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Oakland has a vibrant, innovative, globally competitive economy. Named among the 15 hottest American cities for 2015 by Business Insider, as well as No. 3 among the best startup cities in America by Popular Mechanics, Oakland’s diverse economy has gained national attention as a great place to grow a business. Click here to see demographics for Oakland
I'm Already Team Oakland
For Oakland business owners and entrepreneurs who have already selected Oakland as their location, the City of Oakland offers a one-stop business resource location at the Oakland Business Assistance Center. Expert, personalized service is available in person, via phone or online, 9-5, five days a week to help you start or expand your business. We are here to help your business thrive in Oakland. To get started, please visit www.oaklandbusinesscenter.com.
Starting or Relocating a Business
Oakland is California’s most strategic location for companies whose success depends on the ability to move goods and ideas quickly and seamlessly over air, water, land or the cloud. We offer a range of locations, incentives and other resources to help locate and grow your business in our city.
Entrepreneurs looking to start a business and business owners looking to relocate to Oakland are encouraged to access the Business Assistance Center (BAC), the City of Oakland's one-stop information and referral center. Located right next to City Hall at 270 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, the Center offers full-time staff to help business owners navigate City government. The BAC also provides referrals to local organizations; county and state agencies; and other resources to help you start, operate and grow your business. For more information, visit www.oaklandbusinesscenter.com or call 510-238-7952.
Businesses in the following target industries can also access staff Economic Development Specialists to learn about the latest market conditions and special programs offered for these industries:
- The Creative Economy
- Food and Beverage Manufacturing
- Green and Clean Tech
- Health and Wellness
- International Trade and Logistics
Please click on each sector to learn more and contact staff to set up an appointment.
Economic Dashboard - Q1 2015
|Q1 2014||Q1 2015||Change|
|Number of Employed Oaklanders||183,867||196,333||+ 7%|
|Unemployment Rate||10.3%||6.3%||- 18%|
|Businesses||Q1 2014||Q1 2015||Change|
|Number of Business Licenses||42,024||58,877||+ 40%|
|Quarterly Sales Tax Revenue (Q4 2014)||$32,345,229||$34,297,846||+ 6%|
|Real Estate||Q1 2014||Q1 2015||Change|
|Median Single Family Sale Price||$350,000||$445,000||+ 27%|
|Median Rent||$2059||$2510||+ 22%|
Investing in Oakland
The City has a number of programs and incentives to support businesses and investors interested in Oakland.
In addition to the City's facade and tenant improvement programs and other financial incentives including KivaZip loans and tax credits, partner organizations such as the ten Community Benefit and Business Improvement districts are important catalysts for attracting private sector investment. The EB-5 Visa program has also had proven success in attracting international investment to Oakland.
News & Announcements
New Minimum Wage, Sick Leave & Service Charge Law: On March 2, 2015, the voter-approved employment law takes effect. Click here for more information, including FAQs, resources for employers, resources for employees and more.
Enterprise Zone Program Updates: Incentives and hiring credits are still available for businesses in former enterprise zones, but the structure of the program has changed. Contact (510) 238-7794 or email@example.com for assistance.
California Economic Incentive Programs: The state offers Tax credits, Traning Programs, Special Zoning, Tax Exemptions and Local Incentives. For more details, visit the CA Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development.
Broadway Transit Line: The City is studying the feasibility and potential for a Broadway transit line to enhance local and regional transit systems to spur growth along this corridor. Click here for more information.
Newsletters & Releases
Recent Business Articles
Marketing & Special Events
The City markets Oakland to attract businesses and investment and to celebrate arts, culture and entertainment in Oakland. Important marketing tools include the City's flagship festival -- Art + Soul and the free walking tours that highlight Oakland's rich history and stunning architecture. To learn more, click here to visit the Marketing & Special Events page.
Real Estate Services
Real Estate Services provides cost-effective and professional real estate services to all City departments. To learn about City properties for lease or for sale, click here to visit the Real Estate Services page.