Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008


Berkeley, California (Monday, March 30, 2020) - Berkeley’s low-income renters, arts organizations, small businesses, and other non-profit organizations can apply now for emergency relief funds to lessen the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $3 million from the City of Berkeley for these emergency relief programs will be expanded by charitable contributions from individuals and businesses to this newly created Berkeley Relief Fund.

Housing Retention Grants

Low-income Berkeley residents unable to pay rent or meet basic needs due to the COVID-19 emergency can apply for housing retention grants of up to $10,000. To apply:

  • Phone: Due to the incredibly high volume of rental assistance queries, we ask that tenants call EBCLC for assistance. Please call 510-548-4040, ext. 695, and leave a message with your Name, Phone Number, and indicate you are Berkeley resident calling for financial assistance. A staff member will call you back as soon as possible to determine whether you are eligible for the program. Thank you for your patience during this time.

This grant program is intended to prevent homelessness for Berkeley residents. Funds may be used to supplement rent for temporary or permanent housing, utility bills, or other housing-related expenses. Applicants will be required to submit documentation of their low-income status, rental agreement or lease, and other relevant information.

Visit the City’s website to learn more about eligibility requirements and the required application materials.

Arts Organization Continuity Grants

All Berkeley-based nonprofit arts organizations can apply for grants of up to $25,000 to help buffer the early financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nonprofit arts organizations operating in Berkeley for no less than one year must demonstrate that their earned revenues decreased by at least 25% due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications will be accepted and considered on a rolling basis beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020, with the first round of Arts Organization Relief Funding closing on Monday, April 20, 2020 at 5PM.

Arts organizations can apply online now, through April 20 at 5pm, for a continuity grant.

Small Business Continuity Grants

Berkeley-based small businesses and nonprofits can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help them survive through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility for this program is open to all businesses and nonprofits in Berkeley that:

  • have an active business license in Berkeley as of March 1, 2020
  • have at least one and no more than fifty employees;
  • can demonstrate that revenues have decreased by at least 25% due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • will use grant funds to cover payroll, rent, or working capital for the business to cover operational expenses.

Applications will be accepted beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020. In order to be considered for the first round of Small Business Continuity Grants, applications must be submitted by Monday, April 6 at 5pm (PDT).

Small businesses and nonprofits can apply now, through April 6 at 5pm, for a continuity grant.

Learn More:

No applicant will be eligible to receive funds from more than one of the three grant programs.

Other Assistance for Berkeley’s Businesses, Nonprofits and the Arts Community

There are a variety of loan programs and financing tools available to small businesses and organizations seeking assistance. The City of Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development has launched a dedicated webpage for business assistance programs. The Berkeley Chamber has also launched a resource page, as well as a weekly business forum to share information and get connected with others. To learn more or get help, contact the Office of Economic Development at oedmailbox@cityofberkeley.info or (510) 981-7530.

See all of the City of Berkeley’s COVID-19 information at cityofberkeley.info/covid19, where you can also sign up for our email newsletter.

Note: This message was updated with revised instructions for applying for housing retention grants and to add links to FAQs for business and arts organization continuity grants on April 1, 2020.


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