Oakland CARES Act: Technical Assistance for Small Businesses

The City used CARES Act funding to provide technical assistance to small businesses.

Posted: February 4th, 2021 2:20 PM

Last Updated: March 23rd, 2021 4:55 PM

Program Overview

Through a $150,000 EWD agreement with the nonprofit Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF), small business owners were provided legal advice and assistance on lease negotiations. Eight webinars in four languages served more than 260 participants. 88 Oakland small business owners also requested free hour-long, one-on-one consultations with an attorney, including review of client’s lease and related documents. Free longer-term legal assistance of up to $5,000, which included lease negotiation, pre-litigation and settlement negotiations or representation in a court proceeding, was provided to six Oakland low-income small business owners who could not afford to hire an attorney on their own.

Through a $150,000 grant from EWD, Good Good Eatz provided creative business and marketing strategies for business districts, restaurants, and markets across five Oakland districts: Chinatown, Eastlake, Fruitvale, Black Cultural Zone, and Old Oakland. Their work focused on social media marketing, business strategy efforts and direct funding support to 20 businesses. They also connected restaurants to the World Central Kitchen’s free lunch programs providing both revenue for the businesses and nourishing meals for vulnerable Oaklanders.

With a $75,000 grant-funded agreement between EWD and Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), BWOPA held four “How To” webinars to help small business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs reassess, recalibrate and reimagine their enterprises to reflect the new COVID-19 business environment. Registrations for the webinars topped 275. BWOPA also gave 40 emergency student grants of between $250 and $400 for basic needs to Laney and Merritt College students who had been laid off due to COVID.

Recipient Demographics

Pie chart showing views of LCCR's lease webinar recordings by language

In addition to in-person participation, recordings of LCCRSF's lease negotiation webinars in multiple languages continue to be a resource for small businesses, having been viewed more than 180 times.

pie chart showing the ZIP Codes of the students who received a BWOPA grant

25% of the students who received a microgrant from BWOPA reside in the 94607 ZIP Code

17% of the students who received a microgrant from BWOPA reside in the 94606 ZIP Code

15% of the students who received a microgrant from BWOPA reside in the 94601 ZIP Code


Super Juiced has been really fortunate to be a part of the program. Good Good Eatz has been amazing, they are doing a marketing project with us to try to help get our messaging out as to what we’re doing now that COVID is here." Rana Halpern, Owner, Super Juiced

Good Good Eatz "created an Instagram for me...I now have had clients who said they found me on Instagram! I’m seeing new faces because of Instagram." Yamrout Gebremedhin, Owner, Yammy’s Café

"So thankful for these workshops!" Norma Francisco

"This first night kept me coming back for more. Thank you for the invite. Everyone’s presentation was “Black Girl Magic”!" Dollene Jones

"This was worth all the time and effort" Benjamin Smith


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