Economic Development News from the East Bay | April 2020

As our nation and world continue to grapple with the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, East Bay EDA and its network of regional partners are working hard to respond to new realities gripping the regional economy. The Bay Area and California have been lauded for our efforts to flatten-the-curve and avoid some of the worst-case projections that were feared at the start of the shelter-in-place (SIP) orders issued last month, and we rightfully need to keep our attention on minimizing the potential spread of coronavirus in our communities. Yet as the economic toll of the pandemic continues to mount, we also must look ahead to position our region for recovery. 

Last week, we launched the East Bay Business Recovery Survey to begin to quantify some of the economic impacts that businesses have been experiencing since the region-wide SIP was implemented. The initial results of this effort are sobering: slightly more than half of all businesses expect to lose more than 60% of their revenue over the next three months, and nearly one third estimate they will need to permanently close if the SIP lasts more than 2 months, as this will cripple cash flow and impede payment of rents and other expenses. Tens of thousands of residents have lost their jobs, severely disrupting their lives and further exposing the inequality between those who can work from home vs. those who do not have the ability and privilege to do so. 

East Bay EDA’s leadership will be convening with senior public health officials from Alameda and Contra Costa counties on April 23 to discuss the latest local developments related to COVID-19 and the myriad issues that need to be worked out so that more parts of our economy can open up again. It is a most timely topic for our region’s businesses, who have shared concerns about being able to weather additional costs and navigate forthcoming regulations designed to ensure the health and safety of workers and customers when more of them are able to reopen. 

Join East Bay EDA on Thursday, May 21 for an online presentation of our annual Spring Membership Meeting. This year's event, "The Building Blocks to Recovery" will highlight research findings in our 2020-2021 East Bay Economic Outlook Report with special attention to economic disruption and potential recovery efforts surrounding COVID-19. We will feature a presentation by Dr. Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics followed by a moderated Q&A session. We will also be joined by a guest speaker from the Port of Oakland, providing an update on the latest regional impacts.

Special thanks to our event and research sponsors, including Bank of America, the Workforce Development Boards of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, and Southwest Airlines. This meeting will be held online and registration is open to the public. We look forward to having you join us!

This month, we were proud to facilitate a donation of 1,000 protective masks to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. This generous donation was made possible by the Consulate General of China in San Francisco and will help keep frontline workers safe. Learn more about the Food Bank and how you can get involved!

April 1 was Census day. Now more than ever, your response is needed to help allocate federal resources toward schools, transportation, and other public services for communities in our region. The good news is now you can complete the Census in about 10 minutes from the safety of your own home. Learn more and be counted.

Visit our website for the latest real-time business resources and webinars related to COVID-19. If you have a resource you would like to contribute, please contact us at