Oakland Economy Now - News from the City of Oakland - Vol 54 June 2019

masthead for June 2019 Oakland Economy Now newsletter

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Mayor Libby Schaaf speaking at grand opening of BIG Oakland

BIG Oakland co-founder Deanna Van Buren (left) listens as Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf welcomes the business to Ogawa Plaza.

Unique Co-Working Space Opens on Ogawa Plaza

In May, BIG Oakland, the Bay Area’s first co-working space for the architecture, engineering and construction industries, moved into a 3,600-square-foot space in downtown Oakland. Recognizing that most companies in these industries are small businesses, BIG Oakland strives to provide workers in small firms with the same amenities, networking opportunities and benefits enjoyed by large companies. The City’s Business Development team helped with their site search and made introductions to the City’s Real Estate team, who crafted a long-term lease in the Wilson Building at 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Two of BIG Oakland’s four co-founders also lead the Oakland-based design firm, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, a key partner in West Oakland’s Pop-Up Village project. To learn more about how the City assisted BIG Oakland, please contact Special Projects Coordinator Marisa Raya.

West Oakland Gets New Full-Service Grocery, Neighborhood Festival

Celebrate Oakland - San Pablo Avenue event on June 1 marks the opening of Community Foods Market

Community Foods Market marks its grand opening with a free community festival on Saturday, June 1, with live music, dance, community resource fair, Oakland A’s interactive zone, children’s activities, food sampling and more. Dubbed Celebrate Oakland – San Pablo Avenue, this new annual event runs from 11 am to 4 pm, in the 3100 block of San Pablo Avenue. The City’s Business Development team worked with founder Brahm Ahmadi as he sought sites and crowd-sourced funding for this much-needed community asset. Improving Oaklanders’ access to daily needs – including affordable, healthy food – is one of the retail goals of the City’s adopted Economic Development Strategy. A mission-driven social enterprise that integrates positive social impact objectives, Community Foods Market is within walking distance to 9,000 residents. To learn more, contact Retail Specialist Keira Williams.

Solidary Yes! Hatred No! mural by Francisco Sanchez and youth from the 67 Suenos program.

Solidary Yes! Hatred No! mural by Francisco Sanchez and youth from the 67 Suenos program.

$80,000 in New City Grants for the Arts Released

The City’s Cultural Affairs Division announced funding for eight Oakland art projects through its new competitive Neighborhood Voices grant program. The pilot grant program seeks to lift up seldom-heard voices of Oakland’s neighborhoods through community-based cultural expressions, stories, histories and heritage. The projects funded through the grants pair a social service nonprofit with a community-based artist. In addition, the Surdna Foundation recently granted the City a $75,000 “Thriving Cultures” grant to conduct an analysis of the City’s Cultural Funding program’s policies and programs to enhance cultural and racial equity. To learn more, please contact Cultural Affairs Manager Roberto Bedoya.

Planning Update section header

A glass of beer at The Good Hop

Planning Code Updates Ease City’s Beer & Wine Permit Process

Recent updates to the Planning Code make the City’s permit approval process much easier for restaurants looking to serve beer and wine. Limited-service restaurants located outside of downtown can receive City approval through sign-off at the permit counter. The updates also allow limited-service restaurants within downtown to serve liquor. Previously, only full-service restaurants could serve alcoholic beverages without additional City permits. Restaurants are still required to secure the appropriate State license from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. To learn more, contact Retail Specialist Keira Williams.

Main Street Launch representatives receive $2 million grant from Wells Fargo

$2 Million Grant to Support African American Entrepreneurs

Main Street Launch was awarded a $2 million grant from Wells Fargo to help African American entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Through this grant, the organization will address the racial wealth gap by accelerating African American wealth creation through business ownership. The grant will also launch an African American Entrepreneurship Institute to conduct research and develop a new body of knowledge around African American entrepreneurship and family businesses in Oakland and San Francisco. Main Street Launch staff were joined by Sherri McMullen, owner of McMullen, a fashion boutique in downtown Oakland. This work aligns with the  asset poverty and income disparity reduction objectives in the City’s adopted Economic Development Strategy.

Announcements - corrected

bicyclist on the bike path on the Oakland span of the Bay Bridge

Oakland Recognized Nationally as a Bicycle-Friendly Community

Washington D.C.’s League of American Bicyclists has designated Oakland a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community. The award recognizes the investment in bicycle infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies by City departments and other public agencies, as well as the many Oakland bike shops and the many community-based organizations with bicycle-themed missions. Oakland’s commitment to multi-modal transportation infrastructure, including biking, helps foster equitable economic growth.


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Zoning Check

Quarterly Economic Dashboard

Minimum Wage & Employment Laws 

KivaZip Oakland

Foreign Trade Zone


4505 Burgers & BBQ Oakland
Grand Lake Kitchen Dimond


AMP Oakland
Tues-Thurs @ Downtown Oakland

Free Downtown Walking Tours
Weds & Sats @ various locations

Celebrate Oakland: San Pablo Avenue
Jun 1 @ Community Foods Market

Planning for Profit
Jun 3 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Oakland Latino Chamber Networking Mixer
Jun 4 @ The Greenlining Institute

Finding Money to Start & Grow Your Business
Jun 6 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Skill Share: Bookkeeping Basics
Jun 6 @ Impact Hub Oakland

First Friday
June 7 @ KONO

East Bay Women in Business Roundtable
Jun 7 @ Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar

Inside Oakland: City Budget Summit
Jun 12 @ Oakland Metropolitan Chamber

Finding Customers/ Marketing Your Idea
Jun 12 @ Cal State East Bay Oakland Center

Free Legal Clinic
Jun 13 @ Business Assistance Center

Let’s Bike Oakland
Jun 13 @ SPUR Oakland

Create Good Jobs Class Application Deadline
Jun 14 @ Uptima Business Bootcamp

Creating Radiance: Artist Panel + Night Market
Jun 14 @ Impact Hub Oakland

Dismantling White Supremacy Unconference
Jun 14-15 @ Impact Hub Oakland

Juneteenth in the Town
Jun 15 @ Eastmont Town Center

Skills Networking Live
Jun 18 @ Club BNB

Realizing the Broadway Valdez Specific Plan
Jun 18 @ SPUR Oakland

#OAKProud Power Hour: Stop the “Churn & Burn”; Leverage Your Energy Savings
Jun 19 @ Oakland Metropolitan Chamber

Sustainable Economies Law Center Happy Hour
Jun 20 @ Reem’s California

114th Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon
Jun 26 @ Oakland Marriott City Center

Financial Forecasting Class Application Deadline
Jun 28 @ Uptima Business Bootcamp

The East Bay Agenda at the State Level
Jun 28 @ SPUR Oakland

#OAKProud Happy Hour: Office Warming Patio Party
Jun 27 @ Oakland Metropolitan Chamber


After Decade Of Development Drought, Oakland Hotels Now In Full Stride
May 29, BisNow

Oakland A’s Ballpark Bill Clears State Assembly     
May 23, Ballpark Digest

Fake Meat Fundraising Hits Record Highs With Impossible Foods      
May 22, Western AG Reporter

Two new tenants to beef up Oakland tower
May 21, San Francisco Business Times

Oakland’s Top 4 Cantonese Food Spots
May 21, KPIX

Oakland fintech raises $260 million in latest funding round
May 21, San Francisco Business Times

Official Pothole Repair Coming to Oakland 
May 20, KCBS

Coworking space for AEC companies opens in Oakland
May 19, The Architect's Newspaper

Swift Real Estate Partners dives into Oakland with $115 million deal 
May 17, San Francisco Business Times

Port of Oakland looks at diversifying revenue      
May 15, American Shipper

City of Oakland begins new affordable housing project
May 15, ABC7

Oakland tries a new way to prioritize city improvement projects: by considering equity
May 14, Oakland North

Oakland reports busiest April in history      
May 9, American Shipper

Here's the deal with that giant housing complex that sprung up near MacArthur BART      
May 8, SFGate

Wells Fargo Grants $2 Million To Small Business Lender      
May 6, SFGate

The war on drugs hit them hard, so Oakland is saving them a spot in the pot trade      
May 5, The Buffalo News

AMP Oakland—a curated busker program—livens up lunchtime with free music      
May 1, KTVU

Here are the 3 freshest new businesses to debut in Oakland      
May 1, Journal Courier

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