Downtown Business Portal
Effective February 16: Most indoor masking mandates will be lifted in alignment with the State. Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be required to wear masks in all indoor public settings. Businesses have the option to require masks of customers; businesses may also require proof of vaccination. Requirements must be applied equally to all customers and workers. Request a complimentary "Face Mask Required" or "Mask & Vax" sign
The Commercial Streets Program has been extended for two more years. Details to be announced.
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 to downtown businesses, and to take an active part in your downtown business community.
If you operate a business within the Park Street Business Improvement Area (see map), you are a member of the Downtown Alameda Business Association.
Upcoming Webinars & Workshops
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. Click Here to submit a question or topic suggestion for an upcoming Business Town Hall.
- Wednesday, February 16, 5:00-6:30pm - Downtown Alameda Look Ahead at 2022 (hosted by DABA; click to RSVP)
- Thursday, March 3, 1:00-4:00pm - Developing and Implementing an Effective COVID 19 Prevention Program (hosted by UC Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program)
- Tuesday, March 8, 2:00pm - Business Town Hall: Tuesdays @ 2 (hosted by City of Alameda and DABA)
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
The city will be conducting a “Point-In-Time” (PIT) Count of local homeless population on Wednesday, February 23, at 5:00am. If you can volunteer or have information about the location of encampments, answer this short questionnaire.
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.
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.
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.
Recent & Notable Page Updates
2/11/22 updated - Link to latest Weekly Update for Businesses (News)
2/10/22 added - Look Ahead at 2022 Mixer (News)
2/9/22 updated - Indoor Masking Requirements (Safety)
2/9/22 updated - Upcoming Webinars & Workshops for Businesses (Webinars)
1/22/22 added - January Board Packet (Committees)
1/18/22 updated - Committee Meetings (Committees)
1/4/22 added - Whiskey Stroll Opportunities (Dashboard)
1/3/22 updated - Board of Directors 2022 Roster (Committees)
12/6/21 updated - Crime Prevention (Things to Know)
11/15/21 added - 2020/2021 Financials (Committees)
8/10/21 added - City Staff Recommendations for Commercial Streets Program (Streets)
7/12/21 added - Link to Facade Grant Program (Dashboard)
COVID-19 Updates for Businesses
Effective February 16: Most indoor masking mandates will be lifted in alignment with the State. Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be required to wear masks in all indoor public settings.
Masks are still strongly recommended; vaccines and boosters are urged to further strengthen defenses. To protect staff and patrons, businesses may still require vaccinations and/or masks; keep in mind that the requirement must be applied equally to all customers and workers. Request a complimentary "Face Mask Required" sign
REOPENING BUSINESSES SAFELY - Updated Guidance Coming Soon!
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.
Resources for Opening With Care:
- California Industry-Specific Guidance
- Alameda County Resources for Businesses
- Blueprint Color Tiers: Comparison Chart
- What to do if there is a case of COVID in the Workplace
- Alameda County COVID-19 Updates
- California State Orders and Blueprint for a Safer Economy
- California Employer Playbook and Industry Guidance
COMMERCIAL STREETS PROGRAM
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:
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.
Parklet Webinar (July 9)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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
Effective August 3: Face coverings are required indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Businesses have the right to request all customers to show proof of vaccination upon entering their shops, restaurants, or offices. There are no capacity limits.
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
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