On Monday, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce opened its Small Business Investment Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The chamber has a goal of reaching 100 Contra Costa County residents/entrepreneurs seeking business ownership with their three-year pilot program. The program was made possible through a community partnership between the Chamber of Commerce, CoCo Farms (the funder) and Travis Credit Union.
According to Daniel H SonPresident and CEO of the Chamber, to qualify, a business must meet three requirements which include:
- Your business you wish to start must be located within the city of Antioch 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 1 year program including 3 financial business education courses offered by Travis Credit Union.
CoCo Farms has provided a $25,000 grant for the program while Travis Credit Union will provide financial education.
Andrew WesleyCoCo Farms/Kollaboration Ventures said it was pleased to support 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 take them to the next level and remove some of the barriers that are hard to overcome, this is an investment we will always be in. The city will benefit, the entrepreneurs and Contra Costa County will benefit.”
During the press conference, the mayor of Antioch Lamar Thorpe stated that the city of Antioch would match any financing provided by CoCo Farms.
“I am proud of this partnership that you are creating today. I had a conversation with our economic development director, for those of you who may not know, the council and I created some business improvement funding by setting aside $2 million for small business,” Thorpe said. “We committed $500,000 for facade improvements, another $500,000 for small business grants, and we committed $1.5 million for small business resources. I want to assure you that we will match anything that CoCo Farms gives you. “
Previously issued 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 important 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 by 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 & CEO:
About the Antioch Chamber of Commerce: Incorporated in 1938, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce is a volunteer partnership of businesses working together to build a healthy economy and improve the quality of life in our community and beyond.