On Monday, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce opened its Small Business Investment Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The chamber aims to reach 100 Contra Costa County residents/entrepreneurs seeking business ownership with their three-year pilot program. The program is made possible through a community partnership between the Chamber of Commerce, CoCo Farms (funder) and Travis Credit Union.
According to Daniel H. SonChamber President and CEO To qualify, a business must meet three requirements, which include:
- Your business you want to start must be located in Antioch city or county
- Identify as a member of a marginalized community (women, entrepreneurs of color, individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals who have served in the United States military and identify as US veterans.)
- Willing to commit to a 1-year program including 3 Financial Business Literacy courses offered by Travis Credit Union.
CoCo Farms provided a $25k grant for the program, while Travis Credit Union will provide the financial literacy.
Andrew WesleyCoCo Farms/Kolaboration Ventures, said it is pleased to support both the City of Antioch and Contra Costa County
“We started as a small business, so we know the struggles and challenges of getting there,” Wesley said. “Everybody starts out as a small business, so if we can help some entrepreneurs, some people with dreams and really take them to the next level and remove some of the barriers that are hard to get through, that’s an investment where we always will be .. The city will benefit, the developers and Contra Costa County will benefit.”
During the press conference, the mayor of Antioch Lamar Thorpe said the city of Antioch will match any funding provided by CoCo Farms.
“I am proud of this partnership you are creating today. I had a conversation with our director of economic development, for those of you who may not know, the council and I forged some business improvement funding, putting $2 million toward small businesses,” Thorpe said. “We’ve allocated $500,000 for facade improvements, another $500,000 for small business grants and we’ve allocated $1.5 million for small business resources. I want to assure you that we will match everything that CoCo Farms has given you.”
Previously published statements include:
“The Small Business Investment Center located at the Antioch Chamber of Commerce is a great opportunity for residents hoping to start a business in Contra Costa County. This program will work with the community to support and help incubate new businesses. What a great opportunity this will be for East County to help the small business scene thrive.” — Diane Burgis, Contra Costa County Supervisor, District 3
“Travis Credit Union understands the importance of supporting our small business members because of the significant contributions they make to our local communities. From the jobs created to the services they provide; small businesses are the backbone of our economy. We are proud to partner with the Antioch Chamber, providing aspiring Contra Costa entrepreneurs with guidance, necessary tools and essential financial education to help empower them on their journey to becoming successful business owners.” — Kevin Miller, Travis Credit Union, President and CEO:
About the Antioch Chamber of Commerce: Established in 1938, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary partnership of businesses working together to build a healthy economy and improve the quality of life in our community and abroad.