Business and Economic Development

Support your local small businesses:


COVID-19 continues to have significant effects on the economy, both locally and nationally. Restaurants and retail are particularly hurt due to closures or changes in their business operation during the pandemic. As the Bay Area Region begins to slowly open, the City of Richmond, Richmond Main Street, and Richmond Chamber of Commerce are collecting an inventory of open businesses to help community members locate and support Richmond businesses. To find local restaurants and retail spaces, please explore the map to the right to find a business that is right for you. If you are a small business that is open or will soon open and are not included in the map, please fill out the following survey to have your business added to the map. This interactive map will be periodically updated.

If you have any questions about this map please email Thomas Omolo, Management Analyst - City Manager's Office, Economic Development at thomas_omolo@ci.richmond.ca.us

Outdoor Dining

Private parking lot and spaces:

On June 23, 2020, the Richmond City Council approved an Urgency Ordinance authorizing a Special COVID-19 Temporary Use Permit and waiving fees associated with outdoor dining, seating, sale, and community assembly on private property. The Temporary Use Permit allows businesses to use private areas, such as parking lots for outdoor dining and seating, outdoor merchandise displays, and outdoor community assembly. The Temporary Use Permit fees have been waived, and the permit is valid until December 31, 2020. To apply for a Temporary Use Permit for outdoor dining, sales, or community assembly on private property, please submit a Site Plan (indicating the areas and locations of outdoor dining, sales, and/or assembly) to planning@ci.richmond.ca.us. Application and check “Temporary Use Permit”- https://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/6421/Planning-Application-Form---Fillable?bidId=


Sidewalk:

Businesses may apply to use sidewalks adjacent to their business to expand capacity and allow for outdoor dining by applying for a Temporary Outdoor Dining and Retail permit through the Community Services Department. A complete application will need to include a site diagram, assurance of following all proper safety standards, and a Certificate of liability insurance. To apply for a Temporary Outdoor Dining and Retail permit, please email CSDregistration@ci.richmond.ca.us or call (510) 620-6793.


Parklet:


Businesses seeking a more permanent solution for increasing dining capacity through the use of parklets on-street parking spaces may apply for a Parklet permit. A business may identify two parking spaces adjacent to the business to build out a parklet for outdoor dining. For more information about the parklet permit, please email RichmondParking@ci.richmond.ca.us

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Business and Worker Resources

The City of Richmond currently has limited-service due to COVID-19. The city understands that many small businesses may be suffering due to the County's Shelter in Place mandate. To support local businesses through these hard times, there are a few federal, state, and local resources to assist these businesses.

Call Center

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Local Resources for Businesses:

  • Richmond Revolving Loan Fund -  The Revolving Loan Fund is a community based program with the goal of fostering local economic growth through creation and retention of employment opportunities for Richmond residents. The program offers eligible applicants loans from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $100,000.
  • Great Plates - California and Contra Costa County will pay restaurants owners up to $66 per meal delivered to seniors. They are looking for restaurants to prepare and deliver 3-meals a day seniors during shelter in place.
  • ICA Fund Good Jobs - Rapid Response Liquidity Fund will soon be offering up to $100K loans with 0% interest for a four-year term, with no payments due for the first 12 months, and have flexible payment terms for qualified businesses.
  • Co-Biz - This Co-Biz Richmond guide provides residents with a reference point to find resources that are available for individuals, businesses, and the community.

COVID-19 Employer Resources:

Federal Resources for Businesses:

  • SBA - Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources (Multiple Resources)- US Small Business Administration's list of resources for small businesses including; funding options, guidance for businesses and employers, loan assistance, support to access capital, and determine eligibility for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance (Includes self-employed workers) - US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration Disaster Unemployment Assistance program provides unemployment benefits to individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a providentially declared major disaster.
     
  • Restore Your Economy - The International Economic Development Council with support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration have put together up-to-date resources related to COVID-19 and its economic Impacts.
  • Updated Economic Relief Plan (CARES Act)
    • Small businesses could receive funding to cover payroll, rent and utilities. The bill aims to cover eight weeks of those costs. Please visit this link to find SBA lenders
    • Unemployment Insurance expansion will increase benefits by $600 per week and unemployment checks can continue for up to 39 weeks and more categories are eligible

State Resources for Businesses:

  • Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) COVID-19 (Multiple Resources) - The Northern California Chapter of the SBDC has compiled a list of resources for small businesses including; overview of the Paycheck Protection Program, a CAREs Act Guide, access to online webinars, an assortment of guides, and more.
  • OnwardCA.org - One stop resource for people of California impacted by job loss during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • GO-Biz - The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has compiled a list of useful information for employers, employees and all California residents as it relates to the COVID-19 Pandemic. You may also make a direct request to talk to a specialist in GO-Biz's Office for  technical assistance by following this link.
  • Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program - Small Business Finance Center partners with Financial Development Corporations to provide loan guarantees and direct loans for small businesses that experience capital access barriers. This program allows for loans of up to $20 million and a max guarantee of $1 million with interest rates negotiated between lenders and borrowers.
  • CalCAP - California Capital Access Program for Small Businesses is a loan loss reserve program which may provide up to 100% coverage on losses as a result of certain loan defaults. With CalCAP support, a lender may be more comfortable underwriting small business loans.
  • Disability Insurance Elective Coverage for Employers and Self-Employed Individuals 
  • 1-Week Waiting Period for State Unemployment & Disability Insurance Waived
  • Reduced Work Hours - Work Sharing Program - Employers may apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing program if reduced production, services, or other conditions cause them to seek an alliterative to layoffs. The program helps employees whose hours and wages have been reduced to receive UI benefits, keep their current job, and avoid hardships. It allows employers to minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs, keep trained employees, and avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
  • Request up to a 60-day extension on State Payroll Taxes - Employers experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19 may request up to a 60-day extension of time from the State of California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) to file their state payroll reports and/or deposit state payroll taxes without penalty or interest. A written request for an extension must be received within 60 days from the original delinquent date of the payment or return. For questions, employers may call the EDD Taxpayer Assistance Center toll-free from the U.S. or Canada: 1-888-745-3886, Hearing-impaired (TTY): 1-800-547-9565, Outside the U.S. or Canada: 1-916-464-350.
  • File a State Unemployment Insurance Claim - Unemployment Insurance is an employer-paid program that provides partial income replacement when one becomes unemployed or has their hours reduced. Follow the link for eligibility requirements.

Private Industry Resources for Businesses:


Richmond Works for Business


Richmond has a ready workforce, acres of space to locate and expand, great transportation connections, a growing economy – and a proactive Office of Economic Development that’s ready and able to provide businesses low-cost loans for working capital, tax incentives, relocation assistance and favorable contracting opportunities.

Richmond’s Office of Economic Development (OED) helps business owners relocate existing operations, works with entrepreneurs and investors to locate businesses for sale, and facilitates business-to-business transactions. 
civic center flags

Businesses Choosing Richmond

Businesses continue to recognize Richmond as the best choice to locate and expand. Below is a small sample of nationally recognized businesses that call Richmond home.
WHOLE FOODS SFBT 2
Amazon
Blue Apron
Hello Fresh
Mountain Hardware
Restoration Hardware
Sun Power
UPS
Whole Foods
William Sonoma 

Real Estate Services


Interested in current development initiatives and opportunities Richmond? The City of Richmond offers resources and staff that are currently engaging a variety of development opportunities. Please visit our
Real Estate webpage to find out more information.

San Francisco Business Times: Richmond Supplement



The San Francisco Business Times has published a supplemental issue featuring Richmond. This issue highlights the assets and amenities that make Richmond one of the best options for business in Bay Area, and profiles a variety of companies that call Richmond home. Please follow the link to read and share this wonderful profile of Richmond:

2018 San Francisco Business Times Richmond Supplement

2016 San Francisco Business Times Richmond Supplement

How can we help you?


Please reference the list of resources below to see the variety of resources Richmond can offer new or growing businesses of all sizes. We are here to help you - please do not hesitate to contact us with questions and inquiries. 


Business & Economic Development Assistance


For more information on these programs and other business services, contact:
Thomas Omolo
Management Analyst
City Manager’s Office, Economic Development
450 Civic Center Plaza, Third Floor
Richmond, CA 94804
510-620-5560
thomas_omolo@ci.richmond.ca.us

SFBT Cover 2018

Revolving Loan Fund

Richmond’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) offers four loan options, from $5,000-$100,000, for the development of new businesses and the expansion of existing business:
  • Working capital – for the costs of business operations
  • Machinery/equipment – to acquire machinery and equipment
  • Fixed assets – for leasehold improvements, renovation, expansion of a structure, or purchase of fixed assets 
  • Facade improvements 
To learn more about Richmond's RLF, visit our Revolving Loan Fund webpage. Download a loan application here.

Tax Credits and Hiring Incentives 


Richmond enables businesses to save thousands – even millions – of dollars through a variety of tax credits and cost reductions. to learn more about credits and incentives and see if your business is eligible, visit our Tax Credits and Hiring Incentives webpage.
   
Businesses hiring a resident from a State-recognized Targeted Employment Area (TEA) can immediately qualify for the hiring tax credit. 

View the TEA Street Ranges by Directional Listing.
        

HUB Zone Empowers Business


As a designated U.S. Small Business Administration HUB Zone, Richmond helps certified small businesses gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities, including competitive and sole-source contracting, and a 10% price evaluation preference. 

California Economic Development Initiative 


Through the state’s GO-Biz program, businesses can compete for available tax credits based on the number of jobs created or retained, the extent of poverty in a business development area and minimum compensation limits. Visit www.business.ca.gov.

Business Services


Richmond helps stimulate and attract new investment and reduce the cost of starting and operating a business by providing access to technical assistance such as counseling, workshops, classes, business plans, marketing, credit repair, legal consulting, financing, employee recruitment, tax credit information, façade improvement, and website design. Most of these services are provided at no or reduced cost to business owners. 
Employer Services are available to assist businesses with customized employment services, from recruiting to tax incentives; outplacement services and resources; on-the-job training; and labor market information. For more information, call 510-307-8024. ?

Additional Business Resources


  • The Richmond Chamber of Commerce helps to foster growth in Richmond and West Contra Costa. Contact the Chamber at 510-234-3512 or visit www.rcoc.com.
  • The East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) is helping to establish the East Bay as a preferred location to grow businesses, attract capital and create quality jobs. Visit www.eastbayeda.org.
  • The West Contra Costa Business Development Center provides entrepreneurs with individualized services, from business consulting and entrepreneurial training to securing financing. Visit www.wccbdc.org.
  • The Contra Costa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) conducts research, counsels and trains business people in a wide variety of business topics and provides comprehensive information services and access to experts in a variety of fields free of charge. Visit www.contracostasbdc.org for more information.
  • The Richmond Workforce Investment Board (WIB) promotes creative solutions to meet the needs of job seekers and employers. Contact Sal Vaca at svaca@richmondworks.org or 510-307-8023.
Richmond Point Birds eye view