Chamber news & updates
Week of October 12, 2020
Chamber Blog
7 Reasons the Chamber of Commerce is not (just) for Boomers
Hey, we get it. A lot of people think the Chamber is a bunch of old people talking about the economy. But that's simply not true.

In fact, the Chamber has a lot to offer young professionals. If you're young (or young at heart) check out these reasons why you should join the Chamber.

The Chamber blog is published weekly on Monday. It contains helpful information for professional and business growth. 

Recent posts include important topics like: COVID operating tips, how to start a business in Alameda, and ways to increase sales. Find the solution you need.
Meet Our Newest Member:
Ozzy's Music Academy
Ozzy's Music Academy is a music school, after-school program, and community music center. Music enriches the lives of the individuals, families and communities of all involved. Ozzy brings his passion for community building into everything he does. At the Academy this is seen by how he creates opportunities for youth and families to learn and play together. These experiences are even more necessary during these challenging months and will be cherished for a lifetime. 

Owner/operator Joseph "Ozzy" Osborne is an Alameda resident, musician and public/charter school programming contractor. His passion for music is rooted in educating musicians of all ages. As a seasoned public and charter school teacher and alum of the Holy Names University Master's of Music program, he encourages music makers of all ages to share in the joy that accompanies music making. 

The "Modern Band" program you'll experience at the Academy has musicians developing skills on keyboards, guitars/strings of all sorts, drums, sound systems, and singers mastering their favorite, as well as new, compositions. You'll see students learning to use recording software to record their own songs and covers, and A/V equipment for multimedia projects like YouTube/music videos. Ozzy's Academy also houses Emotive Arts, a songwriting and music program for public school students that connects social and emotional skills to the musical and other performing arts. 

You can find Ozzy supporting community musicians/bands in online concerts, Alameda's Got Talent, and local porch concerts. You can catch him performing at live music jam sessions, and playing with friends around the East Bay and beyond.

Go like him on Facebook, too.
Shop Alameda: Support Small Business
Support Alameda Small Businesses
The Visit & Shop Alameda Card is a local e-gift card that can be used at participating merchants throughout Alameda. The program is designed to encourage locals and visitors to support the Island’s small businesses. 

The Visit & Shop Alameda Card eGift card, powered by Yiftee, is better than a regular gift card or gift certificate because you can:

  • Track when the eGift is received and redeemed
  • Receive reminders to redeem the eGift (for whomever it was delivered to)
  • Give the perfect last-minute gifts without it looking last-minute. The program is easy, personalized, and fast.

It’s Easy and Fun to Use

  1. Go to the Visit & Shop Alameda Card page on the Alameda Chamber of Commerce’s website. 
  2.  Select the denomination of your desired Visit & Shop Alameda Card. 
  3. Choose your recipient (family, friends, team members) and send it via email or text message. 
  4. Visit your merchant(s) and enjoy their products or services!

With COVID-19, many of us are looking for ways to help out our neighbor businesses. Buying the card and using it to remind people to shop local is a great way to do something you enjoy while helping our community.

Use of the program also brings attention to the need of supporting local business. When dollars are spent on local small business, these businesses are more likely to stay in Alameda.

You can purchase the Visit & Shop Alameda Cards as gifts and rewards for employees, stakeholders in your business, business partners, helpers, teachers, coaches, vendors, and everyone else on your list. They make excellent gifts and support the growing local movement that people are currently embracing. If you buy them in bulk, you can also have them branded to your business or group. You can’t do that with a regular store card.
Buying local feels good because you’re helping your neighbors. 
More Customers and More Visibility. Sound good?
Join the Visit & Shop Alameda Gift Card Program
If you're a business owner and you long for more customers, check out the free Visit & Shop Alameda Gift Card Program.

It's free to participate for all businesses. The eCard can be run through your POS so no additional software or tools are required.

The Chamber, the City of Alameda, Downtown Alameda, and the West Alameda Business Association will market your business and its affiliation with the program for more customers.

Best of all, It costs you nothing!

Chamber Academy Webinars
Tuesday, October 20
3:00 pm
Guidance for Commercial Tenants During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Interested in learning more about lease negotiations during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

This webinar will provide a framework for successful lease negotiation in the current environment, an overview of Alameda’s commercial eviction moratorium, and plenty of time for Q&A. 
Wednesday, October 21st
10:00 am
Increase Revenue During this Economic Downturn
Learn how to:

  • Create more sales opportunities in 60 minutes a day 
  • Ditch pitching for authentic conversations that actually convert
  • ONLY work with who you want...even during an economic downturn
  • Convert better than any hard pitch could, and in a way that feels great
  • Build authentic relationships that foster incredible lifetime customer value
  • Invite WOW Clients into your business – ‘perfect fits’ that energize your growth

All in only an hour a day and zero ad spend!
Wednesday, October 28
10:00 am
Top Tips for Keeping Your Data Safe No Matter Where You Are
Everything You Need to Know to Protect Your Business 

Are you working from home these days? While you've likely spent time setting up your home office, you may not have considered your data security needs. Many of us don't feel like we have the know-how to be more secure or we figure our employers are taking care of it.

But cybercriminals are enjoying the easier access to important data and because of this, your personal data may be at increased risk too.

Cybercrime costs business $3.5 billion annually and it affects all sizes of organizations. With a greater number of people working from home, the risk is increasing. It's time to secure your remote and in-office workplaces so you don't fall victim to this type of crime.

In this webinar, we'll give you easy to implement tips, even if you're not a techie. And we'll talk about everything you need to know to avoid being a cybercrime victim. If you think you're not at risk, the criminals have already done half their job.
This Week: We're Ba-ack.
In-person After Hours (Social Bubble)
Wednesday, October 14th
6:00 pm
There are still a few spots left. Don't miss out!

Join the Alameda Chamber of Commerce at Corica Park for an in-person after hours mixer.

Limited attendance due to social distancing measures.

Business Reopening Resources
Get the latest information on COVID-19, funding programs, and government initiatives on these sites:


Learn more about the Coronavirus relief options available, including if you qualify, and how to apply.

SBA Alert
The U. S. Small Business Administration and Treasury Announce simpler PPP forgiveness for loans.

Deadline Approaching in California for SBA working capital loans due to adverse weather conditions

Takes positions on Prop. 16 and Prop. 23


Upcoming events include: How to Launch a Local Cottage Food Business and How to Grow Your Business Online and Generate Sales, Basic Resources and Tools in a COVID World..

Information for Workers and Employers


If you have experienced lost wages because of the pandemic, you may be able to find assistance from these programs.


City of Alameda Updates

Effective 10/09/2020:

Business Openings
Alameda County announced on October 1 that the following activities will be allowed to reopen on October 9, 2020, following all County health protocols:

  • Hotels and lodging for tourism: fitness centers and indoor pools restricted
  • Personal care services: skin care and waxing services, non-medical massage providers, tattoo parlors, and non-medical electrolysis indoors with modifications; services requiring removal of face coverings prohibited
  • Gyms and fitness centers: indoors <10% capacity; restrictions on aerobic exercise and classes
  • Outdoor film production: per local guidance
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums: indoors <25% capacity

In addition, the County announced that it will be considering the following activities for reopening in the next 4-6 weeks, if data trends permit.

  • Indoor retail: expand to 50% capacity
  • Shopping centers: expand to 50% capacity, add food courts
  • Indoor dining: <25% capacity or <100 people
  • Indoor movie theatres: <25% capacity or <100 people

Share Your Opinion: City of Alameda's General Plan 2040
The City of Alameda is working on an update to its General Plan for the first time in almost 30 years. You can help shape the future of our island and our commercial districts by giving feedback on Alameda's General Plan 2040.

The City is asking the business community to review the plan and provide feedback on the draft policies, especially the Land Use + City Design Element as many of those policies will provide direction for the development, accessibility, and preservation of our commercial district. 

We encourage you to stay up-to-date and get involved -- review the plan, take a survey, or share your thoughts at a virtual forum (the next one is Oct. 12).

2020 Community Service Awards
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2020 Community Service Awards. We are seeking nominations for exceptional Alamedans who have made tremendous contributions to our community, particularly in advancing racial justice or responding to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Click here to nominate someone special!

Next council meeting: October 20th
From Our Members
Our Chamber = Community • Together We Are Stronger. Better. One.
Catalyst • Convener • Champion