Berkeley businesses go 100% Renewable next month

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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)

Berkeley Businesses Switch to 100% Renewable Energy Next Month


Learn More at Tomorrow's 9am Webinar

Beginning in October, all commercial East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) customers in Berkeley will be automatically enrolled in Renewable 100, which is comprised of 100% California wind and solar energy, unless they opt out by September 22. The plan will cost less than one cent more per kilowatt-hour, or roughly 2.3% higher than PG&E rates for a small commercial or industrial customer. All residential customers in Berkeley were already placed on the Renewable 100 plan in March 2022.

For more info and to ask questions, join the EBCE webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, 9/13 at 9am. You can also learn more in the City of Berkeley community message, on the EBCE website, or by calling 1-833-699-EBCE (3223) during business hours (weekdays, 9am - 5pm). 

Check Out Products Made in Berkeley

MFG Week

Bay Area Manufacturing Week (October 7–14) is almost here! In celebration of the makers, artisans and producers in our community, OED and the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative welcome the public to learn about the innovative technologies, jobs, and people involved in manufacturing in our city.

Learn how coffee, wine, ceramics, sculptures and more are made during free tours and tastings, organized by OED, at Metro Lighting, CoRo Coffee Roastery, Covenant Wines, the Berkeley Potters Guild, Meyer Sound Laboratories and Takara Sake.

Register for MFG Week tours on Eventbrite now.

NEW Berkeley Business Resource Guide

business resource guide

This summer, we updated OED's Berkeley Business Resource Guide to provide entrepreneurs with information on how to start and sustain a successful business in Berkeley. The guide walks through key steps of launching a new business and provides information on the programs and services available to businesses launching in Berkeley, including the Berkeley Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) and permitting and licensing requirements. 

Check it out!

Berkeley startup Pivot Bio is changing farming with a new kind of fertilizer

OED DiB Pivot Bio

The City of Berkeley’s #DiscoveredinBerkeley campaign spotlights local businesses enriching our community and building a better world. An example of the types of research & development (R&D) businesses developing world-improving innovations in Berkeley, today's article in Berkeleyside highlights how Pivot Bio’s microbial nitrogen offers a host of environmental benefits and helps farmers grow crops sustainably for delicious snacks like Connect popcorn.

Read Berkeleyside's article about this West Berkeley ag-tech startup on the DiscoveredinBerkeley website and follow @DiscoveredinBerkeley on Instagram to see more about other innovative Berkeley businesses.

Keep Innovation in Berkeley

At tomorrow's (9/13) City Council meeting, Councilmember Rigel Robinson’s “Keep Innovation in Berkeley” referral will be on the Council Consent agenda (Item 30).  This referral aims to reduce the barriers that R&D businesses and startups face when deciding whether to grow their companies in Berkeley, by streamlining lengthy permitting processes, allowing R&D establishments to locate in more areas of Berkeley, and improving the clarity and consistency of our zoning code for applicants.

Email with general comments, questions or letters of support on this topic.

Federal Economic Relief Spending in Berkeley

Also on the information calendar for the 9/13 Council meeting, is OED's Information Report on Federal Economic Relief Spending in Berkeley (Item 37). The report details how federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) were used over the past two years to support local economic recovery. Examples include:

  • Low interest rate loans to Berkeley small businesses, 
  • tourism and hospitality industry marketing and advertising (with the support of Visit Berkeley)
  • Grants for arts organizations, festivals, artists and cultural practitioners, temporary public art (through our Civic Arts program)
  • support for worker owned cooperatives to do business succession planning (with Project Equity), and
  • other initiatives to support local business marketing and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

BAOBOB Is Now Green Business Certified and Welcomes Others to Follow Suit! 

black & green campaign

The Bay Area Organization of Black Owned Businesses (BAOBOB) has completed the Alameda County Green Business Program entry level certification. BAOBOB CEO and founder, YaVette Holts, is proud of BAOBOB's partnership with the Green Business Program and has made significant strides to promote environmental practices, both as a business owner and leader among Berkeley's business community. 

New businesses who register within the Green Business Program can get up to $1,000 in rebates and cash incentives if they complete the process by year's end.

For questions about green business certification and additional benefits, sign up here or email the program's local leaders

For questions about BAOBOB membership, email or support black-owned businesses today through the BAOBOB app!

Berkeley Bucks - new BOGO promotion!

berkeley bucks logo

Berkeley Bucks, the city's first eGift Card, are good for purchases all across Berkeley. For a list of all participating merchants and to buy Berkeley Bucks, visit today! Earlier this summer, Visit Berkeley rolled out more Bucks for Berkeley businesses with a new BOGO offer: customers buy $150 and get a $50 Bonus Gift Card for Free!

Over $40,000 in Berkeley Bucks have been sold, with $19,000 redeemed so far. Take this opportunity to cash in on Berkeley Bucks and update your offers or contact Jeffrey Church to join the program.

In case you missed it...

Application Deadline for Microbusiness & Nonprofit Grants has been extended to 10/19

Have fewer than 5 employees and earn less than $50,000 per year?

The California Office of the Small Business Advocate has awarded funding to the Chabot - Las Positas Community College District to provide grants to microbusinesses in Alameda county through the Microbusiness & Nonprofit COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

This program will provide grants of $2,500 to microbusiness that were in operation in 2019, are still in operation, and were impacted by the COVID-19 public health restrictions.

See the program website for eligibility requirements and to apply by 5pm on October 19, 2022.

Four Berkeley companies take home a prize at the 2022 East Bay Innovation Awards

iAwards 2022

On August 4, 2022, more than 400 people gathered at the Fox Theater in downtown Oakland for the 10th annual East Bay EDA Innovation Awards ceremony, an event recognizing business and civic entrepreneurs and leaders of dynamic East Bay businesses and organizations. Congratulations to the 4 Berkeley organizations who were recognized as winners in the following categories:

The event also recognized Studio KDA (Poet’s Place) as a finalist in the Built Environment category. 

Berkeley website
the new digital front door for city services

The City of Berkeley launched a new website ( in May that’s dedicated to helping you, our Berkeley community, find and take advantage of the unique breadth of services we offer. 

Find information for businesses and entrepreneurs at the Office of Economic Development's new webpage.


chamber tax workshop

Berkeley Business Forum: Educational Seminar on Tax Diversification

Thursday, Sept. 22 5:30-6:30pm
On Zoom

In the investment world, diversification  is a practice that reduces overall market risk by distributing assets into multiple categories. Learn more about how tax diversification can optimize income regardless of prevailing tax conditions.

Register for free HERE.

chamber bus ed

Business Education Workshop: How to Build
Customer Loyalty and Increase Sales with Content Marketing

Wednesday, September 28 11am
On Zoom

Why is content marketing considered the most consistently reliable method for increasing sales? Because it's cost-effective, promotes customer loyalty, systematically attracts leads, predictably increases sales, and builds brand authority. But, you might want to know, how exactly does content marketing accomplish all of these goals? Join the Berkeley Chamber for this workshop to find out.

Register Today

chamber diverse talent

Building a Diverse Talent Pipeline: Avoiding Unconscious Bias & Inequity in Hiring

Wednesday, October 12 10am
On Zoom

Intended for anyone involved in hiring, promotion, admissions, and/or recruitment; at this Berkeley Chamber workshop, you will learn how bias shows up in these processes, the inequity that grounds "The Myth of Meritocracy", and how terms like "top talent" can perpetuate the marginalization of BIPOC scholars.  Work through and discuss some best practices to combat these issues at this interactive workshop.  

RSVP HERE to attend for free.

Oct. 12 BSC startup story

Berkeley Startup Cluster networking event

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 4:30-7:30pm
Wareham Development
(2600 10th St, Berkeley - 3rd floor lobby and terrace)

Join the Berkeley Startup Cluster for a networking and book signing event with author, marketing executive, Berkeley SkyDeck storytelling advisor, and Haas faculty member, David Riemer. He'll share insights from his latest book, Get Your Startup Story Straight.

RSVP here to attend for free. 

chamber bootcamp

Berkeley Business Bootcamp:
Fundamentals of Business Finance

Thursday, October 13 noon
On Zoom

Is it worth an hour of time to increase your peace of mind and clarify your business objectives? This workshop will provide actionable steps to maintain your business' financial health.


chamber business forum

Berkeley Business Forum: Berkeley Measure L, Pros & Cons

Friday, October 14 noon
On Zoom

Join the Berkeley Chamber for a campaign forum on Measure L. There will be discussion of the pros and cons of the $650 million general obligation bond measure for affordable housing, streets and infrastructure.


2022 holiday gift fair

Berkeley Holiday Gift Fair

December 8th 2022
4-7pm @ Hotel Shattuck Plaza

Sponsored by OED, the Berkeley Chamber's 4th annual Holiday Gift Fair will be back this year in Downtown Berkeley, along with the Gift Guide

Early Bird Vendor Registration opens this Thursday, Sept. 15. Vendors* who register using promo code HOLIDAYS22 before Oct. 10 will save $50 off the table fee or Chamber member deposit.

SAVE THE DATE! Or register now to participate! 

*Vendors are subject to approval by Chamber staff

norcal sbdc

Check out the workshops and trainings hosted by Small Business Development Centers in Northern California.

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

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