On Monday, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce launched 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 (funder) and Travis Credit Union.
According to Daniel H. Sohn, Chamber President and CEO, to qualify, a business must meet three requirements which include:
- Your business you would like to start must be located within City of Antioch or county
- Identify as a member of a marginalized community (women, entrepreneurs of color, individuals identifying as members of the LGBTQ+ Community, and individuals who have served in the United States Military and identify as U.S. Veterans.)
- Willing to commit to 1-year program, including 3 financial business literacy courses offered by Travis Credit Union.
CoCo Farms has provided a $25k grant for the program while Travis Credit Union will provide the financial literacy.
Andrew Wesley, CoCo Farms/ Kolaboration Ventures, stated he was happy to be support both the City of Antioch and Contra Costa County
“We started as a small business so we know the struggles and challenges to get there,” said Wesley. “Everybody starts 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 difficult to work through that’s an investment we are always going to be in. The city is going to benefit, the entrepreneurs and Contra Costa County.”
During the press conference, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe stated the city of Antioch would match any funding provided by CoCo Farms.
“I am proud of this partnership that you are putting together today. I did have a conversation with our economic development director, for those of you who may not know, the council and I forged on some business improvement funding setting aside $2 million for small business,” said Thorpe. “We committed $500k to façade improvements, another $500k to small business grants and committed $1.5 million to small business resources. I want to assure you we are going to match whatever CoCo Farms gives you.”
Previously released 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, where it can help the small business scene to flourish.” — Diane Burgis, Contra Costa County Supervisor, District 3
“Travis Credit Union understands the significance 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 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 voluntary partnership of business’s working together to build a healthy economy and to improve the quality of life in our community and abroad.