Downtown Businesses... Bookmark this Page!
Important Dates: PPP applications opened to all on January 19; the deadline is March 31. The second round of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opens February 2 to those who have not applied yet.
We're committed to keeping businesses up-to-date with relevant information; bookmark this page and check back for regular updates.
Upcoming Webinars & Town Halls
The Downtown Alameda Business Association in partnership with the City of Alameda, West Alameda Business Association, and Alameda Chamber host various online sessions to benefit our local businesses. Click on titles to join the discussions.
- Tuesday, Jan 26, 9:00am - Communication To Stay Strong for Business Owners (hosted by City of Alameda)
- Tuesday, Jan 26, 2:00pm - Town Hall: Tuesdays @ 2 (hosted by Downtown Alameda Business Association)
- Tuesday, Jan 26, Noon - Communication To Stay Strong for Workers (hosted by City of Alameda)
- Wednesday, Jan 27, 1:00pm - Alameda County HR Guidelines (hosted by Alameda County SBDC)
Learn from practical business trainings covering key topics from marketing basics, to e-commerce, to operating your business in a pandemic world. Online trainings are available at no cost. Browse the SBDC calendar.
About the Downtown Alameda Business Association
Mission & Purpose
The Downtown Alameda Business Association serves as a support network for the businesses located in Alameda's Park Street Business District. The Downtown Association's goal is to develop an economically prosperous business district through a united effort of its members.
Board & Committees
All meetings are held online. Contact the office for access.
Outreach Committee - Develops and maintains relationships with stakeholders and important entities including local businesses, property owners, City staff, and various government agencies.
First Tuesdays, 8:30am.
Operations Committee - Plans and executes key programs that are vital to the Downtown Association including managing the L&L Assessment and operational functions for street maintenance, event execution, and volunteers.
Second Tuesdays, 8:30am.
Marketing Committee - Develops the Downtown Association’s long-term marketing plan, creating a consistent brand and key messaging strategy to bring visitors to the downtown; plans and implements public events.
Third Mondays, 9:30am.
Board of Directors - Provides oversight and governance of the association, determines the annual budget, and represents the membership on issues that affect the District. Board members are elected by the membership.
Meets last Wednesday of the month, 8:00am.
Things To Know
The Downtown Alameda Business Association's staff are available to answer any questions you may have about our Downtown community -- send us an email, call, or schedule a meeting. In the meantime, our Member Portal is full of information you will find to be beneficial.
Downtown business mixers provide an opportunity for our members to network and receive district updates.
All in-person events are on hold at this time. Please join us online for our weekly Town Hall Tuesdays @ 2.
Recent & Notable Page Updates
1/23/21 added - January Board Packet (Committees)
1/23/21 added - Link to latest Weekly Update for Businesses (Newsletters)
1/23/21 updated - Upcoming Webinars & Town Halls for Businesses (Webinars)
1/15/21 updated - 2nd Round PPP & CA Relief Grant application dates (Resources)
1/14/21 added - Board Induction Invite (Committees)
1/11/21 added - FY2020 Tax Return
12/9/20 updated - California Blueprint for Safer Economy & Industry Guidelines (Safety)
12/7/20 added - Regional Stay Home Order (Safety)
11/6/20 updated - How to Report a Safety or Maintenance Issue (Things To Know)
9/14/20 added - Parklet Grant Program for Downtown Alameda (Commercial Streets)
9/11/20 updated - "the reopen guide" for Downtown Alameda Businesses (Safety)
Join Us! Share Ideas! Learn from Others!
Town Hall: Tuesdays @ 2
Learn what's being done to support our local business community and get your questions answered. This weekly session is held in partnership with the City of Alameda and open to all Alameda businesses.
2021 Board Induction & Goals
Our Board Induction Ceremony was held on January 20. New board members were introduced and goals for 2021 were reviewed as part of our Strategic Plan. Click the link below to view the presentation.
The Reopen Guide
Our team has reviewed available COVID-19 resources to define best practices along with actionable steps to help our downtown businesses transition into the next phase of reopening.
COVID-19 Updates for Businesses
Important Note: When the County's and the State's Health Orders conflict, the stricter order applies.
Effective December 7, a Regional Stay-At-Home Order is in place for the Bay Area. Retail is open at reduced capacity, restaurants are open for take-out only, and limited services are open. View a list of Businesses Allowed To Operate in Alameda.
REOPENING BUSINESSES SAFELY
Employers can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring that they follow the state and local guidelines and supporting employees’ decisions to stay home.
In following California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, all businesses need to take steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 by creating a safe environment for both workers and customers. Before reopening, businesses are required to:
- Implement a Site-Specific Protection Plan (SPP - updated Oct. 1)
- Train employees on how to do a self-assessment for symptoms and stay home if they have them
- Implement screening controls of employees upon arrival at the workplace
- Regularly clean and disinfect (EPA approved list of disinfectants)
- Implement physical distancing guidelines at the workplace
- Ensure all persons are wearing a face covering in your business
- Comply with all guidance issued by the State, County, and City
- Know how to report a confirmed or suspected COVID-19-case
Required: Guidance for Businesses Allowed to Reopen
Please remember that when guidance is provided by both County and State, the stricter rules apply. Industry-Specific Guidance documents are provided in multiple languages on the County's COVID Recovery page for businesses. Additional industry guidance is available on the California website .
Required: Site-Specific Protection Plan
All businesses and organizations allowed to operate under the current Shelter in Place Health Order must develop a written Site-Specific Protection Plan (SPP) to show how your business is providing a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. To help businesses meet the requirement, the County provides guidance and a template in Appendix A.
Required: Social Distancing & Face Coverings
The current Shelter in Place Order requires face coverings to be worn when around others outside the home. Signage should be posted at each business entrance to remind customers, staff, vendors, and others of the requirement for face coverings, social distancing, and other health protocols you have in place. A sample sign to be posted at your entrance can be found on the Face Covering FAQs page.
Additional Resources for Reopening:
- Alameda County Reopening Timeline
- Alameda County Situation Update
- What to do if there is a case of COVID in the Workplace
- Alameda County Reopening & Recovery Resources for Businesses
- California State Orders and Blueprint for a Safer Economy
- California Employer Playbook and Industry Guidance
COMMERCIAL STREETS PROGRAM
The Downtown Association has been working closely with City staff to develop and launch a multi-pronged Commercial Streets Program to support the health of our businesses and the community. The program makes it easy to set up commercial activity on the sidewalks and streamlines the permit approval process for creating parklets (using parking spaces). The program also reconfigured a portion of Park Street to greatly increase the area available for pedestrian passage and commercial uses.
Additionally, to help maintain safe conditions, the City has put together a comprehensive two-page "Safe Outdoor Commercial Activities" code compliance tip sheet.
Parklet Webinar (July 9)
Businesses outside of the Park Street Realignment area can request to have existing on-street parking converted to curbside pick-up or short-term parking. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, business name and address, and parking meter number. The City will make requested changes, as feasible. (15-minute pick up zones have already been created in the Park Street Reconfiguration area.)
Commercial Use on Sidewalks
Businesses can set up outdoor dining, retail, and other allowable services on the sidewalks in front of their storefront-- no permits are needed. You'll need to follow the conditions outlined here, including maintaining a minimum 8-feet of clear sidewalk space along Park Street and a minimum 6-feet on the side streets. Additional information and detailed parameters can be found on the Commercial Streets web page.
Private Parking Lots & Outdoor Spaces
Businesses can use their privately-owned outdoor space and parking lots for outdoor dining, retail, and other allowable commercial uses. ADA parking spaces and access needs to be maintained at all times. In most cases, plans and permit applications do not need to be submitted to the City -- although permits are required for canopies larger than 10x10. Additional information and detailed parameters can be found on the Commercial Streets web page.
With a parklet, any business in the downtown district can convert the parking space(s) in front of or near your business into an area for outdoor dining, retail, or other allowable service. The City has streamlined the parklet permit process and it's free to apply. The Parklet Encroachment Permit Application, the Parklet Conditions, and the Parklet Design Guidelines can be found on the Commercial Streets web page. Additionally, we've put together an easy-to-use Parklet Application Checklist.
Park Street Realignment -- Restriping Completed
Park Street between Lincoln Ave and Encinal Ave has been reduced to two lanes of traffic to greatly increase the outdoor area available for safe passage of people walking, shopping, and eating downtown. The former curbside parking spaces next to the curb can be used for outdoor dining, customer seating, and other commercial activities (see above info on Parklets). The former outside traffic lane is strictly for pickup/dropoff with a maximum 15-minutes parking. This configuration is expected to be in place through early-November, or longer if necessary. (City Bulletin, July 8)
CITY OF ALAMEDA UPDATES
The City of Alameda committed to keeping businesses up-to-date with relevant information. Regular updates and information that may help business owners with the economic impacts of COVID-19 are being posted on the city's website:
- Business Reopening Guide
- Webinars + Town Halls
- Business Loans & Grants
- Tax Extensions, Deferments, and Credits
- Eviction Relief for Businesses
- Unemployment Assistance and Work Sharing
- Other Resources for Businesses
What's Open Alameda? Directory: Over 240 businesses are listed on this new, user-friendly directory for all Alameda businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration only takes a few minutes, and allows you to add information on specials, COVID-19 safety measures, curbside/delivery info, or anything else you would like to share with your customers. Add your business here
Feed Alameda: The City of Alameda launched a new campaign that will feed the most vulnerable members of our community while supporting local restaurants. Learn More & Donate
Alameda Strong Community Fund: In partnership with our local business associations, the City has launched an "Alameda Strong" campaign to raise money for Alameda businesses, residents, and non-profits adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the grant awards, small businesses and non-profits could receive up to $7,500; sole proprietor businesses could receive $3,750. The goal is to raise over $1 million for grants that can help our most vulnerable small businesses. Help get the word out about this program: www.alamedastrong.org
BUSINESS GUIDANCE & RESOURCES
Important Dates: PPP applications open to all on January 19. Applications for the next round of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opens February 2.
Local organizations are available to help equip you with tools and guide you through the economic difficulties posed by COVID-19:
- EAST Bay Score offers business counselling services, including help with applying for a SBA Disaster Assistance Loan. All counseling sessions are conducted by telephone, video, or email. East Bay Score can be reached at 510-273-6611 or email@example.com.
- Alameda County SBDC provides one-on-one counselling for small businesses and has a wealth of information about resources and programs. Free online webinars are available featuring interviews with experts in capital resource, e-commerce, and more.
Small Business Survival Guide and Resources
California SBDC has compiled the latest news and resources in a Small Business Survival Guide that helps employers and employees get through the economic hardship of COVID-19 and prepare for a stronger reopen: www.californiasbdc.org/covid19
Other COVID-19 Resources for Businesses:
- Alameda County Health Care Agency: FAQs for Businesses
- Alameda County Public Health Dept: Health Officer Orders
- Alameda County Public Health Dept: Resources for Businesses and Employers
- California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Guidance for Specific Industries
- California GO-Biz: COVID-19 Small Business Resources
- California Labor & Workforce: COVID-19 Resources for Businesses and Workers
- California EDD: COVID-19 Support Services for Employers and Workers
- US Chamber: A Guide to Reopening Your Business
- Restore Your Economy - Reopening Guidance from Industry Associations
- Back To Work Safely - Industry-Specific Guidance for Smaller Businesses
- SBDC: Coping with COVID-19 Webinars, Small Business Guides, and other Resources
- Small Business Administration: COVID-19 Small Business Guide & Loan Resources
- East Bay Economic Development Alliance: COVID-19 Business Resources
- IRS: Coronavirus Tax Relief
- California Department of Tax and Fee Administration: COVID-19 Relief
- California Department of Insurance
- California State Treasurer Fiona Ma's Small Business Resource List
- CDC: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Businesses & Employers
- EPA: Approved Disinfectants For Use Against COVID-19