Updates for Downtown Businesses
We're committed to providing relevant information to help your business thrive in Downtown Alameda. We encourage you to explore this page and familiarize yourself with the resources, opportunities, and programs available.
If you operate a business within the Park Street Business Improvement Area (see map), we welcome you as a member of the Downtown Alameda Business Association.
The Commercial Streets Program has been extended for two more years. Details to be announced.
Following the success of our previous Stroll events, we are delighted to announce we are making preparations for the NEW Downtown Alameda Autumn Wine Stroll! Ticket holders will take to our historic downtown district on Sunday, October 23rd from 12:00-4:00pm, tasting premium wine selections at unique pouring locations, plus hors d'oeuvres at select stops. This event provides a fantastic opportunity for your business to gain exposure to a diverse crowd of 550 people who are likely to revisit.
Businesses can sign up to provide Small Bites to be paired with a wine, or offer Business Specials to ticket holders. Want in? Call the Downtown Alameda office at 510.523.1392 or complete the Google Form.
The City of Alameda’s minimum wage increases to $15.75/hour starting July 1, 2022. (It increases every July 1st thereafter, based on the increase in cost of living.) Employers must post the Official Minimum Wage Notice at each workplace or job site.
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.
Clean,Green and Safe 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. (formerly Operations Committee)
Second Tuesdays, 10:00am.
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 Tuesdays, 9:00am.
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, 8:30am.
Downtown business mixers provide an opportunity for our members to receive district updates, learn something new, and to network with fellow business owners and managers.
Mark your calendar... Downtown Mixers are held every other month.
Date and Location TBD
Workshops, Webinars, & Trainings
The Downtown Alameda Business Association in partnership with the City of Alameda, West Alameda Business Association, and Alameda Chamber hosts various workshops to benefit our local businesses:
- Tuesday, October 11, 2:00pm - Business Town Hall Tuesday @ 2 (we will be discussing the Active Transportation Plan)
Click Here to submit a question or topic suggestion for an upcoming email update or business get-together.
The SBDC hosts online trainings at no cost to businesses. Learn from practical business trainings covering key topics from marketing basics, to e-commerce, to operating your business in a pandemic world. Browse the SBDC calendar
Additionally, the SBA provides a comprehensive suite of free resources to help small businesses expand their customer base, manage their growth, find and retain talent, and enter new markets. Browse the Digital Tool Library
Things To Know
If you are new to the downtown district, please make sure to review the information below and drop us a note so we can welcome you and help you take advantage of all of the benefits of being part of the downtown community.
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.
Join Us! Share Ideas! Learn from Others!
Town Hall: 2nd Tuesdays @ 2
Learn what's being done to support our local business community and get your questions answered. This MONTHLY online session is held in partnership with the City of Alameda and open to all Alameda businesses.
Private Email Forum
Looking for advice or referrals? Do you want to alert downtown businesses of a happening? Communicate directly with other downtown business owners and managers with one email...
Private Facebook Group
Members are invited to join our PRIVATE discussion group. Communicate directly with other business owners and managers in our district... Share ideas, ask for advice, post alerts.
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 goal of the program is to make 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.
To help maintain safe conditions, the City has put together a comprehensive two-page "Safe Outdoor Commercial Activities" code compliance tip sheet.
On Tuesday, November 2, the City Council approved the continuance of the Commercial Streets Program for two more years including the Park Street reconfiguration, parklets, Alameda Avenue, enhanced parking management, and City-wide use permit for businesses to use outdoor space for commercial purposes. More details to be announced.
Summary of City staff's recommendations:
- Park Street Reconfiguration. Maintain the existing striping on Park Street for at least the next two years.
- Temporary Parklet Program. Revise the temporary parklet program to allow for semi-permanent parklets that meet a higher safety and aesthetic standard.
- Parking Regulations. Return to parking regulations that were in effect before 2020, while also adding some short term parking, loading zones, and disabled parking in select areas.
- Alameda Ave Al Fresco Dining. Maintain the half-block closure of Alameda Ave until the street is repaved (anticipated for 2023) or until the Downtown Alameda Business Association no longer wishes to manage the space, whichever occurs first.
- Temporary Citywide Use Permit. Allow the existing citywide conditional use permit for outdoor dining and commercial activities in private parking lots to expire on November 1, 2021. Individual businesses that wish to continue to use their lots for commercial uses may apply for a site-specific permanent use permit.
The full recommendations can be found on the Commercial Streets web page:
Park Street Realignment
Park Street between San Jose Ave and Lincoln Ave has been reduced to two lanes to slow down traffic and 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 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 October 2021, or longer if necessary.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Details for utilizing outdoor spaces are available on the city's Commercial Streets web page. If you still have questions about activating any of these areas, please contact Kathy Weber at 510-523-1392 or email email@example.com.
Open With Care
While most COVID-19 mandates have ended, businesses are still responsible for maintaining safe environments for employees and customers. Businesses may choose to require patrons and employees to wear masks but keep in mind that any requirements must be applied equally to all customers and workers. Request a complimentary "Face Mask Required" sign
In following California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, businesses should take the following steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19:
- 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)
- Comply with all guidance issued by the State, County, and City. (Employers must comply with Cal/OSHA safety standards.)
- Know how to report a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case.
Assistance for Small Businesses
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 counseling 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 counseling 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.
Additional Resources for Opening With Care:
- Free COVID-19 Testing Sites
- Steps for Controlling COVID in the Workplace (responding & reporting)
- Masking Guidance for Businesses
Recent & Notable Page Updates
10/10/22 added - Autumn Wine Stroll Information
7/13/22 updated - Link to latest Weekly Update for Businesses (News)
5/27/22 added - Save & Go Green Webinar (Meetings)
5/27/22 updated - Link to latest Weekly Update for Businesses (News)
5/16/22 added - Link to new Parking Enforcement service (dashboard buttons)
5/13/22 added - Parking Enforcement & Citations (Things To Know)
4/22/22 added - April Board Packet (Committees)