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Oakland is developing a thriving, diverse, sustainable economy offering a variety of attractive business and employment opportunities. The City is working to enhance the local business climate to attract and grow Oakland businesses and to create jobs enabling members of the community to find employment and meet their financial needs. Local workforce development networks are helping to build skills and expertise among residents and businesses to succeed in the ever-evolving global economy. Oakland also offers support to help local businesses go green in their operations, improve energy efficiency and save money.
Sustainable City Highlights
Transit-Oriented Green Downtown Anchors Oakland’s Renaissance - A surging restaurant and nightlife scene, thousands of new housing units, and improvements to nearby Lake Merritt have Oakland's transit-rich downtown buzzing with new economic activity. Oakland was recently ranked the 7th best U.S. office market in Grubb & Ellis’ Office Market Strength Forecast for 2011-2015. Businesses continue to move to downtown locations with access to three BART stations, AC Transit rapid bus corridors, the new Free B Shuttle (see page 4), and connections to ferries and Amtrak.
Business Assistance Center - Opened in July 2009, Oakland's Business Assistance Center (BAC) assisted nearly 2,500 business owners and entrepreneurs in its first year. The BAC is a one-stop resource center providing information and referrals to financing, permitting, and other technical assistance needed to start or grow a successful business in Oakland.
Enterprise Zone - In 2010 alone, Oakland's Enterprise Zone program helped to create nearly 3,000 new jobs in Oakland, and saved the 800+ companies using the program millions of dollars through hiring and equipment tax credits.
East Bay Green Corridor - Oakland is a founding member of the East Bay Green Corridor, a cooperative effort of local governments, universities and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to attract green industries and jobs to the East Bay. In 2010 the Corridor achieved designation by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as one of California’s “iHubs” – a statewide network of regional economic development innovation centers.
Green Economic Development - The City has prioritized green as core economic development strategy. Oakland is attracting and growing green businesses, creating green jobs, and training local residents to be the workforce of the emerging green economy. Learn more from this Green Oakland video.
Oakland Green Jobs Corps - Oakland was one of the first cities in the nation to develop a Green Jobs Corps to create green pathways out of poverty for local residents and grow a local green workforce to meet the needs of local businesses. Oakland’s Green Jobs Corps matches training to the skills required by local businesses and teaches graduates to install solar panels, weatherize homes to save energy and lower utility bills, and help construct new green buildings.
Oakland Green Map - The City created an online Oakland Green Map to help community members find local green businesses.
Green Business Networks - Multiple local green business associations are active in Oakland, including the East Bay Green Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Business Alliance, and East Bay Green Drinks
Oakland Partnership Green Tech Cluster - The Oakland Partnership Green Tech Cluster is a public-private partnership including the City, Chamber of Commerce, and many local partners, working to bring emerging green tech and clean tech industries to Oakland and the region.
Socially Responsible Business Checklists - In November 2002, Councilmember Jane Brunner convened a Socially Responsible Business Task Force which developed a socially responsible business checklist and made recommendations for attracting and supporting socially responsible businesses in Oakland.
More Businesses Achieving Green Certification - More than 120 Oakland businesses have been certified as green businesses based on their operational practices through the Alameda County Green Business Program. Oakland’s green economy is also home to over 200 additional companies offering green products and services.
Downtown Green Business Cluster Emerging - Oakland has become a regional hub of businesses specializing in emerging green tech and clean tech industries. Over the past three years, Oakland has added several major green companies including Build It Green, Renewable Funding, Solar Millennium, and Sungevity, and 300 quality green jobs. A growing cluster of nationally recognized energy efficiency companies along the spine of Broadway has earned that corridor the nickname “Negawatt Alley.”