MCE Cares Credit

As part of Marin Clean Energy (MCE’s) ongoing COVID relief efforts, MCE is offering bill credits to help those most financially impacted. Beginning in April 2021, eligible residential customers can receive the MCE Cares Credit of $10/month, and small business customers are eligible for $22/month. The MCE Cares Credit will be through December 2021.

To apply, you must be either:

A residential customer enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) discount programs, or
A small business customer on the A1, A1X, or B1 rate.  For more information click here.

Resources for Businesses and Employees Affected by the Economic Impacts of COVID-19

Many resources are being developed to help business owners and workers with the economic impacts of the current COVID 19 situation. A new Small Business Relief Fund has been announced by the State of California. Applicants can complete an application through the portal now through January 13, 2021. For more information on assistance for employees and business owners click here.

Guide to COVID-19 Mortgage Relief

If you’re among those financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Federal and State governments, as well as financial institutions have announced plans to help struggling homeowners during this time. Visit Consumer Finance Protection Bureau for more information.

Free COVID-19 Testing for County Residents
Testing now available for those without symptoms

Contra Costa County is the first county in the Bay Area to offer free COVID-19 testing to anyone even if they do not have symptoms. Previously, tests were only available for those with symptoms.

Anyone living in Contra Costa can get tested at a drive-through site operated by County Health Services in San Pablo, Martinez, Concord, Pittsburg, Antioch, or San Ramon.

Residents can also get tested at state-run walk-in only sites in Pinole, Walnut Creek or Brentwood.  Register here for walk-in testing in Pinole.

While symptoms aren't needed to get tested, it is advised you get tested if you have symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle ache, sore throat, headache, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, recent loss of taste or smell, or confusion.

Appointments can be made by calling 1-844-421-0804 from 8 am to 3:30 pm daily.  
Click here for more information

Small Business Crisis Hotline

The California Small Enterprise Task Force (CASE Force) is a consortium of legal, financial, and nonprofit professionals working together to connect California small businesses with the resources they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The task force is focused on collecting local, state, federal, and private/nonprofit resources for California small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and disseminating this information in a digestible way as quickly as possible. In addition, the task force provides small businesses with weekly access to live support from lawyers and financial professionals via virtual office hours.

State Go-Biz

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) offers a range of no-cost consultation services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit assistance, regulatory guidance, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more.

New Contra Costa Call Center Helps Small Businesses
Helps small business owners and workers navigate the impacts of COVID 19

A new call center is now available in Contra Costa County to connect businesses and workers with helpful federal, state and local programs. This includes providing resources and referrals on loans and grants, unemployment insurance, payroll subsidies, and other critical concerns.

The trained team who answer calls can also assist with tapping into programs to reduce utility costs, access online career training, and other business services.

Grocery Stores, Restaurants/Cafes, and Other Essential Businesses Remain Open

The Health Order permits grocery stores to remain open and restaurants/cafes to provide take-out food and drinks. Other businesses providing essentials goods and services are also permitted to remain open. Private, non-City websites, such as San Francisco on the Bay and Yelp (, provide information on which businesses are open.

You can also purchase gift cards and you'll be supporting local businesses when they need it most! Remember, when you spend money with a local small business your money is twice as likely to stay in your own community, where it can support services, pay employees, and contribute in so many ways to keeping our cities vibrant and healthy.

Businesses providing gift cards:

Bear Claw Bakery & Cafe
To purchase call 510.724.3105 or in person, 2340 San Pablo Ave., Pinole

Blue Sky Sports
To purchase email

China House
Purchase in Person, 1975 San Pablo Ave., Pinole

Healing Touch Bodywork & Skincare
To purchase call 510.334.7832 or email

Massage by Michelle
Purchase Online @

Menchies Frozen Yogurt Pinole
To purchase call 510.223.7696 or in person, 1358 Fitzgerald Dr., Pinole

Pear Street Bistro
Purchase Online @ or in person, 2395 San Pablo Ave., Pinole

How You Can Help

Find out how you can safely help your community during this difficult time by visiting the Governor’s California Volunteers website, here:

How You Can Get Help

Information on where you can get assistance for basic supplies and needs can be found here:
Information on unemployment and other assistance can be found here:
Information on small business assistance can be found here:  and

Opportunities to Support our Personal Health While Flattening the Curve

For Kids:

Shelter in place for kids: Guide for East Bay Parents

Contra Costa County Library Virtual Story time

Crash Course Kids, a cool educational channel

Parenthood: Make the most of screen time with your kids

For Families:

Virtually tour some of the best museums all over the world

Use the City of Richmond Virtual Recreation Center

California Academy of Sciences Fun Activities

For Exercising:

YMCA of the East Bay has a menu of free workout programs has a great COVID-19 home fitness page

Special Interest:

Bob Ross' Joy of Painting channel

Tiny Giants of Art World Podcast by local Bridge Art Space

Or, if you want to go outside, visit one of East Bay Regional Park's locations and practice physical distancing.