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.

Updated 9/17/20

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.

Please click here for the Alameda Business Reopening Guide.

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

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, Monday + Wednesday at 10:30am: The SBDC is hosting a series of live Q&As at 10:30am on Mondays and 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/86706819088?pwd=NEVZSTJjd3E3OHc5K2JzcmRiRWtFUT09

          Password: Tuesday     
          Meeting ID: 867 0681 9088

Dial by phone: 1-669-900-9128     Meeting ID: 867 0681 9088     Password: 7407901 

  • Fall Focus for Restaurants: New Strategies and DecisionsThursday, September 17, 2:30 PM: In this webinar hosted by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, hear about the considerations that restaurant owners must keep in mind as we head into fall. Please click here to learn more and register.
  • Alameda County HR Guidelines for COVID-19, Monday, September 21, 3:00 - 5:00 PM: In this webinar hosted by the Alameda County SBDC, learn about the guidelines for businesses in Alameda County as shelter in place restrictions open up. Please click here to learn more and register.
  • Get Your Local Business on Google Search and MapsTuesday, September 22, 10:00 AM: In this webinar presented by California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, learn more about how local businesses can connect with customers on Google Search and Maps. Get hands-on help creating or updating your business profile or a simple website. Please click here to register and learn more.
  • Ponga su negocio local en Google Search y Maps, Thursday, September 24, 10:00 AM: Explore Google My Business, una herramienta gratuita para empresas que desean conectarse con clientes en Google Search y Maps. Registrate aqui. 
  • How To Take Control Of Your Credit During A Pandemic, Thursday, September 24, 10:00 AM: In this webinar hosted by NorCal SBDC, learn how good credit will help you get access to capital when you need it. Learn about credit scores and reports, why they matter and what you can do about yours. Please click here to learn more and register.
  • Increasing Customer Engagement During Challenging Times, Monday, September 28, 3:00 - 5:00 PM: In this webinar hosted by the Alameda County SBDC, learn the best ways for individuals and businesses to increase and maintain customer engagement, including email marketing, virtual events, virtual networking, and more. David Mitroff, Ph.D. uses practical case studies from his work and presents new and creative strategies that allow individuals and businesses to continue and increase engagement with their customers even under current conditions. Please click here to learn more and register.
  • Make Your Website Work for You, Wednesday, September 30, 10:00 AM: In this presentation hosted by California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, learners will discover how to create a search-friendly website that drives user action and supports their goals. Whether launching a new website or sprucing up an old one, this workshop will help. Please click here to register and learn more. 
  • Use YouTube to Grow Your Business, Wednesday, October 7, 10:00 AM: In this webinar hosted by California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, get best practices for creating a YouTube Channel and compelling video content that promotes your products and services and drives engagement with your brand. Please click here to register and learn more.  

     

Previous

  • 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.  Please click here for more information** 
 
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). Eligible businesses may also qualify for a forgivable, emergency advance of up to $10,000.  This loan advance will not have to be repaid, and funds will be available within three days of a successful application. Businesses may be eligible for the funds even if their loan application is declined or pending.

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.
  • Facebook Small Business Grants Program: Facebook is offering $100 million in small grants and ad credits to up to 30,000 businesses.  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.
  • San Francisco Foundation Grants for Non-Profits: The San Francisco Foundation will make grants of $3,000 – $25,000 to nonprofits addressing the following four issue areas: racial bias, worker protection, homelessness and renter protection/housing security, and food security. 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.

 

The Alameda City Council has taken action to protect residential and commercial tenants from being evicted for non-payment of rent due to a substantial loss of income/revenue because of COVID-19. In addition, the Council has prohibited landlords from shutting off utilities except in case of an emergency or as part of an “essential activity” as defined in the Alameda County shelter in place order (and then, only the shortest time as possible to conduct the essential activity).

These protections are in place as of March 1, 2020, and will remain in place for 30 days after the declared state of emergency is over. Both residential and commercial tenants will then have 180 days to catch up on any deferred rent that was not paid from March 1, 2020 to 30 days following the end of the local emergency declaration.

For residents, a substantial loss of income is defined as a reduction in income of 20 percent or more, due to loss of employment or a reduction in work hours, extraordinary medical costs, or extraordinary childcare needs.

For businesses, a substantial loss of revenue equates to a 20 percent reduction in revenues, for example, from paying employees to remain off work or reducing business operations to comply with the shelter in place order, or shutting a business down completely.

For households of a certain income, you may receive free legal services and more information on how the Urgency Ordinance protects you by contacting Centro Legal De Le Raza at 510-437-1554. 

The Alameda City Attorney Office’s Prosecution Unit represents the People of the State of California in misdemeanor criminal matters referred by law enforcement agencies, such as the Alameda Police Department or Code Enforcement Division. City Prosecutors are further charged with bringing affirmative litigation, in coordination with the District Attorney’s Office, in response to violations of consumer protection and fair housing laws, and protecting consumers against fraud and unfair business practices.  If you have additional questions, please contact the City Attorney’s Office’s Prosecution Unit at (510)-747-4772, or email to cityprosecutor@alamedacityattorney.org.

Please click here to view the press release.

Please click here(PDF, 7MB) to download and read the complete Ordinance.

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 business counselling services, including help to businesses applying, or considering applying, for a loan from the SBA Disaster Assistance Loan program.  Temporarily, because of COVID-19, all counseling sessions by East Bay SCORE will be conducted by telephone, video or email, rather than face-to-face. They are open Monday through Friday, 9:30am to 2:30pm, and can be reached at 510-273-6611 or info@eastbayscore.orgPlease click here for more information.
  • 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.

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.

Restaurant Reopening: Please click here for the latest information on restaurant reopening in Alameda.

Alameda Restaurants Take Out and Delivery List: The City of Alameda is has launched What's Open Alameda?, a directory of restaurants, retailers, services and other open businesses in the City.  Please visit the directory to add or edit your information, or email us at econdev@alamedaca.gov with any questions.

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.

Resources for the Restaurant Industry:

  • The James Beard Foundation has a number of resources for restaurant professionals related to COVID-19, including a webinar series and grant program. Please click here for more information.
  • The National Restaurant Association has launched the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, providing grants of $500 to restaurant workers impacted by COVID-19.  Please click here for more information.
  • The California Restaurant Association has launched Restaurants Care, a website with resources for restaurants impacted by COVID-19, and a grant program for their workers. Please click here for more information.
  • The Restaurant Strong Fund is providing grants to restaurant, bar, cafe and nightclub workers. Please click here for more information.