Economic Development News from the East Bay | January 2021

The start of the new year – and depending upon one’s perspective, a new decade – always brings with it new hopes and dreams. The promise of new vaccines that have been developed in record time are helping to inspire confidence that we can find our way forward through the myriad challenges we face as COVID-19 continues to ravage our communities. Many of these issues and problems are not new, although they have been exacerbated by the intertwined economic and public health impacts of the nearly year-old pandemic. Transitions in leadership at all levels of government will bring forward new policies and solutions that strive to tackle some of our most crucial challenges, which require real and urgent action.

The East Bay is fortunate to be a catalyst and magnet for innovative and passionate business, civic, and community leaders who strive to lead us forward during difficult times. As a regional economic development organization, East Bay EDA has had a unique opportunity to work with many of these groups and individuals to help struggling small businesses who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. But these efforts remain a work in progress. We are going to need to come together and harness our collective resources to realize a more equitable economic recovery and stronger business climate that will propel our region forward.

There are several sources of small business financing available right now. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program has re-opened - visit here to connect with a lender and see additional SBA Coronavirus relief, including Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant Program if you own a live venue, performing arts organization, movie house, or cultural institution. The SBA 504 Loan Program allows small businesses to refinance if they own their building, rent, or are looking to expand. This resource is available through Certified Development Companies (CDAs) in California including TMC Financing, which also has a COVID-19 Recovery Loan Program.

The second round of California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program opens February 2, 2021 through February 8, 2021. Round 1 applicants who do not receive funds do not need to apply again as they will automatically be entered in Round 2. Please take a moment to sign up here for announcements

Join us next week for Biomedical Manufacturing & Public Health, a discussion of new product development, workforce, and industrial safety in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is funded by the CARES Act Stimulus Package 2020 – and is managed with support from CMTC – California’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center.

COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most important tools to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of California is currently prioritizing vaccines for equitable distribution and anticipates enough supplies to vaccinate most Californians by summer 2021. Visit to learn more about vaccinations, State progress, and access the toolkit. Read more.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf are leading two of the most dynamic cities in the nation. Join San Francisco Business Times and the Mayors for a discussion on the pandemic, shifting demographics, and the unknown impact of an increasingly remote workforce, as well as a 2021 real estate forecast by Ken Rosen. Sign up today!

California Forward (CA FWD) recently announced the launch of the 2021 Roadmap to Shared Prosperity, outlining priority actions CA FWD and its many partners will pursue to help more Californians prosper. The 2021 Roadmap is a product of the California Economic Summit, which is produced by CA FWD and the California Stewardship Network. Learn more.
In Remembrance

East Bay EDA was very saddened by the news late last month about the passing of Tom Guarino, a longtime community champion for so many important causes and organizations. Tom was well known throughout the Bay Area and through his work with PG&E and he played an integral part in East Bay EDA's public private partnership. He was a consummate networker and problem-solver with a big heart, and his energy and spirit will be missed as his footprint and legacy lives on. "Celebrate Tom", a virtual celebration, will be held Saturday January 30, 2021 at Read more about Tom's life and legacy at East Bay Times.

(photo credit: Sonia Rivas)