A Red Flag Warning is now in effect for the East Bay Hills from Saturday, September 26 at 9 PM - Monday, September 28 at 8 AM.

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: September 25th, 2020 @ 5:05 PM

Effective September 25, 2020: Alameda County to Allow Nail Salons to Open Indoors

Effective September 14, 2020, Alameda County’s updated Vehicle-Based Gathering Order will permit live performances including entertainment like musical, theatrical, and artistic performances, lectures, presentations, movie showings, as well as religious and cultural ceremonies. Alameda County Public Health Department will issue additional guidance and hosts of all live performances over 200 vehicles are required to submit a Live Performance Plan to COVIDRecovery@acgov.org.

Effective Friday, September 4, updated Alameda County Health Orders allow:

Effective Monday, August 31, the State’s Blueprint once again permits retail in shopping malls. However, it places additional restrictions on retail. Starting August 31, all indoor retail must limit capacity to a maximum of 25%, except for grocery stores, which must limit capacity to a maximum of 50%. Please visit https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/ and find “Retail” for reference.

Effective 8:00 a.m. on Friday, August 28, Alameda County Health Orders allow for the reopening of outdoor swimming pools and outdoor hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, waxing services, skin care and non-medical massages. These Orders exclude services that may require a client to remove their face covering, as well as eyebrow threading and waxing and eyelash treatments. Tattoos, piercings and electrolysis are not allowed to operate indoors or outdoors in alignment with the State of California’s Health Officer Orders issued on July 13.

Restaurant Operating Procedures
English | Chinese | Spanish

Retail and Shopping Center Guidance
English | Chinese (Simplified) | Chinese (Traditional) | Farsi | Korean | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese

Outdoor Hair, Barber, Nail, Skin Care, Waxing, and Non-Medical Massage Guidance

Outdoor Pool Guidance

July 15 Update: Outdoor Dining Now Allowed to Resume, Indoor Worship Services and Indoor Malls are Required to Close

The order will continue to be in effect until it is rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer.

Visit the Planning Resources for Business Re-Opening web page

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.

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

  • Applying now for the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant Advance
  • Pursuing a crowdsourced, zero-interest loan from KIVA

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update September 25, 2020

Guide to Available Business and Nonprofit Resources Translated versions

Frequently Asked Questions

SBA Loans & Advance Grant

SBA's Payroll Protection Program

Update: The deadline for applying for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) was August 8, 2020. SBA data shows that more than 6,700 Oakland businesses have been approved for PPP loans.

SBA's Paycheck Protection Program offered loans of up to $10 million in partnership with select banks. This is a forgivable loan to keep employees on payroll and maintain salary levels for up to 24 weeks. To be forgiven, at least 60% of the loan must be used for payroll, including the cost of employer-provided health benefits. If you've already laid off your employees, this loan provides the opportunity to hire them back.

  • Less money is required to be spent on payroll. Originally 75% of the loan had to be used for maintaining payroll in order for the loan to be forgiven. That threshold is now 60% – allowing up to 40% to be used on rent, mortgage, interest and utilities.
  • More time to spend the money. Borrowers will now have 24 weeks to use their PPP funds, instead of the original 8 weeks.
  • More time to rehire staff. Borrowers now have until December 31 to achieve the staffing mandate of maintaining the average number of employees they had on payroll as of February 15.
  • More time to repay. For those loans that are not fully forgiven, borrowers now have five years to pay back loans made on or after June 5. For those with loans made prior to June 5, check with your lender about entering an agreement to extend your repayment period.

PPP Loans Frequently Asked Questions - May 27, 2020 (includes information on loan forgiveness)

Frequently Asked Questions- May 6, 2020

SBA guidance to Self-Employed that need a PPP Loan (see page 4)

Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions have been released for the Payroll Protection Program. The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers.

SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan

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

Need Assistance navigating and SBA loan program?

Grant Programs

Through the Oakland CARES Act Small Business Grant Program, more than $4 million in grants will go to support Oakland small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application period is open until 5 p.m. PDT on Monday, October 12. Apply now!

Through the Oakland CARES Fund for Artists and Arts Nonprofits, $1.425 million in grants will go to support individual artists and arts nonprofit organizations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application period is open until 1 p.m. on Friday, October 9. Apply now!

Through the Oakland CARES Nonprofit Grant Fund, $850,000 in grants will go to support nonprofit organizations that are currently providing programs and services that address the impact of COVID-19 and the needs of low-income residents and businesses in select service sectors. The application period is open until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14. Apply now!

Essential Business Support Fund and Returning California to Work COVID-19 Safety Protocol Fund is offering grants of up to $10,000 to State Fund policyholders to help defray the cost of safety expenses related to COVID-19 such as the purchase of googles, masks, gloves, cleaning supplies and services, and worksite modifications. Costs must be primarily related to employee safety. See their FAQ’s for more information. Grants are available until September 30.

Facebook Small Business Grants for Black-Owned Businesses is part of their $100 million pledge to the Black community in the United States. This pledge includes cash and ad credits to support Black-owned small businesses. To learn more, attend the online webinar:

Support your favorite local businesses today by nominating them for TMC Community Capital Small Business, Big Heart grant program. Nominated businesses are entered into a lottery selection for grants of $2,000 per employee up to $10,000.

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

Loan Products

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

California is now participating in the Lost Wages Assistance program. This will provide an additional $300 per week for people who receive at least $100 per week in unemployment benefits. If you qualify, payments are for weeks of unemployment dating back to July 26, even if you are paid later.

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

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

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

Learn about Oakland's Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions

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 March 31, 2021) or any extensions of the order.

Commercial tenants seeking additional information and support on the eviction moratorium can contact:

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 September 18, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update September 4, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update August 28, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update August 21, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update August 14, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update August 7, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update July 31, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update July 17, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update July 10, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update July 3, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update June 26, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update June 19, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update June 12, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update June 5, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 29, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 22, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 15, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 8, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 1, 2020

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update April 24

EWDD Update April 10 - Key Business Resources

EWDD Update April 3 - Key Business Resources

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