Our Upcoming Events
Economic Development works closely with the Project Implementation Division to spur growth and development in Oakland.
Tenant Improvement Program and Façade Improvement Program - These programs offer architectural assistance and matching grants for improvements to commercial property on targeted streets. The Tenant Improvement Program provides grants for interior spaces and the Façade Program provides grants for the improvement of building exteriors.
OBDC Finance manages all business loans under $249,500 for the City of Oakland. OBDC provides business assistance to entrepreneurs who may not qualify for traditional bank financing. To learn more about its loan products, business assistance services, and business resources, visit the OBDC website or call 510.763.4297.
CA Competes and Enterprise Zone Tax Credits
The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to locate in California or stay and grow in the state. Tax credit agreements are negotiated by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Each fiscal year, 25% of the available credits are reserved for small businesses. Applications are accepted online and there is no fee to apply.
The Enterprise Zone program also offers Oakland businesses the opportunity to reduce their State business income tax. Businesses located in the Enterprise Zone are automatically eligible for Zone benefits. The Enterprise program will sunset at the end of 2014, but businesses may still apply to receive retroactive refunds. For example, a business located in the Enterprise Zone can receive tax credits for hiring an eligible new employee or for purchasing qualified new machinery or pollution control devices. Tax credits are also available to lenders who make loans to businesses in the Zone, and to low income employees who work in the Zone.
City of Oakland staff can help you understand and apply for these State incentives. Please contact Incentives Coordinator Susanna Villareal at (510) 238-7794, or visit the Oakland Business Assistance Center.
KivaZip Zero-Interest Loans
Kiva Zip is an online platform that enables individual lenders around the world to “crowd fund” interest-free loans directly to small business owners, micro-enterprises and entrepreneurs. Kiva Zip allows borrowers with strong business plans, who may or may not be eligible for conventional lending, to raise up to $5,000 and eventually be eligible for up to $50,000 in loans. As a Kiva Zip trustee, the City of Oakland endorses micro enterprises that:
- demonstrate growth opportunities
- are unique business enterprises that meet a community need
- offer employment opportunities for the entrepreneur or other Oakland residents, especially low- or moderate-income individuals
- are micro-enterprises interested in locating in Oakland’s underserved commercial areas.
We strongly encourage all Oaklanders to help grow our local economy by helping businesses through the innovative Kiva Zip Lending program! Please view and lend to our local entrepreneurs.
EB-5 Visa Program
Oakland is home to two EB-5 regional centers which seek to attract entrepreneurial immigrants to engage in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and directly create at least ten full- time jobs. To learn more, visit the EB-5 Visa page.