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Oakland National Small Business Week
 Oakland National Small Business Week: May 4-8, 2015 Small businesses are the engine of Oakland’s economy; over 90% of businesses employ twenty or few employees. One of the highlights of the week is the Access to Capital Workshop. It is a major business financing workshop covering lender requirements, various financing options, including conventional loans, SBA Loan Programs, crowd funding and other alternative financing to help businesses launch     or expand. Small business lenders and alternative capital lenders will be available in English, Spanish and Mandarin languages. The Resource Fair will feature over 20 lenders and business technical assistance providers to assist Oakland businesses to succeed.                                Access to Capital: Business Lender Panel & Resource Fair, Thursday, May 7th,                     Oakland City Hall, 8am-12:30pm, One Frank Ogawa Plaza.       Click here to view the Flyer .


15 Ways To Compete
As Jack Welch famously said, "If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete".        And that competitive advantage is how you can differentiate your business in the eyes of your customers. To help you start thinking about this very important issue, here are 15 Ways To Rise Above The Competition that other entrepreneurs have used. Click below to view.                http://smallbiztrends.com

City of Oakland Minimum Wage Ordinance

This past November, Oakland citizens voted in favor of mesasure FF, a local ordinance increasing the Minimum Wage in Oakland to $12.25 per hour. The new minimum wage will begin on March 2, 2015 and then rise with the Regional Consumer Price Index beginning on January 1, 2016, and every year thereafter. Please click on the following links for full detailed decsription of the Minimum Wage Ordinance, the Paid Sick Leave, and the Service Charge descriptions, which are also available in Spanish and Cantonese. 

City Minimum Wage Media Release                                                                                                                                            
Oakland Minimum Wage Paid Sick Leave and Service Charge Notices

Oakland Minimum Wage Spanish 

Oakland Minimum Wage Notice Cantonese

Oakland Minimum Wage Notice Vietnamese

U.S. Small Business Administration

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Attend Business Seminars and Workshops - April 6th to April 24th 2015 Click here to view http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USSBA/bulletins/fcb340

New Year, New Business
Are you thinking about starting a business this year? It involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. The U.S. Small Business Administration has 10 steps that can help you plan, prepare and manage your business.  Click below to view as a webpage  http://content.govdelivery.com

Free Legal Clinic


 Legal Services for Entrpreneurs presents: Free Legal Clinic at the Business Assistance Center
•    Can someone explain a contract or lease to me?
•    Should my business be an LLC, partnership, or S-corp?
•    Do I need a trademark? Copyright? Patent?
Find out the answers to these very important questions.
 Thursday, May 14, 2015 5pm-7pm
 270 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, 94612

Registration required: www.lccr.com/events.php (415)543-9444 ext. 217

Small Business Loans



  Kiva Zip is an Internet platform, launched by Kiva, that enables individual lenders around the world to “crowd fund” interest-free loans directly to small business owners, micro-enterprises and entrepreneurs. Loans are currently interest free and allow borrowers with strong business plans but that are not eligible for conventional lending to raise up to $5,000 and eventually be eligible for up to $50,000 in loans on the Kiva Zip platform. As a Kiva Zip trustee, the City of Oakland is interested in endorsing micro enterprises that demonstrate growth opportunities and unique business enterprises that meet a community need or offer employment opportunities for the entrepreneur or other Oakland residents, especially low- or moderate-income individuals, or a micro-enterprise that is 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. We are now actively seeking candidates to endorse for a Kiva Zip Loan. If you are a local business interested in finding out more details please contact Juno Thomas (510)238-4727 This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  



Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

ATTENTION: Small Business Owners
It is not too late to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit!
As the March 15 corporation tax deadline approaches, it is important for small business owners to be aware of the various tax laws that can help with their businesses' bottom line.  Several tax laws are impacting small business tax returns this season and providing substantial savings, including the underutilized Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.To determine if your business or tax exempt organization qualifies for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, visit http://www.healthlawguideforbusiness.org consult with your tax preparer. More than 500,000 California employers may be eligible for this tax credit and yours may be one of them! 

Oakland Business is Green Business
Oakland is home to more than 130 certified Green Businesses, through the Bay Area Green Business Program.

Oakland Recycles is offering free technical assistance to Oakland businesses that are interested in becoming certified green businesses. To jump start the certification process, green business experts will be contacting Oakland businesses to introduce the Green Business Program and shepherd interested businesses through the certification process.

Distinguish your business in the marketplace as an environmental leader through the Green Business Program.

Interested in a free assessment? Need to know more? Contact Oakland Recycles at (510) 238-SAVE (7283) or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Look us up on Facebook at Sustainable Oakland to keep up to date with the latest information from this project.
Take Your Business Global

    Small businesses seeking to grow their businesses and create jobs through exporting can turn to new, free educational videos created through a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration, Inc. Magazine and AT&T. Through the public-private partnership, a series of video modules has been developed to inspire and encourage American small businesses to actively pursue exporting and to educate them on how to do so.

     The video series, Take Your Business Global features five main topics that guide small businesses through the process of exporting:

  1. Getting Started in Exporting
  2. Planning for Export Success
  3. Connecting with Foreign Buyers
  4. Financing
  5. Five Case Studies of Successful Small Business Exporters
     The videos are posted at www.inc.com/exporting/.
Community Voices

As a small business person are you taking advantage of what Oakland offers. Click the link below to view a very informative article on the Business Assistance Center.


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