Utility Bills, Food Security, Rent Support, Physical and Mental Health Services

The Beauty Changes Lives Nail Professional Relief Grant is available to licensed professionals who can not maintain their regular income during the COVID-19 pandemic. One-time grants of $1,000 are available to provide temporary financial relief to qualifying applicants that demonstrate financial hardships. The two-part application is not responsive to mobile devices, so please apply using a computer or tablet. Applications are now open.

Opportunity Fund's Small Business Relief Fund

East Bay Community Foundation’s COVID-19 – A Just East Bay Response Fund for nonprofits

San Francisco Foundation nonprofit grants

United Way Bay Area COVID19 Community Relief Fund for nonprofits

The Foundation Directory Online helps nonprofits find funding by providing information about the largest public and private foundations in the U.S.

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund for restaurant workers, nonprofits and small business restaurants

Yelp's $25 Million Relief for Restaurants and Bars

Webinars & Events

Business resource webinars and events are good ways of keeping informed. Check out the upcoming and recorded webinars and events.

Loan Products

The California Rebuilding Fund is a new loan program built to support California's small businesses as they adapt and navigate the effects of COVID-19. Bbusinesses with up to 50 full-time employees and gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 may be eligible to apply. Learn more and apply today at www.CALoanFund.org

TMC Community Capital is offering affordable, online microlending for under-served business owners. Loans amounts from $5,000 to $50,000 for businesses in operation at least 12 months with revenue under $3 million. The interest rate varies between 6% and 9% with loan terms of 2 to 5 years. There is no application fee. There is a 3% processing fee. Borrower support through trainings, tools and resources.

Crowdsourced Zero-Interest Business Loans from KIVA up to $15,000

Working Solutions SBA loans

Main Street Launch SBA loans

Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program loans for small businesses and nonprofits

Unemployment Benefits

The new American Rescue Plan Act adds up to 29 more weeks of benefits to both Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims for weeks of unemployment starting March 14 and extending through the week ending September 4. The extra $300 federal Pandemic Additional Compensation (PAC) payment being added to each week of benefits claimants receive.

For claimants who are not coming up on the end of their benefit year, the EDD will automatically add the newly approved extended weeks of benefits to their PUA and PEUC claims, as long as they continue to meet eligibility requirements. When they do come up to the end of their benefit year, they can expect to be notified by email, text, and mailed notices about the need to re-apply for benefits so the EDD can determine if they qualify for a new regular UI claim or can be connected with further federal benefits.

Californians impacted by stay-at-home orders who had an unemployment claim earlier in the pandemic but stopped collecting when they returned to work are encouraged to reopen their claim if they once again find themselves out of work or with reduced hours.

EDD presentation on assistance programs during COVID-19

File a State Unemployment Insurance Claim for those who traditionally qualify

Reduced Work Hours - Work Sharing Program

Alameda County flyer on Job Loss and COVID-19

EDD is piloting a SMS text notification option for individuals to receive updates about their Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. The pilot began on Saturday, May 16th with a small group of customers. Please note that all text messages will be sent from (877) 324-1224 and will begin with: “Message from EDD:” Claimants that receive text messages from the EDD will have the option to opt-out of receiving text messages at any time by replying “Stop.” Claimants may opt back in by texting “Unstop.”

Sick & Disability Leave

COVID-19 and Oakland’s Sick Leave Law. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance was extended on January 19, 2021.

Oakland recently updated its Paid Sick Leave law to protect workers from COVID-19. Employers should read the new guidelines and post the regulations in a public place.

California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Food Sector Workers

California Paid Sick Leave: Frequently Asked Questions

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Federal tax credits can help cover cost of this leave.

Disability Insurance Elective Coverage for Employers and Self-Employed Individuals

File a Disability Claim if you’re Sick

Paid Family Leave if you're Caring for Someone Ill

Support Programs & Services

The California Small Enterprise Task Force (CASE Force) is a consortium of legal, financial, and nonprofit professionals working together to connect California small businesses with the resources they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. They offer office hours each Thursday from 4-5:30 p.m. en Español

Northern California SBDC is hosting regular drop-in, online meetings for small business owners Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. providing COVID-19 updates and live Q&A. Registration Required.

Información y Recursos para Pequeños Negocios - California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Pacific Community Ventures Small Business Resources

Alameda County Small Business Development Center webinars, guides and resources

Small Business Majority webinars for impacted Small Businesses

ICA Small Business Resources and News during COVID-19

Free testing for employees of businesses in Alameda County, who have symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19

Covered California extends health insurance special enrollment period through July 31, including premium subsidies

Alcoholic Beverage Control eased alcohol delivery restrictions for restaurants, but only with food

Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is temporarily suspending enforcement of specific legal prohibitions

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma's Small Business Resource List

Community Vision support for nonprofits, click "Schedule Your Call” button

Nonprofits and Coronavirus, COVID-19

State Labor & Workforce Development Agency's Resources for Employers and Workers

CDC's Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Kabbage Gift Certificate Support, an initiative that allows small businesses to offer online gift certificates and connects them with consumers across the country

Services for Businesses Reducing Staffing Levels

Are you hiring? List job openings with OnwardCA.org

California's Anti-Price Gouging Information

Emergency financial assistance, legal representation and supportive services to prevent Oakland residents from losing their housing from Keep Oakland Housed

Steps to Preserve Cash Flow

Need an extension on your City of Oakland Business Tax filing?
You must request an extension in writing on or before March 1
. This extension will allow you to remit your business tax payment no later than 45 days from the filing deadline. The extended date would be April 15, 2021. Note: this extension only waives the penalty; it does not waive the 1% monthly interest on the tax. Send the extension request in writing to: btwebsupport@oaklandca.gov

Main Street Small Business Tax Credit
Through January 15, 2021, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is accepting applications, through its online reservation system, for qualified small business owners to reserve up to a $100,000 hiring tax credit. The small business hiring tax credit provides a credit that a small business employer can use to offset their income taxes or their sales and use taxes when filing their tax returns.

The tentative credit reservation is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and is reserved for businesses with fewer than 100 employees who suffered a 50 percent decrease or more in income tax gross receipts (generally, all income less returns and allowances), when comparing second quarter 2020 to second quarter 2019. Frequently Asked Questions.

Need assistance with the Tax Credit? Call the CDTFA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711), Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except state holidays.

Federal tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. Immediate dollar-for-dollar reimbursement offset against payroll taxes

Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. More information in their Frequently Asked Questions.

Small business interest-free deferral of sales/use tax up to $50,000 for businesses with less than $5 million in taxable sales

Payroll Tax Payments Deferral – The CARES Act allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer's share of Social Security taxes and self-employed individuals to defer payment of certain self-employment taxes incurred to December 31, 2020. The amount owed can be paid over the following two years.

Tax relief is provided under the CARES Act for taxpayers with net operating losses. Any business that claimed a loss in tax year 2018, 2019, or 2020, may be able to carry that loss back five years. Amending your tax returns could generate immediate refunds.

Request up to a 60-day extension on State Payroll Taxes

Property Tax Penalty Waivers for Eligible Taxpayers

Request late payment penalty waiver/payment plan for City of Oakland Business Taxes

PG&E COVID-29 Consumer Protections

Eviction Moratorium

In Oakland, the commercial eviction defense to non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 will conform with the Governor’s Executive Order (currently set to expire on June 30, 2021) or any extensions of the order.

Through a grant from the City of Oakland, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the SF Bay Area to Provided Webinars to Assist Oakland Small Businesses with Lease Negotiations

Links to recorded Lease Negotiation Webinars

Learn more about Oakland's Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions

Commercial tenants seeking additional information and support on the eviction moratorium 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.

Workplace Safety

On September 17, 2020, a new law (SB 1159) signed by Governor Gavin Newsom expands access to workers’ compensation and makes it easier for first responders, health care workers and people who test positive due to an outbreak at work to get the support they need, including necessary medical care and wage replacement benefits. Read Frequently Asked Questions. The law took effect immediately.

The Governor also signed AB 685 to ensure timely notification to employees and local and state public health officials of COVID-19 cases at workplaces. This notification will help workers take necessary precautions such as seeking testing, getting medical help or complying with quarantine directives. The changes will in effect from January 1, 2021, until January 1, 2023. Learn more at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/Coronavirus/AB6852020FAQs.html

To help employers understand California labor law and legal obligations related to COVID-19 protections in the workplace, the State of California will host a series of webinars on State Labor Law and Payroll Tax.

Cal/OSHA Guidance on Coronavirus

COVID-19 Guidance for Restaurants & Beverage Vendors Offering Takeout or Curbside Pickup OSHA COVID-19 Guidelines

OSHA COVID-19 Guidelines

Key OSHA Standards

Orders, Releases and Past Updates

Current and Past Alameda County Health Orders

Visit the County's site at: http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov/health-officer-orders.aspx

Past Business Update Emails

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update April 30, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update April 23, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update April 16, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update April 9, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update April 2, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update March 26, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update March 19, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update March 12, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update March 5, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update February 26, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update February 19, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update February 5, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update January 29, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update January 22, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update January 15, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update January 8, 2021

Visit the 2020 archive of Business Update Emails.

Business-related Media Releases

City of Oakland Launches Flex Streets Initiative Allowing Businesses to Use City Sidewalks and Streets Under COVID-19

City of Oakland Continues Services to Support Economic Recovery, Restores Parking Meter Operations Citywide Effective July 6

City of Oakland, Working Solutions Announce Disbursement of $500,000 in Emergency Grants to Small Businesses

City of Oakland Announces Availability of Small Business Emergency Grants in Partnership with Working Solutions (Closed April 5, 2020)

City of Oakland Outlines Small Business, Workforce Support to Mitigate Impacts of COVID-19

Translated Documents

Visit the 2020 archive of Business Update Emails