Economic Development News from the East Bay | October 2020

East Bay EDA’s 8th annual East Bay Innovation Awards was broadcast live last week and highlighted groundbreaking companies and organizations across a broad range of categories. This year’s winners included Mizuho OSI (Advanced Manufacturing), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Arts & Culture); UrbanBloc (Built Environment), Oakland Genomics Center (Community Impact), Idea Builder Labs (Education), Bolt Threads (Engineering & Design), Tsar Nicoulai Caviar (Food), EnChroma (Life Sciences), Porifera (Sustainability), and Medinas Health (Technology). The Port of Oakland was conferred the 2020 Legacy Award.

Many thanks to our event sponsors and host Scott McGrew of NBC Bay Area for bringing this event to life in these challenging times! If you missed the live broadcast, you can catch the recorded broadcast on YouTube.

More information about our 2020 awardees and finalists appears in the online and print editions of the San Francisco Business Times and our event website. And make sure to order your limited-edition “East Bay Proud” t-shirt from Oaklandish. But don’t delay – the deadline to order is October 30, 2020!

Election Day is just two weeks away! In addition to the 2020 Presidential race, there are several important statewide and local initiatives that will have significant impact on our region’s economy and quality of life. 

East Bay EDA’s Executive Committee recently voted to adopt the following positions on local and state ballot measures in front of East Bay voters this November:

Proposition 14 (Stem Cell Bond) – YES
Proposition 16 (Affirmative Action) – YES 
Proposition 19 (Property Tax Transfers) – YES
Measure W (Alameda County ½ Cent Sales Tax) – YES
Measure X (Contra Costa County ½ Cent Sales Tax) – YES

For more information on East Bay EDA’s legislative and policy work, including additional details about the above recommendations, visit our legislation & policy page and ballot blog post.

Regular jobs have been badly hit in the pandemic. Countless low-skilled workers are turning to gig work through platforms or the shadow economy. They must constantly find work that fits around fluctuating medical issues, and caregiving or parenting commitments. Join us on Tuesday, October 27 at 10 a.m. to learn about more worker-friendly gig models, including a pilot project in California.

East Bay EDA is performing outreach and providing referrals for small and mid-sized manufacturing companies affected by COVID-19. Companies that are engaged in the physical, mechanical, or chemical transformation of materials, substances or components into new products are encouraged to contact us to schedule an appointment at no cost.

East Bay EDA has been a content partner with the San Francisco Business Times for the past several years by providing up-to-date information about important East Bay business and community resources for the annual East Bay Book of Lists. Make sure that the information for your organization published in the 2020 edition and our digital map is accurate and up-to-date by going here.

COVID-19 has debilitated East Bay businesses. Nearly 5,500 establishments shut down temporarily or permanently between March and August 2020. Those that have remained open are experiencing volatile demand, new customer expectations, and other operational challenges. For a breakdown of East Bay business closures by city and industry sectors, visit our business impacts page.