Economic Development News from the East Bay | February 2021

Nearly 8,800 business locations in the East Bay have momentarily or permanently discontinued business activities or closed between March and December 2020, according to an analysis using business data insights from business analytics company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). To gather closure data, D&B examined a variety of financial information and data signals, including payment transactions activity, trade and shipping data, and leasing information. It is important to note this data includes many office-based businesses that shifted to telework and underreports minority-owned and immigrant businesses, many of which are not traditionally banked.

Almost a year into the pandemic, we still have a long way to return to a new normal. Despite recent vaccine rollouts and multiple stimulus efforts, our business community continues to experience disruptions and uncertainty. Many are experiencing volatile customer demand, operational challenges because of health and safety requirements, employee hiring and retention, and even workplace outbreaks. Although improving operations and adapting new service models can help some industries to recover, many small businesses face mounting pressure to stretch already slim margins and scant working capital to invest in technologies needed to survive. Federal, state, and local financial programs have provided the necessary temporary relief for struggling businesses to survive, but the longer the pandemic persists, the more difficult a recovery will be. The most heavily impacted industries, such as hospitality and entertainment, also point to a need for more targeted support, particularly because these sectors heavily employ women and minorities.

In addition to accessing assistance through our  resources page, please contact us and let us know how we can help you effectively plan for recovery efforts and advocate for solutions that can address your most important needs.

The East Bay is one of the world’s most vibrant economies and fastest growing regions. Join us for Meet the Innovators where we will explore what drives innovation in our region and why innovative companies and organizations continue to thrive in the East Bay. We are pleased to feature a panel of past East Bay Innovation Awardees. Register today!

East Bay EDA invites you to join us in supporting the Akoma Outdoor Market this year. Akoma is a farmers market located at Liberation Park (6955 Foothill Boulevard) in East Oakland that features local, black-owned farm stands, restaurants, food trucks and more. Visit Black Cultural Zone for information on the market and other Black History Month celebrations.

Do you know a business or nonprofit in Alameda County that has an innovative idea to prevent waste? StopWaste is offering up to $475K in funding for innovative projects that prevent waste in the county. Grant amounts per funded project range from $10K to $20k. Application deadline is March 15, 2021. More information is available at

As we welcome the Year of the Ox, East Bay EDA stands in solidarity with victims, survivors, families, and businesses who have suffered loss, violence and discrimination during this time. It was not long ago when the term “Asian American” was born here in the East Bay, where a new generation of political activists at UC Berkeley opposing the Vietnam War...Read more.
Bob Sakai is Retiring...Again!

Please join us in celebrating Robert “Bob” Sakai’s 34 years of service. As you may know, Bob has been with East Bay EDA since its inception, back when it was known as the Economic Development Alliance for Business (EDAB). After a brief retirement, Bob returned in 2013 to provide guidance as the organization's Technology and Trade Director. Thank you Bob for your leadership and tireless commitment to the East Bay community!