The following are resources available to support freelancers, independent artists, and small businesses impacted by COVID-19 in the City of Oakland.
The following is a list of local, state, and national resources for any type of business in Oakland.
[General] Alameda County Shelter-in-Place FAQs: Frequently asked questions regarding Alameda County’s order directing individuals to shelter at home except to provide or receive essential or engage in essential activities.
[General] IRS: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in mid-April and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.
[Taxes] IRS Tax Day Now July 15: The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
[Taxes] Small Business Sales Tax Relief Payment Plans: Effective April 2, 2020, small business taxpayers, those 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.
The following is a list of housing and public utility resources for individuals in Oakland.
[Housing] Executive Order to Protect Renters and Homeowners: On March 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19.
[Housing] Keep Oakland Housed: Legal representation, financial assistance, and supportive services to help Oakland residents remain in their homes.
[Housing] Oakland’s Moratorium on Residential Rent Increases and Evictions: On March 27, 2020, the Oakland City Council adopted an ordinance imposing a moratorium on residential evictions and rent increases, and prohibiting late fees during the local emergency. The Ordinance also prohibits evictions based on nonpayment of rent that became due during the local emergency when the tenant suffered a substantial reduction of income or substantial increase of expenses due to COVID-19. The moratorium is set to end May 31, 2020, unless City Council extends it.
[Utilities] AT&T: Request a waiver of late fees and overage charges due to impact of COVID-19.
[Utilities] Comcast:Comcast’s comprehensive plan COVID-19 plan to help keep Americans connected to the Internet.
[Utilities] EBMUD: EBMUD will not disconnect customers’ water service due to billing/payment issues during this health emergency.
[Utilities] PG&E: PG&E announces a moratorium on customer shutoffs for nonpayment:
[Utilities] Verizon: If you are experiencing hardship because of COVID-19 and cannot pay your bill in full, Verizon will not charge you a late fee or terminate your service during this difficult period. To qualify, you must let Verizon know about your hardship.
The following is a list of resources for freelancers and independent contractors in Oakland.
A majority of the funding support for small businesses at this time is in the form of loans. We do not recommend loans as a means for funding unless your business fills an essential need in the current environment or provides a product or service that will likely withstand the economic impact of this crisis over the next few years.
[Crowdfunding] GoFundMe: The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative is intended to support local businesses facing financial loss.
[Grants] Black Business Relief Fund: Collaboration between Shea Moisture and We Buy Black to provide business grants to We Buy Black businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
[Grants] Facebook Small Business Grants: Facebook is offering $100MM in small grants and credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in the 30 countries in which it operates.
[Grants] The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund: The purpose of the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund is to provide critical financial assistance to small, independent restaurants that, due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) national disaster, have an immediate need for funds to pay set operating expenses and keep from going out of business.
[Grants] Oakland Small Business Emergency Grant Fund: The Oakland Small Business Emergency Grant Program is a collaboration between the City of Oakland and Working Solutions, funded by the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund. The program is making 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] The Red Backpack Fund: Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx, has established a fund to provide business grants to female entrepreneurs. Grants up to $5,000.
[Grants] Shea Moisture Black Business Relief Fund: Partnership between Shea Moisture and We Buy Black to provide business grants to We Buy Black’s top businesses. Grants up to $10,000. Applications due by April 13, 2020.
[Grants] Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: With a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, LISC is offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.
[Loans] SBA Disaster Assistance Loan Program: The U.S. Small Business Administration announced on March 12 that it will provide disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
[Loans] Jewish Free Loan Association: No-fee and interest-free loan of up to $10,000 to cover business losses, lost wages, child care costs, and lost travel funds.
[Loans] Kiva: Effective immediately, applicants for a Kiva crowdfunded loan will have access to expanded eligibility, crowdfunding limit increase to $15,000, and a grace period of up to 6 months.
[Loans] SBA Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
The following is a list of resources if your small business has employees or worker-owners in Oakland.
[Payroll Taxes] Request Extension on State Payroll Taxes: Employers may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the State of California’s Employment Development Department to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest.
[Telecommuting] Resources for Managing Teleworkers: Employers may be able to avert layoffs or work reduction by offering flexibility in work location and hours through telecommuting.
[Work Sharing] Work Sharing Program: California’s work sharing provides employers with an alternative to lay-offs if a temporary reduction in workforce is needed.
[Worker Support] Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund: USBG National Charity Foundation’s emergency assistance fund for individuals employed as bartenders or the spouse or child of a bartender.
[Worker Support] California Restaurant Association: Restaurants Care offers emergency assistance to California restaurant workers experiencing unexpected hardship. Typical grants range from $250-$1500.
[Worker Support] One Fair Wage Emergency Fund: Financial support for restaurant workers, gig worker and other hourly workers are facing unprecedented economic hardship from the coronavirus crisis.
[Worker Support] Restaurant Cares: The California Restaurant Association Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the state’s restaurant workforce through educational grants, has an emergency loan program to help restaurant workers cover basic living expenses.
[Worker Support] ROC United Fund: Restaurant Opportunities Centers United is providing resources and financial assistance to restaurant workers impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
The following is a list of resources if your small business is renting a commercial property in Oakland.
Moratorium on Commercial Evictions: On May 27, 2020, the Oakland City Council passed an eviction moratorium for residential renters, nonprofit organization renters, and small business renters (generally those with fewer than 100 employees).
The following is a list of resources for families in Oakland.
[Education] Action for Healthy Kids: Resources to help parents and educators keep kids active and healthy while schools are closed or doing online learning.