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DOWNTOWN ALAMEDA

Downtown Businesses... Bookmark this Page!

We're committed to keeping businesses up-to-date with relevant information; bookmark this page and check back for regular updates. 

NEW!!! Parklet Grant Program: The Downtown Alameda Business Association is pleased to announce a new grant program to assist restaurants, bars, retail and other member businesses in constructing parklets in our downtown district. CLICK HERE for details.

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.

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.

COVID-19 Updates for Businesses

Effective September 4, a revised SIP Order is in place -- hair salons and barber shops are now allowed to operate INDOORS. View a list of Businesses Allowed To Operate in Alameda.

Committees & Member Info

updated 8/21/20

Town Halls & Webinars

updated 9/17/20

Commercial Streets Program

updated 9/14/20

City of Alameda Updates

updated 8/18/20

the reopen guide

As we slowly begin to open, we are happy to present “the reopen guide.” These actionable steps will help you transition into the next phase while maintaining safe spaces for workers and customers.

CLICK HERE

open for business

We're providing an easy-to-share list  for community members who are looking for ways to support you. Please add or update the status of your Downtown Alameda business.

CLICK HERE

For Members:

Parklet Grant Program

Funding is available to assist member businesses in constructing Parklets in our downtown district -- whether it's new or existing. The deadline to apply is September 25.

Town Hall: Tuesdays @ 2

Learn what's being done to support local businesses and get questions answered. The weekly session is in partnership with the City of Alameda and open to all Alameda businesses.

Annual Meeting & Election

Our Annual Meeting will take place on October 21 via Zoom. Get an update on downtown activities and hear about next year's goals. Election results will also be announced.

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.

Board Packets

Bylaws & Policies

2020/21 Annual BIA Report & Work Plan

Strategic Plan - 2020 Vision

Strategic Plan - Presentation

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.

Monthly Mixers

Downtown business mixers provide an opportunity for our members to network and receive district updates.

Next Virtual Mixer:
Monday, September 21, 5:30pm

Zoom link

Annual Meeting & Association Board Election:

  • Wednesday, October 21
  • 5:30-6:00pm
  • Location:
    Zoom (link to be posted)

Ballots will be mailed to members in good standing prior to the election. Return ballots to the Downtown Association office by Monday, Oct 19 or drop off the night of the election 5:00-5:30pm at The Park Street Tavern Garden Pavilion, 1901 Park Street.

Newsletters

Updates with essential news are currently being emailed weekly.

Not receiving our emails? Please contact our office.

Sept 19, 2020

Sept 12, 2020

Sept 5, 2020

Aug 29, 2020

.....

Past Newsletters:

2020 Archives

2019 Archives

2018 Archives

Recent & Notable Page Updates
9/18/20 added - Newest Weekly Email Update (Newsletters)
9/17/20 updated - Upcoming Webinars & Town Halls for Businesses (Webinars)
9/14/20 added - Parklet Grant Program for Downtown Alameda (Commercial Streets)
9/11/20 updated - "the reopen guide" for Downtown Alameda Businesses (Safety)

9/3/20 updated - Alameda County revised SIP Orders (Safety)
8/30/20 updated - California Blueprint for Safer Economy & Industry Guidelines (Safety)

Join Us!  Share Ideas!  Learn from Others!

Virtual Mixer Monday

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 once a month, starting at 5:30pm.

Next session: Sept 21

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: Sept 22

Coffee Talk Thursdays

Relax with a morning beverage while we share insights & updates about the district and discuss operating a business during this unprecedented economic time... and beyond. Occurs every other week starting at 10am.

Next session: TBA

COVID-19 Updates for Businesses

Effective September 4, a revised Alameda County SIP Order is in place -- hair salons and barber shops are now allowed to operate INDOORS. View a list of Businesses Allowed To Operate in Alameda.

Important Note: When the County's and the State's Health Orders conflict, the stricter order applies.  

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:

  1. Perform a risk assessment of your business practices and implement a Site-Specific Protection Plan (SPP - revised Aug. 21)
  2. 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
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
  4. Implement regular cleaning and disinfecting protocols (EPA approved list of disinfectants)
  5. Implement physical distancing guidelines
  6. Provide face coverings for workers or reimburse their cost.

Required: Site-Specific Protection Plan
All businesses and organizations allowed to operate under the current Shelter in Place Order must develop a written Site-Specific Protection Plan (SPP) to provide clear guidance and transparency on how your business is providing a safe, clean environment for employees and customers. To help businesses meet the requirement, the County has made this template available online:
Site-Specific Protection Plan (SPP) template

Required: 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 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 at the Department of Public Health page: Face Covering FAQs. Need a large format sign for posting at your entrance? Pick up a FREE sign at Island Print Express (1422 Park Street) Mon-Fri between 10am and 2pm.

COMMERCIAL STREETS PROGRAM

NEW!!! Parklet Grant Program: The Downtown Alameda Business Association is pleased to announce a new grant program to assist restaurants, bars, retail and other member businesses in constructing parklets in our downtown district. CLICK HERE for details.

The Downtown Association has been working closely with City staff to develop a new program to support the health of our businesses and the community. As a result, the City has launched a multi-pronged Commercial Streets Program. The program makes it easy to set up commercial activity on the sidewalks and streamlines the permit approval process for expanding dining and retail to parklets (using parking spaces). The program also reconfigures a portion of Park Street to greatly increase the area available for pedestrian passage, along with outdoor dining, retail, and other commercial uses.

Parklet Webinar (July 9)

Curbside Pickup
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 transportation@alamedaca.gov 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.

Parklets
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. Deadline September 25: Apply for a DABA Parklet Grant to offset some of your costs.

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)

Questions?
Details and parameters for utilizing outdoor spaces are posted on the City's Commercial Streets Program page. If you have questions about activating any of these areas, please contact Kathy Weber at kathy@downtownalameda.com or call 510-523-1392.

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
  • 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

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

Temporary Zoning  Changes
The City of Alameda has implemented emergency zoning changes. Businesses must notify the City via email (permits@alamedaca.gov) if they would like to make any of these changes.

  1. Businesses can use A-frame signs and temporary banners to advertise extended hours, additional food sales, and availability of other essential goods.
  2. Commercial businesses are allowed to temporarily sell food and other essential goods.
  3. Food-related businesses may stay open until 2am.
  4. Restaurants may sell to-go alcoholic beverages.

ECONOMIC RELIEF PROGRAMS

Economic Injury Disaster Loans 
Alameda businesses are eligible for disaster assistance loans of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.

Learn more about the EIDL program: www.sba.gov/page/disaster-loan-applications

Pandemic Unemployed Assistance
As part of the federal CARES Act, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program helps business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and others affected by the pandemic but who are not usually eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance.

The EDD is currently accepting online applications for this program. More Info

Payroll Protection Program (PPP) - Closed August 8
PPP is a forgivable loan from your business’s banking institution or other commercial lender for an amount equal to your business’ typical 2-1/2 months payroll. Small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons are eligible. The forgivable portion of loan can be excluded from state income tax.

The loan may only to be used to pay payroll, business rent/mortgage interest, or utilities. You have 24 weeks to use the loan funds. After the 24 weeks you can apply to your lender for loan forgiveness. If you can show that at least 60% of the loan was used for payroll and not more than 40% was used for the other authorized purposes, the loan can be forgiven by the lender.

Learn more about the PPP: www.sba.gov/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program

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 had until July 31, 2020 to file first quarter returns. If you qualified, the extension was automatic. 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. A written request for extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. 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 extended the deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes to July 15, 2020. More info: www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief

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 info@eastbayscore.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

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