Small Business and Worker Resources

Local Resources

Oakland Business Center

The City launched the Oakland Business Center as a tool for businesses and Affected Non-City Workers.

Businesses can completed the online survey to report impacts and request assistance. Staff are contacting each business individually to provide technical assistance and best resources for each business.

Essential Businesses

Per the new Alameda County Shelter in Place Order in effect until May 3, 2020, Essential Businesses that continue to operate must complete, post and implement a social distancing protocol by April 3, 2020. Use the template in Appendix A – Download Word files: ENGLISH | SPANISH | CHINESE | VIETNAMESE

City of Oakland COVID-19 Resources

General Information: City of Oakland has developed this resources so Oakland businesses, nonprofits and workers are able to Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Here you will find the most up-to-date information as well as important thinks for local, state and national assistance programs.

Grant Opportunities

LISC Small Business Relief Grant will provide small business grants in the amounts of $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000 to help them keep functioning and remain vital facets of their local economies through this challenging period. The grants will support small businesses and enterprises affected the Covid-19 across the country, especially those in underserved communities, including entrepreneurs of color and women- and veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital. The application period closes April 28Español

Salesforce Care Small Business Grants will provide $10,000 grants to eligible for-profit small businesses with between 2 and 50 employees and annual revenue between $250,000 and $2 million. The application period in California opens April 27 and closes May 4. 

The Facebook Small Business Grants Program offers both cash grants and Facebook ad credits. You do not need to be on Facebook or Instagram to receive a grant. The application period closes on May 6.

Resources for Artists and Non-profit Organizations

I understand the great strain this public health crisis is creating on our creative Oaklanders. We want to support the artists, musicians, authors, and nonprofits which create Oakland’s beautiful spirit.  Please see the below link for a list of available grants and other relief currently available.

City of Oakland Small Business Emergency Grants

Applications close Sunday, March 5 at 5:00 p.m. For more information click HERE.

The Oakland Small Business Emergency Grant Program will provide working capital grants of $5,000 to small businesses in Oakland owned by very low-income individuals who have suffered financial loss due to the COVID-19 crisis. Grants can be used to cover costs such as rent and utilities, worker payroll, outstanding debts to vendors, and other operating costs. This emergency fund is making an initial total of $300,000 available to support low-income business owners impacted by COVID-19.

The Oakland Small Business Emergency Grant Fund is a collaboration with the City of Oakland, funded by the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Programa de Subvenciones de Emergencia para los Pequeños Negocios de Oakland

屋崙小規模企業緊急撥款計劃

Chương Trình Tài Trợ Khẩn Cấp cho Giới Tiểu Thương Oakland

Support our local businesses

Find out which local District 4 and Oakland businesses are open by clicking the below links*

Laurel Business District

Montclair Village Bussinesses 

Chamber’s Open List

*note: there’s currently not a website directory for businesses in the Dimond and Fairfax. My team is currently working to put a list together for both of these area. If you’d like to add a business that isn’t already listed, please email us at District4@oaklandca.gov. 

Many small businesses have had to lay off their employees during this crisis and are looking at ways to support them and their families. 

Our small businesses employ our local Oaklanders, whom are like family to the owners. Grand Lake Kitchen and Crogan’s are such businesses and have set up GoFundMe accounts to help support their staff during these hard times. If you can make a donation today please do so by clicking the below links:

Grand Lake Kitchen

Crogan’s Montclair

State of California Resources

Small Business Assistance

Governor Newsom highlighted new assistance that the State is offering small businesses, as well as federal efforts that were part of the stimulus measures signed into law in March.  More information on the below programs can be found here:  California Business and Employee Resources

  • Sales Tax Bridge Loan: The State has announced the free deferral of sales/use tax, up to $50,000, for businesses with less than $5 million in taxable assets.

The State is allowing qualified businesses to defer their payment of sales/use tax for up to one-year with no fines or penalties.  Additionally, there will be no interest payments required for any deferred payments.  The intent is for this funding, which businesses collect and remit to the State, to act as a bridge loan.

  • California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program: This program is being started with $50 million in funding being provided to the IBank.

This program is targeted at small businesses with 1-750 employees who do not qualify for federal funds.  The loans would be eligible for businesses and non-profits, and the funds could be used for operating costs, such as rent and payroll.

Businesses can apply directly with a private lender or through a participating Financial Development Corporation.

File for Unemployment

If you have lost your job or have had your hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance. If you are a gig worker, independent contractor or self-employed, you may be eligible under the CARES Act and should also apply for Unemployment Insurance.

Federal Resources

SBA Disaster Loan

“Economic Injury Disaster Loan”

This is a newly-streamlined version of the former disaster loan. To apply

The SBA Disaster Loan is that it comes with a $10,000 cash advance grant, which can be sent to your bank account in three days. Important loan information:

  • 3.75% interest rate with long term repayment, or 2.75% for nonprofits.
  • no fees or prepayment penalties
  • amount of the loan can be changed after submitting  application.

This fund comes straight from the U.S. Treasury; Oakland’s Economic and Workforce Developement Department encourages impacted businesses, nonprofits and independent contractors to apply.

Paycheck Protection Program

A second SBA loan program implemented in partnership with selected banks.

Applications may open as soon as April 3, depending on the participating financial institution.

This is a larger, forgivable loan up to $10 million to keep employees on payroll or quickly rehire employees and maintain salary levels.

Important loan information:

  • 75% of the loan must be used for payroll, and SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses.

A sample application is available on their site; however, the participating lending institution would set their application requirements.