Boarded up: War Horse Tattoo in Berkeley is one of thousands of East Bay businesses that have been forced to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Pete Rosos

There isn’t a business that hasn’t been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including ones operating locally. All of those deemed non-essential — a majority — have been forced to close; many will find it hard to come back once the crisis is behind us. And, as a result, thousands of people have lost their jobs as business owners have had no choice but to lay off or furlough their staff.

Berkeleyside, a local organization itself that is taking a coronavirus hit, is joining in other efforts (including the Berkeley Relief Fund, initiated by the city of Berkeley) to help those workers.

Today we launched a “Pitch in for local workers” page so that the community can more easily find and donate to fundraisers launched by local businesses for their staff. Bookmark the link or click the “Help local workers” link in the main navigation bar to find the page anytime.

Here’s how it works: Local businesses and nonprofits in Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville that have launched fundraising campaigns for their workers (and there are many, often using GoFundMe) are invited to submit details of their fundraisers through a form that’s on the Pitch in to help local workers page.

If the fundraiser meets our criteria we will add it to the page, no charge. We will be promoting the page as much as possible to make sure as many people as possible see it. That’s it.

It’s one local community-oriented organization helping others. We’re all in this together.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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  1. Even more helpful would be to establish some way to educate Berkeley small business of the benefits under the Federal programs like the Paycheck Protection Program and the advance credit for wage payments. The larger CPA and law firms are pushing this but really not for the very small businesses.The city should do it but…

  2. Thank you for doing this, Bside.
    It sure would be nice to have that extra $150k the COB gave to Casa de Cultura last year. Maybe their space on San Pablo could be repurposed as emergency shelter for the homeless? There isn’t going to be any capoeria for a while.

  3. I like this idea and I hope I will be able to give. I think people would be more ABLE to be generous if City Council would fix the tax on dwelling units that they impose. Its not fair to tax non-conforming space for some, making their bills unaffordable when others pay for only a fraction of their living space, like this house for sale at 2746 Dohr with 2329 ft2 of dwelling space and only taxed for 877 ft2.
    Check your tax bill… If you are substantially undercharged like these folks on Dohr, then give and give generously! If you are intentionally taxed for non-conforming space like many of us, or your bill has a math error like many do, then put in a call to this complacent council and urge them to fix the tax scheme.

  4. Come Fall vote this crappy city council and Mayor out….stop the madness stop the complacency of a mismanaged group of misfits.

  5. This is a much better approach than the Berkeley Relief Fund. Donors choose where their money goes rather than relying on the city and its political preferences for who to support.

    And you avoid the 1% East Bay Community Law Center kickback that somehow became part of the Berkeley Relief Fund (WTF, BTW).