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: October 15th, 2021 @ 2:23 PM

City staff are here to assist business owners and entrepreneurs -- and we’re coming to library branches in neighborhoods throughout Oakland with the pilot Remote BAC from mid-September till December.

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 request one-on-one assistance.

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

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update October 15, 2021

California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business Economic Development (GO-Biz), announced the launch of calosba.ca.gov a website that connects California’s small business community with critical resources from the state. Highlighting programs that help historically underserved small business groups is an important component of the CalOSBA website.

Federal Resources for Small Businesses

SBA Loans and Advances

Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance
For the hardest-hit businesses and private nonprofits, funds that do not need to be repaid. Applicants for the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) may be eligible to receive up to $15,000 in funding from SBA that does not need to be repaid. These "advances" are similar to a grant, but without the typical requirements that come with a U.S. government grant.

Visit our web page on these two advances for more information.

SBA's Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.

Need help with filing your loan forgiveness paperwork? Contact AnewAmerica's Women's Business Center at (510) 532- 5240 or via email to dneel@anewamerica.org.

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

This State grant program will re-open with Round 7 for waitlisted applicants from certain previous rounds through September 16. New applications will not be accepted in this round. Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Round 9 runs through September 30 for current waitlisted applicants from certain previous rounds (you do not need to re-apply) and for new applicants.

Grant Programs

The Comcast RISE Investment Fund will provide 100 monetary grants of $10,000 to help Oakland small businesses owned by people of color grow as they navigate the pandemic. The application period is now open and closes October 14. Eligible businesses will have been in operation for more than 3 years and have between 1 and 25 employees. Learn more at www.ComcastRISE.com. See the webinars page for upcoming informational and application support webinars. Watch a video of the Oakland RISE Announcement by Multiple Chambers.

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 from low- to moderate-income households. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

While the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program closed on Friday, August 20, 2021, the SBA began supplemental award notifications to eligible applications the week of Sept. 20. Applicants can choose to apply for any amount up to 50% of their original SVOG amount, with a $10 million cap of the initial and supplemental awards combined, according to the law. The supplemental awards also allow SVOG recipients to extend the time to use their grant funds for expenses accrued through June 30, 2022 and lengthen their budget period to 18 months from the initial grant’s award date.

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

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. Businesses 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 The maximum available loan amount is $100,000. There are two different loan terms: 36 months or 60 months at 4.25% fixed annual interest rate. The first 12 months offer interest-only payments. The loans are not forgivable.

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
Employers with more than 25 employees must provide 80 hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave for eligible employees who are:

  • Isolating/quarantining related to COVID-19
  • Attending appointments to receive a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 vaccine
  • Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Caring for a family member who is subject to quarantine or isolation
  • Caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19

The Supplemental Paid Sick Leave extends through September 30, 2021. 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs

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 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 1, including premium subsidies

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

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, up to $33,000 per employee, against certain employment taxes via qualified wages paid to employees from March 13, 2020 to December 31, 2021. Businesses can retroactively claim the credit for past quarters. Learn more here

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 conformed with the Governor’s Executive Order which expired on September 30, 2021. The protections that prevented commercial evictions of small businesses and non-profit organizations for nonpayment of rent ended on that date. Back rent may be due in full depending on the payment plan or other agreement negotiated between the tenant and landlord. The moratorium on residential evictions remains in effect until the end of the Local Emergency as declared by Oakland City Council.

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 Negotiation

The next live webinar:
Virtual Legal Services Clinic
Thursday, October 21, 4 – 6 p.m.

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
Free

Links to recorded Lease Negotiation Webinars from September 2021:

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.

Links to LCCR's recorded Lease Negotiation Webinars from November 2020:

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

California COVID-19 Employer Playbook: when and how an employer must report a COVID-19 positive employee; what is defined as an outbreak; and guidance for employers who may be considering whether to suspend operations due to COVID-19 spread in the workplace.

Criteria for Release from Home Isolation and/or Quarantine and Return to Work

When do I Self-Release from Isolation for COVID-19?

California-made Personal Protective Equipment Marketplace Source: California Manufacturers & Technology Association

Screening Guidance for Employers, Businesses, and Organizations - Source: Alameda County Public Health:
English | Arabic | Farsi | Khmer | Korean | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese | Chinese (Simplified) | Chinese (Traditional)

Alameda County Worker Resources - Source: Alameda County Public Health:
English | Spanish | Chinese (simplified) | Chinese (traditional) | Tagalog | Vietnamese

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

Past Business Update Emails

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update October 8, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update October 1, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update September 26, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update September 3, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update August 27, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update August 20, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update August 16, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update August 6, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update July 30, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update July 23, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update July 9, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update July 2, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update June 25, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update June 11, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update June 4, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 28, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 21, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 14, 2021

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 7, 2021

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

Translated Documents

Visit the 2020 archive of Business Update Emails