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Cooperative Challenge
Please join Uptima Business Bootcamp on November 20-21 at Impact HUB Oakland to design businesses that support wealth creation through shared ownership.
This challenge is open to anyone, including business leaders, community organizers, designers, technologists and students, interested in developing businesses that can contribute to a more inclusive and equitable economy through shared ownership.
Come learn more about cooperative business models, meet coop owners and developers, network with others interested in cooperatives and design businesses. Bring your ideas for developing cooperative businesses and/or platforms to support cooperative ownership.          For more information on schedule, speakers, mentors, judges and prizes, please visit: http://www.cooperativechallenge.com/

Location: Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
Date + Time: November 20, 2015 (6:30pm – 11:00pm) – November 21, 2015 (8:00-7:00pm)
Cost: $40 general; $25 hub member
Top 10 Financial Tools for Small Business Owners

SBA Banner

Many times financial tools are overlooked as a way to help increase a company’s bottom line. Financial tools have the ability to transform a company’s operations, improve productivity, reduce costs and increase profit margins. It’s essential for small business owners to take advantage of the right tools and resources to more effectively plan for the future and overall success of the business. Here are the top ten financial tools for small business owners. Click here to view: https://www.sba.gov/blogs/top-10-financial-tools-small-business-owners
Oakland Businesses Recycle


Important Changes to Trash, Recycling and Compost Services for Oakland Businesses
Coming July 1, 2015 Click here to find out more; http://www2.oaklandnet.com



15 Ways To Compete
As Jack Welch famously said, "If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete".        And that competitive advantage is how you can differentiate your business in the eyes of your customers. To help you start thinking about this very important issue, here are 15 Ways To Rise Above The Competition that other entrepreneurs have used. Click below to view.                http://smallbiztrends.com

City of Oakland Minimum Wage Ordinance
Minimum Wage Increase – Effective Friday, January 1, 2016, Oakland’s Minimum Wage goes up to $12.55 per hour. Measure FF, the voter-initiative ballot measure passed in November 2014, provides annual increases to Oakland’s Minimum Wage based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). In light of the increase, employers must be aware of the following:

    By Tuesday, December 15, 2015, employers are required to provide notice to employees and prominently display posters on the new Minimum Wage;
    On Friday, January 1, 2016, the rate goes up 30¢ to $12.55; and
    The other benefits mandated by Measure FF – paid sick leave and payment of service charges – remain the same as when the employment law took effect on March 2, 2015
Notification posters in English, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese are available for download at http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityAdministration/d/MinimumWage/OAK051451
 . A roster of upcoming business briefings offered by our partners, answers to frequently asked questions and details on outreach efforts are also on the web page. The next business briefing scheduled is:

    Wednesday, December 2, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Mastering Oakland’s New Employment Laws Workshop, including Minimum Wage employer requirements effective January 1, 2016
Hearing Room 1, Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

Presented by the Alameda County Small Business Development Center and Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

For more information, please visit http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityAdministration/d/MinimumWage/OAK051451 or contact the Contracts & Compliance Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or (510) 238-6258.
Free Legal Clinic


 Legal Services for Entrpreneurs presents: Free Legal Clinic at the Business Assistance Center
•    Can someone explain a contract or lease to me?
•    Should my business be an LLC, partnership, or S-corp?
•    Do I need a trademark? Copyright? Patent?
Find out the answers to these very important questions.
 Thursday, December 10, 2015 5pm-7pm
 270 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, 94612

Registration required: www.lccr.com/events.php (415)543-9444 ext. 217

City of Oakland's Kiva Zip Loan Program Now is the time to Apply



During the month of May 2015, Oakland entrepreneurs, micro-enterprises and small businesses are highly encouraged to apply for the Kiva Zip Loan Program. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Kiva Zip are partnering together to provide more loans and expand financial opportunities for Bay Area entrepreneurs. This partnership means that the borrowers that the City of Oakland endorses will only have to raise half of the total loan amount from the crowd on the Kiva Zip website. LISC will provide a matching loan for the remaining amount. For micro-enterprises and small businesses, they can fundraise easier and faster, increasing the likelihood of executing a successful Kiva Zip campaign and securing the funding needed to grow their businesses.

Oakland is the first Kiva Zip City Trustee in the nation. To date, the city has successfully assisted thirteen (13) Oakland small businesses to receive Kiva Zip loans. Kiva Zip is an internet platform, launched by Kiva that enables individual lenders around the world to ‘crowd fund’ interest-free loans directly to small business owners, micro-enterprise borrowers with strong business plans but are not eligible for conventional lending. If selected, businesses can raise up to $5,000 and eventually be eligible for a $50,000 loan. As a Kiva Zip Trustee, the City of Oakland’s role is to review and endorse Oakland small businesses that we believe meet the Kiva Zip criteria and the City’s economic development goal of supporting entrepreneurship especially in East, Central and West Oakland. To find out more or to support a borrower please click the following link  https://zip.kiva.org/loans

If you have any questions or inquiries regarding the Kiva Zip Loan program please direct them to Aliza Gallo, Economic Development Manager, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , (510) 238-7405 or Juno Thomas Business Assistance Center Coordinator, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , (510) 238-4727.  



Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

ATTENTION: Small Business Owners
It is not too late to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit!
As the March 15 corporation tax deadline approaches, it is important for small business owners to be aware of the various tax laws that can help with their businesses' bottom line.  Several tax laws are impacting small business tax returns this season and providing substantial savings, including the underutilized Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.To determine if your business or tax exempt organization qualifies for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, visit http://www.healthlawguideforbusiness.org consult with your tax preparer. More than 500,000 California employers may be eligible for this tax credit and yours may be one of them! 

Oakland Business is Green Business
Oakland is home to more than 130 certified Green Businesses, through the Bay Area Green Business Program.

Oakland Recycles is offering free technical assistance to Oakland businesses that are interested in becoming certified green businesses. To jump start the certification process, green business experts will be contacting Oakland businesses to introduce the Green Business Program and shepherd interested businesses through the certification process.

Distinguish your business in the marketplace as an environmental leader through the Green Business Program.

Interested in a free assessment? Need to know more? Contact Oakland Recycles at (510) 238-SAVE (7283) or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Look us up on Facebook at Sustainable Oakland to keep up to date with the latest information from this project.
Take Your Business Global

    Small businesses seeking to grow their businesses and create jobs through exporting can turn to new, free educational videos created through a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration, Inc. Magazine and AT&T. Through the public-private partnership, a series of video modules has been developed to inspire and encourage American small businesses to actively pursue exporting and to educate them on how to do so.

     The video series, Take Your Business Global features five main topics that guide small businesses through the process of exporting:

  1. Getting Started in Exporting
  2. Planning for Export Success
  3. Connecting with Foreign Buyers
  4. Financing
  5. Five Case Studies of Successful Small Business Exporters
     The videos are posted at www.inc.com/exporting/.
Community Voices

As a small business person are you taking advantage of what Oakland offers. Click the link below to view a very informative article on the Business Assistance Center.


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