Business and Economic Development

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.

COVID-19 Employer Resources:

Federal Resources for Businesses:

  • California Governor's Office of Emergency Services - News SBA Economic Disaster Relief
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans - US Small Business Administration Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. These loans are used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills. The interest rates for these loans are 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere and 2.75% for non-profits.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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. 

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.
  • Richmond Kiva Loan Program - Kiva is a small loan match program where you are required to raise up to $1,500 on the Kiva crowd funding website. The City will match funds raised dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,500. The maximum financing to your business under this program is $3,000.

Private Industry Resources for Businesses:

  • Facebook Small Business Grant Program - Facebook is offering $100 Million in cash grants and ad credits to help up to 30,000 small businesses during these challenging times.
  • Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund - The Local Initiative Support Corporation, with a $2.4 Million investment from Verizon, will be offering grants to help small businesses fill financial grants accrued due the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.
Blue Apron
Hello Fresh
Mountain Hardware
Restoration Hardware
Sun Power
Whole Foods
William Sonoma 

Development 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
Development Services 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:
Janet Johnson 
Economic Development Administrator
City Manager’s Office
450 Civic Center Plaza, Third Floor
Richmond, CA 94804

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

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
  • 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
  • The West Contra Costa Business Development Center provides entrepreneurs with individualized services, from business consulting and entrepreneurial training to securing financing. Visit
  • 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 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 or 510-307-8023.
Richmond Point Birds eye view