Resources for Business Re-Opening

As businesses begin to plan for re-opening, the following may be helpful resources.

Date Posted: May 6th, 2020 @ 6:38 PM
Last Updated: April 16th, 2021 @ 10:27 AM

Take the Recovery Plan Survey

The City’s Economic & Workforce Development Department is proactively developing an economic recovery plan to assist small businesses in reopening and thriving as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be successful, economic development strategies and plans must be built through public contributions, feedback and buy-in from people like you. To ensure that key community stakeholders have a voice and are a part of the effort, we ask that you provide candid feedback by completing a brief survey.

Health Orders

April 15: State provided update guidance for indoor live events, entertainment and performances with seated audiences. Follow this guidance for outdoor live events, entertainment, and performances with seated audiences.

Effective March 31, Alameda County will move into the Orange Tier, which allows:

  • Restaurants to operate indoors at 50 percent maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
  • Bars may open Outdoors with modifications, no meals required to be served
  • Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries may operate indoors at 25 percent maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer; No meals required to be served
  • Retail to operate open indoors with modifications and food courts permitted with indoor dining restrictions
  • Family entertainment centers may operate indoors for naturally distanced activities like bowling, escape rooms, and billiards at 25 percent maximum capacity
  • Gyms, fitness centers and studios (including at hotels) may operate indoors at 25 percent maximum capacity; indoor pools are permitted; however, indoor hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms remain closed
  • Movie Theaters may operate at 50 percent maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
  • Museums, Zoos and Aquariums may open indoors with 50 percent maximum capacity
  • Non-Essential Offices are allowed to open indoors with modifications and remote work (telework) is strongly encouraged
  • Places of worship will have increased indoor capacity of 50 percent maximum

For a complete roster of allowed activities, please review the State's Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Businesses and activities permitted to open under the State’s Orange Tier must continue to comply with the State’s Industry Guidance: Additional workplace resources can be found at and resources for Alameda County workers are available at

All businesses permitted to operate indoors must follow the CDPH interim guidance for ventilation, filtration, and air quality. This guidance includes practical steps your business can take to promote better ventilation, filtration, and air quality indoors to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Starting April 1, activities eligible to start:
  • Outdoor sports and live performances with fans/attendees: In the Orange Tier, capacity will be limited to 33 percent and with advanced reservations only. Concession sales will be primarily in-seat (no concourse sales). Designated indoor seated dining area capacity will be limited to 25 percent. Attendance will be limited to in-state spectators and guests must attest their reserved seats are only for one household.
  • Amusement parks: In the Orange Tier, overall park capacity and indoor capacity will be limited to 25 percent, including indoor dining. Small groups with a maximum of 3 household groups may attend together. Attendance will be limited to in-state visitors. Walk up ticket sales will be permitted, but park operators must collect name and contact information of the ticket purchases for necessary contract tracing.

December 10: ABC provides industry guidance on cocktails to-go and sale of sealed containers; Alameda County will align and follow this guidance.

November 17: Alameda County updated their Restaurant Operating Procedures including more detailed guidance related to canopies and covered sides based on additional information received from the State: (English) (Spanish) (Chinese)

October 15: Alameda County Highlights COVID-19 Guidance Available for the Arts Community

See Alameda County's COVID Recovery Page for relevant attachments.

Mask Required For Entry Poster: Arabic | Amharic | Burmese | Chinese (Simplified) | Chinese (Traditional) | English | Khmer | Korean | Spanish | Swahili | Tagalog | Tigrinya | Vietnamese

Face Covering Sign for Businesses by Alameda County (PDF): ENGLISH | SPANISH | CHINESE (Simplified) | CHINESE (Traditional) | KOREAN | ARABIC | TAGALOG | VIETNAMESE | CAMBODIAN

Mask On Sign for Businesses by Alameda County (PDF) in English, Chinese and Spanish

ReOpening Guide signs by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (PDF), in partnership with Oaklandish and the Economic Recovery Advisory Council, 11" x 17" signs for download. Pick up hard copies from any Oakland Chamber, Business Improvement District or CIty Council office. ENGLISH | CHINESE | SPANISH | VIETNAMESE

Businesses seeking guidance on re-opening consistent with Alameda County guidelines should email

Vaccine Planning

Current COVID-19 vaccine supply is limited, and Alameda County is following the State’s vaccine prioritization guidance. As vaccine supplies increase, you will be able to get a vaccine through a County-administered point of dispensing (POD) or your health care provider.

For current eligibility for vaccination, please visit Alameda County Public Health's website.

In the meantime, please protect yourself from COVID-19 by wearing a mask, keeping your distance from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands frequently.

To learn more about vaccine planning in Alameda County, please visit their website.

Take the Re-opening and Recovery Survey

To help the City gauge COVID-19 impacts to your business and what resources would help you as you plan for re-opening and recovery, please take our brief Business Re-opening and Recovery Survey.

What to do if any Employee Tests Positive

Employers report positive cases among employees.

Report within 48 hours and Alameda County Public Health Department will provide guidance on next steps. Use this online form.

Review Alameda County Public Health Department's step-by-step instructions.

Have a question? Email

On January 1, 2021, AB 685 went into effect. The law requires businesses to notify employees of potential COVID-19 exposure at the workplace within one business day of exposure. The law remains in effect until January 1, 2023.

Planning Documents

State of California industry guidelines to help businesses reduce risk and establish a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. Read the guidelines, find industry-specific checklists and learn more at:

General Business Ventilation Guidance During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Source: Alameda County Public Health

COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening - Source: California Department of Public Health

Guidelines for Opening Up America Again – Source: White House

Update on California’s Pandemic Roadmap – Source: State of California

COVID-19 Guidance Documents - Source: California Department of Public Health

Planning Considerations for Organizations in Reconstituting Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Source: FEMA

How-To guide for re-opening your workplace – Source: Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield Webinar

SAFE Retail - Considerations for Retail Operations Post COVID-19 - Source: Target

Reopening Resources by Industry - Source: International Economic Development Council

Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation - Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention industry decision trees:

Interim Guidance for Manufacturing Workers and Employers - Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Workplace Safety

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.

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

Face Covering Required Signs in multiple languages - Source: Alameda County Public Health

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

Self-Assessment Guidance for Workers - Source: Alameda County Public Health
English | Arabic | Chinese (Simplified) | Chinese (Traditional) |Farsi | Khmer | Karen | Korean | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese

OSHA COVID-19 Guidelines – Source: U.S. Department of Labor

OSHA Standards – Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus - Source: California Department of Industrial Relations

Workplace Outbreak Guidance for Employers - Source: California Department of Public Health

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.

Employee Training

The City of Oakland’s Workforce Development Board has launched a free, online skills training platform offered by Metrix Learning.

Taking courses can help Oaklanders improve a wide variety of skills, earn industry certificates, launch into new careers or advance up the career ladder. Metrix Learning offers more than 5,000 courses leading to over 180 industry certificates, with online classes in English, Spanish and Cantonese.

Accessible 24/7, the self-paced courses allow users to take the classes when it is convenient for them. This training resource is available to any Oakland resident or business owner. Register at:

Restaurant Re-Opening Resources

As Oakland restaurants are allowed by County Order to re-open in stages, industry-specific resources are available.

How the City is supporting business use of sidewalks and parking lanes

To specifically support businesses with curbside or storefront pickup, and/or delivery, the City is taking the following steps:

1. Streamlining Sidewalk and Roadway Permitting

In anticipation of further updates to Alameda County’s Shelter-in-Place Order, City departments are working to revise the permitting process for sidewalk and roadway encroachments to make it easier for retailers and restaurants to use larger portions of the sidewalk and roadway to support their businesses. The City is working to streamline permits for parklets, café seating and other uses to help businesses better meet physical distancing requirements, and anticipates issuing updated guidelines by the end of May. City departments want to hear from local businesses about how it can streamline permitting for creative ways to use larger portions of the sidewalk, adjacent parking spaces, and the broader street space to support businesses.

Learn about the Flex Streets Initiative.

2. Expediting White Curb Requests
In order to facilitate customer pick-up and delivery from Oakland businesses during the COVID-19 period, business owners can request a temporary white curb in front of their business. To request a temporary white curb, please contact Oak311 by dialing 311 or online at

Promote Your Business

Up & Running California can help you grow your business online; Apply by March 11
Up to 300 Californian small businesses will be selected to participate in this six-week interactive eCommerce training program designed to help them get and grow online. This new, 100% free program will offer participating businesses the educational resources, interactive instruction, and seller-to-seller coaching they need to compete on eBay’s marketplace. Applications are open until 11:59 p.m. PT on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Visit Up & Running California's website.

Economic Recovery Advisory Council

The Economic Recovery Advisory Council will be charged with identifying both short-term recommendations to facilitate the reopening and recovery of Oakland’s economic sectors from the COVID-19 crisis, and longer-term strategies for systemic change that creates a more equitable economy into the future.

Mayor Schaaf, Vice Mayor Reid Announce Oakland Economic Recovery Advisory Council

Learn more about the Advisory Council