Business Resources

Please see the links below for information about a variety of state, local and federal programs that may help businesses with the potential economic impacts of COVID-19.

Updated1/22/21

Upcoming

The following webinars are open to the entire Alameda business community.  Thank you to our partners at the Downtown Alameda Business Association, West Alameda Business Association, Greater Alameda Business Association, and Alameda Chamber of Commerce.

  • Small Business Development Center Live Q&A, Wednesdays at 10:30am: The SBDC is hosting a series of live Q&As at 10:30am on Wednesdays to address questions related to COVID-19, with a focus on SBA loans such as the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan.  Please click here to register in advance, and here to review recordings of previous webinars. 
  • Tuesdays @ 2, Tuesdays at 2pm: The Downtown Alameda Business Association is hosting a weekly "Town Hall" style series for Alameda businesses. This series is designed to be an informative opportunity for you to hear a status update directly from City leadership.

Join Online:

https://alamedaca-gov.zoom.us/j/83105449641     

Dial by phone: 1-669-900-9128     Meeting ID: 831 0544 9641

  • Work-Related Stress Webinars:  Things to know about Maintaining Mental Health for Small Business Owners, Sole Proprietors, and Employees. These discussion webinars are geared for small businesses owners and people who work in front-line, public-facing positions.  The webinars will be led Elizabeth Dandenell, LMFT, Founder of the East Bay Center for Anxiety Relief.  Please share information about the webinars with your colleagues and co-workers.
  • Tuesday, January 26:  Communication that will keep your connections strong with family, friends and work colleagues. 
  • Tuesday, February 2:  Keeping the motivation going, building a support group. 
  • Alameda County HR Guidelines, Wednesday, January 27 at 1PM: In this webinar from the Alameda County SBDC, learn how to keep your small business COVID-19 compliant, and about the guidelines for businesses in Alameda County with the new shelter in place orders.  Please click here to sign up.

Previous

  • Paycheck Protection Program 2, and More: Overview and Technical Assistance:  Interested in learning more about the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?  Have questions about the loan process, eligibility, or forgiveness of your previous loan?  This 90 minute webinar with representatives from the Small Business Administration, Alameda County Small Business Development Center, and East Bay SCORE provides all this and more.  This webinar includes a lengthy Q&A session, plus additional information about the Shuttered Venues grants, new EIDL grants, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and more.  

  • Work-Related Stress Webinars:  Things to know about Maintaining Mental Health for Small Business Owners, Sole Proprietors, and Employees. These discussion webinars are geared for small businesses owners and people who work in front-line, public-facing positions.  The webinars will be led Elizabeth Dandenell, LMFT, Founder of the East Bay Center for Anxiety Relief. 
    • What are the signs of stress?
    • Emotional well-being and mental health practices.
  • Federal Stimulus Overview: Upcoming Aid for BusinessesWednesday, January 13 at 11AM: Last month the federal government passed a new, $900 billion stimulus package in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In this one-hour webinar hosted by the City of Alameda and the Alameda Chamber of Commerce, hear from Vartan Djihanian, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, about what was included for small businesses, including new rules for existing programs, and the timing to apply.  

 

  • Federal Stimulus Updates and Other Resources for Business Impacted by COVID-19.  Are you looking for information on loans, grants, and other resources to help your business survive during our current shelter in place order?   Watch this webinar to hear directly from the Small Business Administration, the Alameda Small Business Development Center, and East Bay SCORE about new and on-going opportunities to help your business bridge the gap. 

  • California Employment Law Update: What Every Employer Needs to Know as We Head into 2021California’s Governor recently finished signing into law many new employment-related bills, some that have already gone into effect and others going into effect on January 1, 2021.  The new laws are related to COVID-19, leaves of absences, discrimination and independent contractors.  This 1 hour webinar led by employment law attorney and workplace investigator Shivani Sutaria provides more information about these news laws and what you can do to ensure compliance.  
  • Guidance for Commercial Tenants During the COVID-19 Pandemic, On October 20, in partnership with the Alameda Chamber of Commerce, the City of Alameda hosted a webinar for businesses interested in learning  more about lease negotiations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including an overview of Alameda’s commercial eviction moratorium, followed by a question and answer session.

  • Path Forward: Navigating the Return to Work Webinar: On October 8, in partnership with the Alameda Chamber of Commerce, the City of Alameda hosted a webinar for businesses looking to reopen safely and keep employees and customers healthy and informed. This webinar discusses ways small businesses can prepare for a safe, successful, and sustainable reopening of their companies.
  • Best Practices in Retail and Restaurant Re-opening: On May 28, in partnership with the Alameda Chamber of Commerce, the City of Alameda hosted a webinar to help retailers and restauranteurs plan for re-opening. Representatives from the California Retail Association and California Restaurant Association presented information and best practices from across the state, followed by a question and answer session. 

     

     

  • Next Steps for SBA Loan Recipients: On May 21, 2020 the City of Alameda hosted a webinar for recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) gave a presentation on the rules and regulations associated with the PPP and EIDL programs, and answered participant questions.

 

  •  Preparing for the New Normal: On May 6, the City of Alameda hosted a webinar to assist small businesses in preparing for the future in the midst of uncertainty.

  

  • Navigating Human Resources During COVID-19.  On April 17, 2020, the City of Alameda hosted a webinar to assist businesses in navigating questions around human resources related to COVID-19. 
  • SBA Disaster Loans and Grant Funding: Please click here to watch the March 30 webinar hosted by the West Alameda Business Association, on the topic of SBA Disaster Loans and Grant funding. 

***Note: The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is currently tracking an unknown malicious cyber actor who is spoofing the Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 relief webpage via phishing emails. These emails include a malicious link to a fake page used for malicious re-directs and credential stealing.  

Paycheck Protection Program - NOW OPEN

The Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. SBA is currently offering:

You can apply for a PPP loan from any SBA-approved lender.  If you don't have an existing relationship, Lender Match can help you find a participating lender.

California Rebuilding Loan Program

The California Rebuilding Fund is a loan program to support California’s small businesses—especially those located in economically disadvantaged and historically under-banked areas of the state.

Businesses who employed 50 or less full-time equivalent employees and had gross revenues of less than $2.5 million or below in 2019 are eligible to apply for loans up to $100,000. 

Please click here for more information, or to apply.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Loan Advances

Alameda businesses are eligible for disaster assistance loans of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Please click here for more information about EIDL loans, and here for more information about emergency loan advances. You may also contact the SBA disaster customer service center via phone at 1-800-659-2955 or e-mail at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

The State of California has allocated $50 million for loan guarantees to small businesses to help eliminate barriers to capital for individuals who do not qualify for federal funds, including low wealth and undocumented immigrant communities. Please click here for more information.

California Capital Access Program for Small Businesses (CalCAP)

The CalCAP  program encourages banks to make loans to small businesses that may otherwise have difficulty obtaining financing. If you own a small business and need a loan for working capital, start-up costs, or expansion, you maybe eligible for this program. Loans are available up to $5 million. Please click here for more information.

Private/Non-profit Grant Opportunities

  • Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: Verizon and LISC are teaming up to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of Covid-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.  Please click here for more information. 
  • Hello Alice COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant: Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants to small business owners impacted by COVID-19. Please click here for more information.
  • Kiva Zero-Interest Loans: Kiva offers zero-interest loans of up to $15,000 to small businesses.  Please click here for more information.

City of Alameda Taxes, Fees and Licenses 

Business License and Business Improvement Area fees: Payment of Business License and Business Improvement Area fees is deferred for sixty (60) days - from July 1 to September 1, 2020.

Transient Occupancy Tax: Payment of Transient Occupancy Tax is deferred for sixty (60) days, for the months of March, April, and May 2020, for local hotels and other businesses that require TOT collection.

State of California Taxes

Paycheck Protection Forgiveness

Paycheck Protection Program loans that were forgiven through the federal CARES Act and subsequent amendments will not be treated as income subject to California taxes. Please click here for current available information (more detailed information to be provided when available).

Main Street Hiring Credit 

This tax credit applies to California companies that had 100 or fewer employees at the end of 2019 and then experienced at least a 50% drop in gross receipts during the second quarter of 2020. Those businesses will receive a $1,000 tax credit for each qualified employee hired between July and the end of November, up to $100,000 per business. Please click here for more information.  Information on applications and approval process are expected in fall of 2020, and will be posted here when available.

State Payroll Tax Extension

Employers may request up to a 60-day extension from the EDD to file state payroll reports and/or deposit payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return.  Employers may call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center for more information at 1-888-745-3886/TTY: 1-800-547-9565.

Deferred Payment of Sales Tax

Effective April 2, 2020, small businesses with less than $5 million in taxable annual sales can take advantage of a 12-month, interest-free, payment plan for up to $50,000 of sales and use tax liability. Please click here for more information.

California State Tax Extension

The State of California has extended their tax filing and payment deadlines to July 15th, 2020 in many cases. Please click here for more information.

Federal Taxes

Employee Retention Tax Credit

Fully refundable tax credits are available for equal to 50 percent of qualified wages that eligible employers pay their employees. This Employee Retention Credit applies to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.  Please click here for more information.

Federal Tax Extension

The IRS has extended the deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes to July 15, 2020. Please click here for more information.

 

Unemployment Benefits for Business Owners, Independent Contractors, and the Self-Employed

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program provides financial benefits to unemployed Californians who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, or otherwise not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance. Please click here for more information. 

Business Counselling

  • East Bay SCORE offers free business counseling services, including help to businesses applying, or considering applying, for federal or state economic assistance.  Counseling is available in multiple languages.  Temporarily, because of COVID-19, all counseling sessions are conducted by telephone, video or email, rather than face-to-face.  East Bay SCORE is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and can be reached at 510-273-6611 or info@eastbayscore.org.  Please click here eastbay.score.org  for more information or to request counseling through its website.

  • The Alameda SBDC provides one-on-one counselling for small businesses, and a wealth of information about resources and programs, including this Small Business Survival GuidePlease click here for more information. 

Reduced Work Hours

Employers can apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program if reduced production, services, or other conditions cause them to seek an alternative to layoffs.  The Work Sharing Program helps employers and employees:

  • Minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs
  • Keep trained employees and quickly prepare when business conditions improve
  • Avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees
  • Receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits
  • Keep their current job
  • Avoid financial hardships
  • Please click here for more information.

Potential Closure or Layoffs

Employers planning a closure or major layoffs as a result of COVID-19 can get help through the Rapid Response program. Rapid Response teams will meet with you to discuss your needs, help avert potential layoffs, and provide immediate on-site services to assist workers facing job losses. For more information, refer to the Rapid Response Services for Businesses Fact Sheet (DE 87144RRB) (PDF) or contact Alameda’s One Stop Career Center 510-748-2208.  Please click here for more information.

Tools for Remote Work

The Open for Business Hub provides a summary of tech business which are providing free tools to assist businesses with remote work.  Please click here for more information.

Protect Your Workers

 Please click here for the latest Cal/OSHA Interim Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from COVID-19. 

Plan, Prepare and Respond to COVID-19

 Please click here for the latest CDC guidance on how to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19.

Please click here for more information on the Commercial Streets Program.

Please click here for the Alameda Business Reopening Guide.

Please click here for more information about tenant protection and resources in the City of Alameda.

Please click here for more information on how you can participate in the City's Spend Local campaign.

During the current shelter-in-place, the City of Alameda's Planning, Building and Transportation services will continue to be available by phone, email, and on-line. In-person inspections will be available.

  • For service by email, please send your request to: permits@alamedaca.gov.   
  • By phone, please call:
  • 510-747-6800 for building permits or information
  • 510-747-6805 for planning permits or information, or
  • 510-747-6854 if you are having problems or do not know what to do
  • If you are ready to submit an application, you may do so, online by clicking on the following link: Submit Application Online 
  • Inspection procedures are unchanged. Please call the inspection line between 7:30 and 8:30 at 510-747-6830 to schedule an inspection.
  • If you would like to speak with the Department Director Andrew Thomas, call him at 510-747-6881 or email athomas@alamedaca.gov

Please click here for more information.

Alameda Strong Community Grant Program

The City of Alameda, in collaboration with the West Alameda Business Association, Alameda Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Alameda Business Association, has established the Alameda Strong community grant program to assist small businesses in Alameda with relief from the COVID-19 economic disaster. The goal of the Alameda Strong grant program is to mitigate barriers to capital for the most vulnerable Alameda small businesses and restaurants by providing one-time emergency working capital grants.

This grant program is not currently accepting applications. Please click here for more information.

COVID-19 Business Relief Grant Program

The COVID-19 business relief grant program provided one-time grants of $7,500 to assist small businesses in Alameda with relief from the COVID-19 economic disaster. This grant program is no longer accepting applications. Please click here for more information, including a list of grant recipients.