Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Veterans needed for paid USAA TV commercial

Thursday, February 11th, 2021

By J.R. Wilson, President, Delta Veterans Group

If you are a veteran and have always wanted to be in a TV commercial here is your chance



Male & Female Veterans from all branches, Ages 55-75

Male & Female Veterans from all branches, Ages 22-40, Physically fit

Some roles will require filming in veteran’s personal living space.

Active duty military are not eligible to participate.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, please send the below information ASAP to:

Name/Age/Military branch/Rank/Date separated from military

Contact Info (phone, email, city/state)

Family members in your household (list names, relation and ages)

Other family & friends in your immediate Covid safety bubble (list names, relation and ages)

Briefly describe your living space (house, apartment, condo)

Attach recent photos of yourself, spouse, family/friends in your household and Covid safety bubble.

Project Details (if you’re selected):

PAID Union Commercial for USAA (USAA membership is a plus but not required)

Shoot Date: Week of March 15th with a tech rehearsal week of March 8th. 

*This commercial will be filmed in and/or around actual homes of the veterans selected.

Hope to see you on TV… Good luck.

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Antioch businesses asked to participate in Color Our Town in support of the Class of 2021

Friday, February 5th, 2021

By Denise Rundall

I am asking businesses in Antioch to support the Class of 2021. All I am asking is if you can support our senior class of 2021 by putting up the school colors on the third Friday of each month until graduation week. If you decorate your business in the school colors and let me know I will add your business name and a picture (if I get one) on the Adopt a 2021 Senior Antioch High Facebook. I will also provide the picture and business name to the other schools to see if they can add your picture/name to their Facebook page.

Participating businesses will also be featured on a special page on the Antioch Herald website: Color Our Town 2021 | Antioch Herald

Just by supporting our Antioch senior class(es) of 2021 your business will get free advertising!

Here is a list of the dates and school colors for decorating.

Decorate on:

Friday, February 19

Friday, March 19

Friday, April 16

Friday, May 21

Graduation week is Monday, June 14 through Friday June 18, 2021

Schools, Colors and Mascots

Antioch High School – Black and Gold, mascot is Panther

Bidwell High School – Purple, White, and Black, mascot is Bulldogs

Deer Valley High School – Teal and Black, mascot is Wolverines

Dozier-Libbey Medical High School – Light Blue, Yellow, and Lime Green, mascot is Diamond Backs

Live Oak High School – Maroon and Silver, mascot is Pegasus

Prospects High School – Teal and White, mascot is Hawks

Cornerstone Christian School – Navy Blue and Yellow, mascot is the Cougars

P.S. If you are planning on doing anything special for the seniors let me know so we can advertise it to the students! Let’s help make our Antioch Seniors’ year special!

Rundall is a parent of a 2021 High School Senior in Antioch. She can be reached at (925) 305-9993 or

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Order your Valentine’s Day flowers and gifts from Paula’s Family Florists, today

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

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Retired Antioch resident and sister launch Protective Couture face mask business

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

For more refined COVID PPE look

By Jackie Lowery

I am an Antioch resident and retired in 2018 from the construction industry after 35 years of working in the Laborers trade. When the Pandemic hit us in March of 2020, I decided to use my experience in refinery PPE (personal protective equipment) and make more fashionable face masks.

My sister, Patricia Bean from Reno, Nevada joined me, as we decided that it was best to use our talents in design, sewing, marketing, and crafting to create fashion forward masks with functionality.

Our company is Protective Couture and our slogan is “Where Safety Meets Fashion!” We use four layers of tightly woven cotton to make five different sizes of unique, hand-made and custom jewelry face masks.

Although wearing a cloth mask does not prevent one from catching the Coronavirus, it does slow the rate of transmission down! From children to adults, we all must do our part in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus and its variants. By wearing a mask, you can help slow the spread of the virus and keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe while looking fashionable!

For more information and to order your fashionable, functionable face mask, visit us at


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Antioch Council approves temporary moratorium on cannabis business applications

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

Council Code of Conduct, how $500,000+ for homeless was spent to be discussed at special meeting Feb. 16

By Allen Payton

During their meeting on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 the Antioch City Council unanimously approved a 45-day moratorium on additional cannabis business applications and voted to include Sand Creek Road in the list of roads that qualify for regional fee funding for construction. They also approved a resolution recognizing February as Black History Month. (See resolution at end of article)

CORRECTION: Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock asked why Mayor Lamar Thorpe was nominating two residents for appointment to the two, full-term seats on the Sales Tax Citizens Oversight Committee, before the application period had closed. The slightly heated exchange included City Clerk Ellie Householder interjecting that “we are trying to fill the seats since they have a report due in April.” Ogorchock also wanted to know why not all the applications were being provided to all council members. Thorpe said Ogorchock was out of order and explained that the application period for the short-term vacancy was still open, but that the application period for the two, full-term seats had closed and that as an elected mayor he had the authority to bring forward just those applicants he chose to nominate to boards, commissions and committees. Ogorchock pointed out that it requires a vote of the council to approve. Thorpe further explained that if the council didn’t vote for one of his nominees he would have to nominate someone else.

Following the brief dust up, both nominees were approved on 5-0 votes.

Approves Moratorium on Cannabis Business Applications

The council also approved a temporary moratorium on accepting additional applications for cannabis businesses.

The intent of the moratorium is to reduce the threat of oversaturation of cannabis businesses in the “green zone” and would be in effect for 45 days, according to City Attorney Thomas Smith. The council can extend the moratorium for up to two years, after that.

“I asked this to be brought forward,” said Mayor Lamar Thorpe. “Oversaturation is a huge issue.”
He didn’t want more applications to come through while the council’s Cannabis Committee and staff studied other options, including “creation of additional cannabis business overlay districts within the City,” according to the city staff report.

Two speakers spoke against it, both representing another cannabis business, Element 7. Christopher Bloom and his associate both suggested the council allow businesses that have already submitted applications, but not allow new applications. They said they had already been working with the city for a year on their application.

“This does not impact current applications,” said Thorpe.

“What this does is, it allows applications that have been deemed complete to move forward,” Smith said. “If we decide to allow applications in progress that are not deemed to be complete, we can tweak the language. It sounds like there are some other folks who are in the pipeline…you can make the adjustment in the motion.”

“They are close to completing their application,” Community Development Director Forrest Ebbs said referring to Element 7.

“I think that’s fair, those applications that have been received by this date,” Ebbs said, responding to Thomas.

“Received and in progress,” Thorpe reiterated.

“What constitutes an urgency item? Why is this an urgency item?” asked Ogorchock.

“There could not only be a threat to viability of those businesses during the COVID pandemic,” Thomas replied. “But also impact the social equity non-profits. If you feel this is a threat to the economic welfare to the Antioch community then you can vote in favor.”

“Have we had businesses in the community, during COVID that have been reporting they are struggling?” Councilman Mike Barbanica asked. “There are three other areas in the city that we are considering turning into green zones.”

“Remember it’s not just the businesses that are already approved, but the additional businesses and their social equity commitments,” Thomas said.

“As the Cannabis Committee is working on their recommendations…we pause, because in our current locations we are going to see saturation,” Thorpe explained. “There are no other places in the green zone. So, it’s just a pause as the Cannabis Committee looks to other areas. There may not be other areas.”

“This would only affect retail,” Barbanica clarified.

“Not manufacturing, not cultivation or research and development,” Thorpe explained.

Asked by Ogorchock if there was a maximum number of cannabis businesses allowed in the overlay district, Ebbs responded, “We don’t have a maximum number we have a separation requirement. That’s when we’ll max out. We’re getting close.”

“Practically speaking, yes” there is a limit. “We draw a 600-foot radius,” he explained.

“But that’s not preventing an applicant submitting a General Plan amendment,” said Thorpe.

“Correct,” Ebbs responded.

On motion by Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson and seconded by Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker, the urgency ordinance was unanimously approved by the council.

Vote to Include Sand Creek Road in Regional Funding Program

In other action, the council voted 5-0 to include Sand Creek Road between Highway 4 and Deer Valley Road in the East Contra Costa Regional Fee & Financing Authority projects list for funding. The Board of Supervisor and City Councils of Oakley and Brentwood will also have the opportunity to vote on the matter. Should at least two of the other agencies approve, the road will be qualified to receive regional funds from fees placed on new construction, including residential, commercial and industrial development.

Future Agenda Items – How Were Homeless Funds Spent?

During the future agenda items section of the meeting, Barbanica said, “It has come to my attention, last week, that in 2019 the council approved about $500,000 of which about $150,000 of that has not been spent.”

He asked city staff bring back a report on how the money was spent.

“We’re going to learn about that on our committee meeting and we’ll have an item on homelessness coming before us soon, in February,” Thorpe responded.

Staff pointed out that the council will be having a special meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m.

“We’ll be reviewing those items, then,” he stated.

“We’ll be reviewing the Code of Conduct on Feb. 16th,” Thorpe added. “That’s the only thing Councilwoman Ogorchock mentioned,” referring to her request for action on Councilwoman Torres-Walker’s video at the end of the last council meeting, and comments by members of the public challenging the mayor why it hadn’t yet been placed on the council agenda.

Other Future Meetings

The council will hold their Bridging the Gap, Dialogue 2 on the topic Racial Disparities in Policing on Saturday, Feb. 6 from 10:00-11:30 a.m and the deadline to sign up to participate is Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 12:00 p.m. The final forum, Dialogue 3 on the topic Police – Community Engagement will be held on Thursday, Feb. 18 also from 10:00-11:30 a.m. and the deadline to sign up is Monday, Feb. 15 at 12:00 p.m.

In addition, on Friday, Feb. 12 at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 13 at 9:00 a.m., the council will hold a Virtual Strategic Planning and Visioning Workshop.

The next regular council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7:00 p.m.

WHEREAS, Black History Month is observed in February of every year;
WHEREAS, the origins of Black History Month can be traced to 1915, half a century
after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States;
WHEREAS, the Black History Month 2021 theme, “Black Family: Representation,
Identity and Diversity” explores the African diaspora, and the geographic
spread of Black families across the United States;
WHEREAS, the achievements of African Americans in the Arts, Civil Rights, Education,
Entertainment, Government, History, Law, Literature, Medicine, Military,
Music, Politics, Science, Sports, and other endeavors are recognized
and celebrated in the month of February;
WHEREAS, the observance of Black History Month calls our attention to the ongoing
need to build a community and society that lives up to our
collective democratic ideals;
WHEREAS, the City of Antioch continues to work toward becoming an inclusive community
in which all residents — past, present, and future — are respected and recognized
for their contributions and potential contributions to our community,
the state, the country, and the world; and
WHEREAS, the City of Antioch is proud to honor the history and contributions of African
Americans in our community, throughout our state, and nation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, LAMAR THORPE, Mayor of the City of Antioch,
do hereby proclaim February 2021 to be “Black History Month” and encourage all citizens
to celebrate our diverse heritage and culture, and continue our efforts to create a
world that is more just, peaceful, and prosperous for all.
JANUARY 26, 2021


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Antioch COVID-19 Small Business Impact Survey shows over 76% “drastically down” in sales or closed

Friday, January 22nd, 2021

Over 21% will either not reopen or relocate

By Dr. Sean Wright, COO, Antioch Chamber of Commerce

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce conducted a COVID-19 Small Business Impact Survey to assess the needs in our community and the effects of the corona virus community restrictions on the future of our business owners and their families.

Our quick survey asked three simple questions:

1-What assistance would be helpful to your business? (Mark all that apply)

Financial                                                                            82.5%

Educational                                                                         7.5%

Legal                                                                                 13.7%

Reduced Restrictions                                                     42.5%

2-How has your gross sales been impacted?

Gross sales are up                                                                5.0%

There has been no change in gross sales                         5.0%

Gross sales are slightly down                                           13.7%

Gross sales are drastically down                                      62.5%

I closed my business                                                          13.7%

3-What is your business outlook for 2021?

No Change                                                                           63.7%

Relocate the business                                                          6.2%

Expand the business                                                          15.0%

Close the business                                                             15.0%

The Antioch Chamber is concerned that 76% of our businesses have closed their business or seen drastic reductions in sales and that up to 21% of our businesses will not be open for business in our community in the future.  We must come together to support these vital parts of Antioch.

About the Chamber

Since 1938, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce has been providing services to local businesses to help them –and our city – succeed. The mission of the Chamber is to promote the Antioch Community, to represent and advocate for businesses with government, to help businesses to grow and to thrive through networking and educational opportunities, and to help create economic growth and jobs for our region. For more information about the Chamber, its members and its services, visit

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Monica’s at Riverview to open in May, helps establish Waterfront Dining District in downtown Antioch

Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Old sign and new entrance to Monica’s Riverview restaurant on Antioch’s waterfront.

Improvements include new entrance, two outdoor patios, bakery and sandwich shop; will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner

By Allen Payton

The much-anticipated re-opening of the former Riverview Lodge is still in process, with the reconstruction by building owners Sean McCauley and Ron Harrison, and their crew. Renamed Monica’s at Riverview, the restaurant sits on the dock over the water at the foot of I Street in Antioch’s historic downtown Rivertown. It has been getting both a serious facelift and major upgrades inside.

It’s named for Monica Barajas, the former partner of MJ’s Café & Bakery in downtown Brentwood and owner of Monica’s Livermore, who, with partner Robert Bonner, will be the new operators.

Construction Foreman Tim Finklea shows the river side patio, bar windows and entrance.

“Robert and I met through my ex-business partner. He was an integral part of that venture starting, having us cater his daughter’s wedding,” Barajas shared. “Then following that, conversations started about opening a restaurant, after I’d had a business plan in my mind to open an all-day breakfast place.”

Bar area with roll up windows on the river side, room from a band and roll-up door to the front patio.

“We opened MJ’s in 2010 at the end of the horrible economic crash,” she said. “I worked there for seven years and Robert was a customer who came in literally, every day. He suggested we open a place in Livermore, and I thought it was a great idea. So, we did.”

Second Location in Antioch

Front patio.

“We wanted to open this business model, elsewhere. So, we were excited when Sean and Ron talked to us about opening a location in Antioch,” she continued. “What we can bring to Antioch is not just good food, but a place to get away from home and have a good experience. We will have live music and are planning on bringing events to the pier, as well.”

But not everything is changing as the “Old Riverview” style and some menu items will remain.

“There will be some nods to the old recipes in our dinner menu, including three items that are Riverview Lodge classics,” Barajas shared. “But we’ll be bringing much of the same menu from our current location.”

Check out Monica’s Livermore website to see their menu of breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert items of made-from-scratch recipes, as well as their variety of beverages, including local wines. See more on their Facebook page.

Just like before, the new Riverview will include a dining room, bar and banquet room, and is retaining some of the original wood paneling to keep the “lodge” look.

Construction crew member Justin Pereira works on the subfloor.

Working since late last summer, the crew has “put in 19 piers for the foundation of the deck,” according to construction foreman Tim Finklea. “Also new joists, subfloor, new girders, new beams and four new ADA restrooms, as well.”

There was an 11-inch sag in the ceiling which they raised up with the beams and the floor was caving in, too, Finklea explained. One of the crew, Justin Pereira was down in a hole in the floor (through which the river could be seen below) working on the subfloor, Tuesday afternoon.

“There will be $40,000 in new windows,” Finklea added.

New and Improved!

The improvements to the iconic restaurant include front and back patios for outdoor dining, room in the bar area for a band to perform, a roll-up door to the back patio and roll-up windows to the front patio for service to the outdoor granite bar that will be installed. It will also include a bakery and sandwich shop with a separate entrance.

Entrance to new bakery and sandwich shop.

“Ron and I are excited to procure such a good operator for the iconic Riverview Lodge. Monica will bring to the new waterfront dining district a fresh and much needed experience,” McCauley said. “We now have two of the largest and most sought-after restaurants on the Delta, coming to the Antioch Waterfront Dining District. They will not only attract Far East County patrons, but we will be a more regional draw for great food and atmosphere.

This is the food establishment that McCauley and Harrison’s have brought to Antioch’s downtown, having purchased the former Humphrey’s on the Delta location, and under the leadership of Randy and Lynn Tei, turned it into Smith’s Landing Seafood Grill, as well as Guadalajara Taqueria, and Chill Tea & Coffee.

The pair expects to also open Chelsea’s, a sushi and Ramen house, with a current location in Brentwood, in the former coin shop on W. 2nd Street in April. Then the pair currently have three more restaurants planned to open in the Waterfront Dining District in the summer or fall of 2021.

Dining room and new main entrance inside.

Grand Opening Planned for May

Hopefully by May the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted for at least, outdoor dining, if not indoor dining, as well and a grand opening celebration for Monica’s Riverview can be held.

“Robert and I want to be part of giving Antioch what they deserve, which is a vital downtown district,” Barajas added.

Look for more information about Monica’s at Riverview, soon on social media.

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Antioch’s Markstein Sales Company combats slavery, human trafficking, appeals to other business leaders to get involved both locally and nationally

Friday, January 15th, 2021

Owner Laura Markstein places a sign on one of the company’s trucks. Video screenshot.

Through partnerships with New Day for Children and the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Markstein is making a difference to stop this growing crime against children

Help Stop Human Trafficking by reporting a tip or seek help by calling the National Hotline at 1-888-373-7888

By Rebecca Butler

ANTIOCH, Calif. – As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January,  Markstein Sales Company (Markstein), a woman-owned and operated wholesale beverage distributor in Northern California, today appealed to business leaders around the country to join in its fight against slavery and human trafficking.  As a long-time supporter and sponsor of the New Day for Children organization that provides funding to help American children who have been recovered from sex trafficking, Markstein has also now joined a nationwide campaign with the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) where beer distributors, who collectively visit more than 600,000 retail establishments across the country, can play a vital role in identifying and reporting suspicious activity often unseen by the typical public.

“Rapidly escalating profits, the internet, limited police resources, and unaware communities have created a perfect storm for the child sex trafficking industry here in the United States. It is the second fastest growing criminal industry in our country, and one that employs sophisticated business practices and is highly lucrative,” said Sharon Wood, Executive Director of New Day for Children. “Today, the U.S. Justice Department estimates that 300,000 children are at risk of being trafficked for sex in the United States. Through partnership with businesses, such as Markstein Sales Company, we can provide the funds and resources needed to transition many of these children to safe housing and therapeutic care, and help prevent it from happening to another one of our children.”

Human trafficking is a growing problem in the U.S., with more than 11,500 human trafficking cases reported in 2019 alone. California has consistently had the highest human trafficking rates in the United States with 1,507 cases reported in 2019. To help combat this, Markstein is installing signage on all of its 75 vehicles that are typically on the roads of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties 14 hours per day, six days per week. The goal of these signs is to raise awareness locally and to provide easy access to hotline information for people that suspect or know of human trafficking cases. Markstein is also providing personalized training, leveraged from both NBWA and New Day for Children, for all truck drivers and merchandisers so they know what to look out for on their daily routes and in the businesses they serve.

“While our work to end human trafficking began at the local level, this is a national problem that needs all business leaders to stand up and make a difference. I am calling on all companies to get involved locally with groups like New Day for Children and nationally with efforts like those sponsored by the NBWA,” said Laura Markstein, President of Markstein Sales Company. “Whether that involves a sign in a highly visible location or extra eyes and ears for identifying and reporting suspicious behavior, there are many companies such as beer distributors that are in a very public and unique position where they can make a significant difference to fight this cause.”

“Beer distributors have behind-the-scenes access to the prime locations where traffickers could be exploiting victims – from bars, restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, to package stores, sports arenas and grocery stores,” said Lauren Kane, Vice President of Communications, National Beer Wholesalers Association. “We commend the work Markstein Sales Company has already been doing locally with programs like New Day for Children. Combining this with their commitment to the NBWA Distributors Against Human Trafficking campaign, means they have the opportunity to significantly impact the fight against human trafficking. Beer distributors in other states have seen a 175% increase in calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline after they started educating their employees and putting signage on their trucks. We are confident Markstein’s efforts will bring similar life-changing results to California.

Call to Action

  • If you are a beer distributor, join the campaign being spearheaded by the NBWA to build awareness and provide training to educate employees on recognizing and reporting the warning signs of human trafficking.
  • If you are any other type of company that has vehicles, products or buildings that are constantly in the public eye, leverage your visibility to do your own campaign and encourage others in your industry to follow suit.
  • Support and sponsor New Day for Children. This nationally recognized charity provides support and assistance to American girls, ages 10-18, who have been recovered from the despair of sex trafficking. Your financial support can provide safe housing, school, medical, mental health care, equine therapy, and much more.
  • Take off the blinders.  If you think this is not happening in your community, you are wrong.  Every state, county, city, and town needs to help combat this nationwide crisis.  This Markstein video outlines the problem and the ways companies and individuals can make a difference.

“I am proud to work for a company that provides the tools and training to turn an average workday into an opportunity to help in a big way,” said Dustin Miller, Commercial Driver, Markstein Sales Company. “As I go about my daily routes, I feel more empowered than ever before to play a part in preventing and stopping these horrible crimes against both children and adults.”


New Day for Children is a nationally recognized 501-(c)3 charity that provides support and assistance to American girls, ages 10-18, who have been recovered from the despair of sex trafficking.  Your financial support provides safe housing, school, medical, mental health care, equine therapy and more. New Day for Children collaborates with quality programs for the children’s care. In this video you will see one such facility with New Day supported girls.

About Markstein Sales Company

Markstein Sales Company is a fourth-generation, woman-owned and operated wholesale beverage distributor based in Antioch, Calif. Founded in 1919 with just a horse, a wagon and six cases of beer, Markstein is now in its 101st year and distributing over four million cases annually to 1500 retailers in the Bay Area. The company’s portfolio is composed of multiple world-class beers including the Anheuser-Busch InBev and Constellation Brands family of beers, several high-quality craft beers and many others. Markstein is known for outstanding customer service, dedication to their employees and commitment to the community. The company continues to rank as best in class by retailers and is one of the top ten largest Woman Owned Businesses in the Bay Area. More information can be found at

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