Bookmark this Page: COVID-19 Updates for Businesses
A revised and extended Shelter In Place Order is in effect in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. We're committed to keeping businesses up-to-date with relevant information; bookmark this page and check back for regular updates.
Join Us! Share Ideas! Learn from Others!
Virtual Mixer Mondays
Grab your favorite libation and socialize online with your Downtown neighbors. This is an opportunity to have casual discussions about how we can help each other. Occurs every other week, starting at 5:30pm.
Next session: June 1
Town Hall: Tuesdays @ 2
Learn what is being done to support our local business community and get questions answered. This webinar series is in partnership with the City of Alameda and is open to all Alameda businesses. Occurs weekly.
Next session: June 2
Relax with a morning beverage while a local expert from our Downtown community shares insights into the finer details of operating a business during this unprecedented economic time... and beyond.
Next session: TBA
Recent Page Updates
5/28/20 updated - Webinars and Town Halls (Webinars)
5/27/20 added - Alameda Strong Community Fund (Alameda)
5/18/20 added - "the reopen guide" for Downtown Alameda Businesses (Safety)
5/18/20 added - Businesses Allowed to Operate in Alameda County (Safety)
5/17/20 added - City Manager's Letter to Alameda Businesses (Alameda)
5/12/20 added - Statewide Industry Guidance & Checklists for Operating Safely (Safety)
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:
- Preparing to Reopen
- Webinars + Town Halls
- Business Loans & Grants
- Tax Extensions, Deferments, and Credits
- Eviction Relief for Businesses
- Other Resources for Businesses
NEW! Alameda Strong Community Fund: In partnership with our local business associations, the City has launched a new "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 new program! More info: www.alamedastrong.org
Please Note: The grant application for businesses is not available yet. Sign up to be notified when the application process will open.
UPCOMING WEBINARS & TOWN HALLS
The City of Alameda, West Alameda Business Association, and Alameda Chamber host special guests to discuss resources available for small businesses. Click on webinar titles to register.
Past Online Discussions - click on titles to view
- Best Practices in Retail and Restaurant Re-opening (May 27, 2020)
- Panel Discussion: Helping to Define "The New Norm" (May 22, 2020)
- Next Steps for SBA Loan Recipients (May 21, 2020)
- Town Hall: Tuesdays @ 2, special guest: State Insurance Commissioner (May 12, 2020)
- Preparing for the New Normal, with SBDC and SCORE (May 6, 2020)
- Legal Insights with Robert Matz (May 1, 2020)
SAFETY PROTOCOLS & REQUIREMENTS
As California moves into Stage 2 of our Resilience Roadmap, every business should take steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and create a safer environment for workers and customers. Before reopening, all facilities must:
- Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
- Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
- Implement individual control measures and screenings
- Implement disinfecting protocols
- Implement physical distancing guidelines
These key documents will guide you in preparing a safe workplace and implementing the required protocols:
Social Distancing Protocol Form Requirement
A revised and extended Shelter in Place Order requires businesses operating in Alameda County to create and post a tailored “Social Distancing Protocol” explaining how the business is complying with social distancing requirements. It must be posted at the public entrance in plain sight. Download the county's Social Distancing Protocol form: Click Here
Face Coverings Required - Download an Entry Sign
Effective April 17, face coverings must be worn by the public, employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers when at essential businesses. Download an entry sign and post by your entrance: Click Here
Need a large format sign for posting at your entrance? Pick up a FREE sign at Island Print Express (1422 Park Street) between 10am and 2pm.
ECONOMIC RELIEF PROGRAMS
Payroll Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides federally guaranteed, forgivable loans to small businesses. Loans will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons are also eligible. Learn more about the PPP and the information that will be requested when you apply with a lender: www.sba.gov/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program
The application process for Paycheck Protection Program reopened Monday, April 27. Information about the PPP is now available in 17 additional languages on the city's website. View a list of Alameda banks approved to offer SBA Loans.
Pandemic Unemployed Assistance
As part of the federal CARES Act, the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history, and others not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance as a direct result of limited business operation during the pandemic.
The EDD is currently accepting online applications for this program. More Info
Eviction Relief & Deferred Rent for Businesses
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. These protections will remain in place for 30 days after the declared state of emergency is over. 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. Read More
Business Tax Extensions, Deferments, and Credits
State and federal governments are assisting businesses experiencing economic hardship related to COVID-19:
- Business License and Business Improvement Area fees: Payment of Business License and Business Improvement Area fees is deferred for sixty (60) days -- penalties apply after September 1, 2020.
- State Income Tax Extension: Most small businesses now have until July 31, 2020 to file first quarter returns. If you qualify, the extension is automatic and you do not need to submit a request. More info: www.cdtfa.ca.gov#relief
- 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. More Info: www.edd.ca.gov/payroll_taxes
- Deferred Payment of Sales & Use Tax: Effective April 2, 2020, small businesses can take advantage of a 12-month, no-interest payment plan for up to $50,000 in sales and use tax liability. It’s essentially an interest-free loan. Payment plan requests can be made through the state's online services system. More Info: www.cdtfa.ca.gov#small-business-payment
- Employee Retention Tax Credit: Refundable payroll tax credits are available for 50% of qualified wages that eligible employers pay their employees. The credit applies to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. More Info: www.irs.gov
- Federal Tax Extension: The IRS has extended the deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes to July 15, 2020. More info: www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief
- County Property Tax Penalty Waiver: Businesses deemed "non-essential" and required to close, may apply for a waiver of penalties for late payment. Full payment of the second installment must be made by May 4. More info: https://treasurer.acgov.org
LOCAL BUSINESS GUIDANCE & RESOURCES
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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
COVID-19 Resources for Businesses:
- Alameda County SBDC: Coping with COVID-19 Webinars, Small Business Guides, and other Resources
- Small Business Administration: COVID-19 Small Business Guide & Loan Resources
- Alameda County Health Care Agency: FAQs for Businesses (new)
- Alameda County Public Health Dept: Health Officer Orders
- Alameda County Public Health Dept: Resources for Businesses and Employers
- California Statewide Industry Guidance to Reduce Risk (new)
- 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
- California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Guidance for Specific Industries
- California Department of Insurance
- California State Treasurer Fiona Ma's Small Business Resource List
Message from the Executive Director:
I’m thinking a lot about our community: all of you, who comprise this vibrant and vital district. The shopkeepers, restaurateurs, business owners and your employees. I hope you’re staying safe and healthy.
During my first week as Downtown Alameda Business Association, Executive Director, I had been fortunate to stop in to meet some of you. Sady, these in-person introductions are on hold for now, but I want you to know I am honored to be here...to listen...and learn.
We are facing a challenging time. This is uncharted territory for all of us and it is constantly evolving. As we navigate this new path together, please let me know what you need. I am available at email@example.com.
I want you to know, with certainty, that your Downtown Association's leadership is committed to support and advocate for you during this challenging time— whether it’s to provide a reliable place to go for up-to-date, factual information, access business resources, or simply offer an opportunity to connect. How can we help?
It's an unprecedented time, and I want to make sure we keep supporting each other like the great community we are.
The Reopen Guide
Our team has reviewed available COVID-19 resources to define best practices with actionable steps to help you transition into the next phase of reopening your business.
COVID-19 Business Relief Grant
The City of Alameda plans to offer another source of small business emergency funding to help our local businesses. This one will be funded by community donations.
Social Media 101
Learned how to grow your presence on Facebook and Instagram using best practices. Topics include: creating content, engaging with followers, and using hashtags.
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 Thursdays, 4:00pm.
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. Board Packets
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.
Bring your business card for a chance to win a door prize!
Next Downtown Mixer:
MONDAY VIRTUAL MIXER
- Monday, June 1
Mark your calendar... Downtown Mixers are usually held the third Wednesday of the month.
Not receiving our newsletters and other email updates? If your business is located in Downtown Alameda, please contact our office to be added to our email list.