reopening today: what does it mean for Berkeley?

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Office of Economic Development: Supporting Berkeley Businesses

Our mission is to assist businesses, entrepreneurs, artists, and community
organizations to access services, feel welcome in Berkeley, and thrive.

Updates from the Office of Economic Development (OED)

Returning to 'Normal'

Beginning today, June 15, all sectors listed in the State of CA's Blueprint Activities and Business Tiers Chart may return to usual operations (with limited exceptions for Mega Events). All businesses should continue to follow Cal/OSHA emergency regulations (which apply to their workplace/ employees) and current CDPH Guidance for Face Coverings (which applies to customers and all others).  Travelers should follow CDC recommendations and CDPH Travel Advisory

With almost two-thirds of eligible Berkeleyans and half the people statewide now fully vaccinated, the critical urgency of almost all emergency laws have ebbed and the City of Berkeley has no plans to impose any more stringent local requirements at this time. 

The City encourages employers to:

  • Pay close attention to evolving federal and state rules, including those from the federal EEOC, the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing and Cal-OSHA
  • Encourage employees to look for vaccination options on the City of Berkeley website, MyTurn and private providers 
  • Be aware of how COVID-19 spreads and use protection measures including vaccination, masks, social distancing, handwashing, and good ventilation. 

See the City of Berkeley COVID-19 website for local metrics and more information on vaccinations, school reopening and health restrictions. All City buildings will now be open Monday through Friday from 10am to 2pm.  

Employers can also subscribe to the Alameda County Public Health Department newsletter to get notified about the County's latest Workplace & Recovery guidance and updates.

Outdoor Commerce: A Path to Permanence 

At tonight’s (June 15) Berkeley City Council meeting, Council will consider adopting a path to permanence for outdoor dining and commerce (Item 38). This will also allow for parklets established during the pandemic to be converted to outdoor commerce installations. The renewable Outdoor Commerce Use fee payments will be coordinated with the annual business license renewal cycle and the annual Outdoor Commerce Use Fee will be commensurate with the corresponding block face’s price for parking.

Visit the City of Berkeley’s Outdoor Commerce webpage for additional resources on obtaining Outdoor Commerce permits or see Item 38 on the 6/15 Council agenda for more details on proposed options for existing outdoor commerce permit holders once the local state of emergency ends.

Additionally, grant funding to support existing outdoor commerce installations is still available. Click here for more information. 

Perfect Day makes #KinderGreenerDairy in West Berkeley – with no cows in sight

Perfect Day-Discovered in Berkeley

The City of Berkeley’s #DiscoveredinBerkeley campaign spotlights local businesses enriching our community and building a better world. The latest article in Berkeleyside highlights how innovative West Berkeley food-tech company, Perfect Day, creates milk proteins that retain everything people love about dairy, but in a much more sustainable way.

Read Berkeleyside's article about Perfect Day Foods on the DiscoveredinBerkeley website and follow @DiscoveredinBerkeley on Instagram to see more about innovative Berkeley businesses.

Get Rebates to Electrify your Commercial Kitchen

Ditch gas and cook clean, fast and efficiently with induction. East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) is now accepting applications  for its Commercial Induction Rebate Program. This rebate incentivizes the installation of portable and installed electric induction cooktops and ranges in commercial kitchens. Rebates are available to cover up to $15,000 of total non-electrical project costs such as equipment, labor, and permits. 

For more program details and to apply while funds last, see

In case you missed it...

Employer Vaccination Toolkit

The State of CA's Employer Vaccination Toolkit provides employers with vaccine education materials, information on COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave and other guidance for employees, and an online form to request vaccination support. Employers interested in requesting COVID-19 group appointments at a nearby provider, or setting up a mobile or pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at their workplace, can do so by completing this online form for the California Department of Public Health.

R&D Industries: An Economic Driver for the Berkeley Economy

OED presented at June 2 Planning Commission meeting about the State of Research & Development (R&D) industries in Berkeley as part of a discussion on the City Council referral to amend the City's definition of R&D for zoning purposes.

Download the presentation or read the staff report to learn how R&D industries support the Berkeley economy.

BV2 kickoff May 18

Berkeley Ventures, Berkeley Values - Startups Innovating A More Equitable Future

The Berkeley Startup Cluster —  a partnership of the City of Berkeley, UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab and local business organizations with a mission to make Berkeley a more vibrant, accessible and equitable place for startups to launch and grow — launched the Berkeley Ventures, Berkeley Values (BV2) Learning Lab and Pitch Competition event series to help Berkeley startups and innovation companies inform, cultivate, and pitch their ideas for equity and inclusion

On May 18, a panel of leading DEI experts discussed ways companies can advance equity through culture and products. 

Listen to the recording here.

Ask Your Questions, Share Your Experience

Town Halls to learn more about “Beyond the Blueprint” rules

City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez and Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss will answer questions about the new rules at two virtual town halls:

for the Community 

for Employers/ Business Owners 

WEB logo with text

Berkeley Business Networking & Women Entrepreneurs of Berkeley Fireside Chat Series

TODAY, June 15 4-5pm
(Happy Hour)

Join a 20-minute fireside chat with Diana Gordon, Founder of Keter Salon and network with fellow Berkeley business owners through 10-minute online breakout sessions.

Register through the Berkeley Chamber website.

Return to Work Transit Survey

Deadline: Wednesday, June 16

Inform transit agencies of your workplace reopening plans. (The Bay Area Council has partnered with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to get your input.)

Please complete a short survey before the 6/16 deadline.

June 23 BV2 Pitch Competition

Wednesday, June 23, 4-5:30pm PT

The Berkeley Startup Cluster is proud of Berkeley business leaders who are building and defining an equitable innovation ecosystem. The Berkeley Ventures, Berkeley Values (BV2) Learning Lab and Pitch Competition event series provided 14 local companies a chance to cultivate their thinking around diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) and showcase their DEI strategy and products. 

Register now to attend the BV2 Pitch Competition -- and cast your vote for the Audience Choice award.

2021 Julylibations

Visit Berkeley's JULYbations is back for another round.

JULYbations is coming back to quench thirsts and celebrate the local libations that keep us happy & hydrated.

Visit Berkeley invites Berkeley businesses to fill up glasses & offer drink specials throughout July!

Register to participate, with no cost to your business.

norcal sbdc

Disaster Relief Loan Updates

Wednesday June 23, 10:30 am

Join the Northern California SBDC Finance Center team and the SBA as they share updates and provide a Q&A forum for attendees on Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG), the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Experienced attorneys with the California Small Enterprise Task Force will join the second half of the call to answer COVID-related concerns.

Register to hear loan updates.

Check out other workshops hosted by the Alameda County Small Business Development Center.

If you were forwarded this newsletter, you can directly SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Office of Economic Development

2180 Milvia Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
TEL: (510) 981-7530 
TDD: (510) 981-6903 
FAX: (510) 981-7099

City of Berkeley logo