Berkeley Relief Fund

Community coming together to support small businesses, arts nonprofits, and residential tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Thanks to the generosity of our community and $3 million approved by the Berkeley City Council for emergency relief grants, over $4.5 million has been distributed to Berkeley small businesses, arts and non-profits and tenant rent support.

But, this pandemic has hit us harder and longer than we ever anticipated.  While many Berkeley businesses, arts organizations and non-profits have creatively found a way to stay open, profits have diminished significantly and many are on the verge of closing forever.  Many families and individuals are still out of work and without any addition federal government help for the near future.

We all want our community to thrive after this pandemic is over but to do so will require all of us to help each other.  Please help our community by donating to the Berkeley Relief Fund during this holiday season.  And PLEASE buy local!

History of the Berkeley Relief Fund

Following the COVID-19 Bay Area “Stay At Home Order” on March 13, 2020 the Berkeley City Council, on March 17, 2020, approved $3M to be granted in equal proportion to Berkeley small businesses, arts non-profits and tenants to help them survive.

With the leadership of the Mayor’s office, civic leaders set up this community-based relief fund.  The goal and purpose of the Berkeley Relief Fund is to match the $3 million city allocation through community donations.  The Berkeley Relief Fund committee includes representatives from Berkeley Community Media, Berkeleyside, Berkeley Chamber, Berkeley Merchants United, Visit Berkeley, Downtown Berkeley Association, Telegraph Business Improvement District, Freight and Salvage, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The David Brower Center, Berkeley Public Schools Fund, Berkeley Property Owners Association, UC Berkeley, and many others.

The committee has worked diligently on promoting the fundraising efforts of the BRF program. The City of Berkeley has managed and distributed grants based on established guidelines and requirements, and application and distribution process.

East Bay Community Foundation continues to serve as the fiscal agent for the City in collecting donations and forwarding them to the City.  These funds are maintained in a dedicated account, to only be used for grants to small businesses and arts nonprofits, and residents housing support.

If you have any questions please reach out the BRF committee at

Thank you for consideration and support of our Berkeley community.