Business Reopening Guide

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Am I allowed to reopen my business? 

(updated 7/1/21)

Effective June 15, 2021, the State of California has moved beyond the Blueprint for A Safer Economy. Alameda County is fully aligned with the State of California Reopening Plan, which includes California State Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People and California State Mask Guidance.  Please visit Alameda County’s Workplace Guidance webpage for more information.

Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards

Employers will continue to be subject to Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards.

All photographs in this guide are by Maurice Ramirez

What are the rules for reopening?

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Alameda County is fully aligned with the State of California Reopening Plan, which includes California State Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People and California State Mask Guidance.  Please visit Alameda County’s Workplace Guidance webpage for more information.

Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards

Employers will continue to be subject to Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards 

COVID-19 Infection Reporting: As of March 1, 2021, the process for reporting individual workplace-related COVID-19 cases to the Alameda County Public Health Department has changed. Employers will now only report workplace-related COVID-19 outbreaks via the Shared Portal for Outbreak Tracking (SPOT)—an online platform that facilitates collaboration and sharing of information with employers and the Alameda County Public Health Department. Please click here for more information, under "Recording and Reporting COVID-19." 

What are the rules about sidewalk dining, expanded hours, and other changes to support businesses?

  • Commercial Streets Program: The Commercial Streets program streamlines the permit approval process for businesses to expand dining and retail space to accommodate social distancing requirements.  This includes:
    • Usage of Sidewalks and Parklets
    • Repurposing of Park and Webster Streets
    • Curbside pick-up parking 

    Please click here to learn more about the program, including requirements and application information.

  • Businesses may use their outdoor space: The City of Alameda has implemented temporary zoning changes to allow the use of privately owned outdoor space and parking lot(s) for business services, customer seating, and/or display and sale of retail products.  The temporary changes expire November 1, 2021.
  • Commercial establishments can sell food and other essential goods: Restaurants and other commercial uses are allowed to temporarily sell food and other essential goods.  Businesses must notify the City via email (permits@alamedaca.gov) if they would like to make this change.
  • Businesses can use A-frame signs and temporary banners to advertise extended hours, additional food sales and availability of other essential goods.   Zoning regulations limiting temporary banners and A-Frame signs are suspended to allow businesses the opportunity to notify the public of extended hours, additional food sales and availability of other essential goods. To support safe movement of people walking, you must maintain 6 feet of sidewalk clearance, or 8 feet if on Park or Webster Streets. Businesses must notify permits@alamedaca.gov if they would like to display this type of signage, indicating the name and address of the business and types of temporary signs to be installed.
  • Updated Regulations Around Alcoholic Beverages: The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has issued several notices of regulatory relief to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19.  These notices address a range of issues including to-go and delivery cocktails, outdoor alcohol consumption, and the creation of hand sanitizers by distilleries. Please click here for more information, including important details about eligible license types, packaging, and other requirements. 

 

How can I promote my business?

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The City of Alameda has launched What's Open Alameda? to help local business share updated hours, specials, COVID-19 safety measures, and any other information you would like to give your customers. This user-friendly directory is available to all Alameda businesses that are open during the COVID-19 pandemic - please click here to view.

Here's how to make the most of What's Open Alameda:

  1. Visit & Verify: Please visit the site to make sure your business is listed and that the information is up to date.
  2. Add & Edit: If your business is not listed, or if the listing needs to be updated, you can do so right in the directory. 
  • To add a listing, click on the "+List my Business" button in the upper right hand corner of the directory.
  • To edit an existing listing, navigate to the current listing, and click the "Edit" button in the upper right hand corner of the listing.
  • Add your email address: Make sure to add your email address to your listing. This will make sure you get all future notifications about the directory.
  1. Update regularly!: As new public health guidance is issued, update your business information regularly to reflect any changes to hours or operations. 

Please email econdev@alamedaca.gov if you have any questions about the directory.

 

Where can I find additional resources for Alameda businesses?

Please visit our Business Resources page for information about a variety of state, local and federal programs that may help businesses with the impacts of COVID-19.