Chamber of Commerce Chair Carl Chan says they'll also be hiring private security to patrol the District perhaps as soon as next month.
"For those who already have an existing system were asking them to install another one on the outside," he said.
The extra crime stopping measures are being added in the wake of the layoffs of some 80 police officers last month.
Many of the merchants already have security cameras inside their stores, and some have cameras already in place and poised outside facing the street which have captured images of suspects involved in some recent high profile murders in the city.
"We encourage stores to put security cameras in their stores," said Oakland Police Public Information Officer Jeff Thomason. "If it makes the store owners and their customers feel safer that's fine. Plus its an extra pair of eyes for our patrol officers."
The Delicious Food Dim Sum restaurant installed its outside cameras last year.
Since we have the camera on, the whole street is more safe and we have less trouble," restaurant owner Tim Tam said.
But Thomason says the department does not encourage merchants to hire armed private security because he says theyre not trained or as experienced as regular officers.
"We still have patrol officers out on the streets and the citizens should feel safe," Thomason added.
There will be extra security measures and private patrols assigned to the upcoming August Street Fair in Chinatown, the Chamber's biggest yearly event.