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Coronavirus 2019 (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 22nd, 2020 @ 4:27 PM

On Monday, May 18, the Alameda County Public Health Official issued an updated Shelter-in-Place Order that allows the following businesses to operate:

See a roster of Essential, Outdoor & Additional Businesses allowed to operate in Alameda County with site specific safety plans and COVID-19 protective measures, dated May 18, 2020. This roster includes businesses and activities authorized under previous orders.

The seven Bay Area Health Officers continue tracking progress on the five key indicators, to determine when our community is safe to move to the next stage of relaxing shelter-in-place restrictions. It takes approximately 2 weeks to see the effects of recently allowed activities on the indicators. Ongoing favorable results will be the deciding factors to further relaxation.

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:

Key Business Resources - EWDD Update May 22, 2020 Translated versions Subscribe for weekly updates

Guide to Available Business and Nonprofit Resources Translated versions

Frequently Asked Questions

SBA Loans & Advance Grant

SBA's Payroll Protection Program

April 27 update: The second round of funding for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is now available. Oakland businesses are encouraged to submit applications now. We expect demand will again be high and recommend early applications.

SBA's Paycheck Protection Program offers 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 8 weeks. To be forgiven, at least 75% 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.

Watch an informational video on the Paycheck Protection Program

Who is generally eligible:

  • Small businesses (generally those with less than 500 employees)
  • Sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed persons
  • 501 (c)(3) Nonprofits, 501 (c)(19) veterans organizations
  • Faith-based organizations, regardless of whether they provide secular social services

How to apply:

Check with your banking partner to see if they are participating. If your banking partner is not participating or has turned you down for a loan, please try another approved lenders at or check out this roster of local partners.

The Application is now available for download. Submit your completed application through a participating financial institution.

Frequently Asked Questions- May 6, 2020

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

On May 15, the Payroll Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions were released. The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers.

Update: 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.

Beyond those who applied prior to March 30, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan is only open for new applications from agribusinesses, those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries.

Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

SBA Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources Espanol

SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan

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 either SBA program?

Grant Programs

The Verizon/LISC Small Business Recovery Fund offers grants of up to $10,000 to help small businesses, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises that don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital in historically underserved communities. The next round of applications opened on May 14.

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.

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.

The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund

Opportunity Fund's Small Business Relief Fund

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

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund, grants for businesses—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served communities

Yelp's $25 Million Relief for Restaurants and Bars

Due to overwhelming demand, the application period for the City of Oakland Small Business Emergency Grants closed at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 5, 2020

Loan Products

Unemployment Benefits

EDD presentation on assistance programs during COVID-19

The federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program is now live and expands Unemployment Insurance to those who don’t typically qualify in California, including:

  • Business owners
  • Self-employed individuals
  • Independent contractors
  • Individuals who may have qualified for regular UI benefits but have collected all benefits for which they are eligible

Watch an informational video on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

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

Support Programs & Services

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 June 30, 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

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

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

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.

Federal Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extend federal filing deadline and federal tax payments

State Postpones Tax Deadlines Until July 15 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

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

Oakland's Moratorium on Residential and Commercial Evictions
Commercial tenants seeking additional information and support on the eviction moratorium can contact:

Workplace Safety

Orders, Releases and Past Updates

Current Order

Alameda County issues revised and extended Shelter in Place Order that took effect May 4 and remains in effect until May 31. Parts of this order were superseded by the Order issued on May 18.

Past Business Update Emails

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, 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

Past Alameda County Orders

Alameda County issues Shelter in Place Order in effect until May 3, 2020, with more and stricter social distancing

Translated Documents