Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Global NxLevel Strategies helps Antioch businesses create an intelligent business model

Monday, March 9th, 2015
Global NxLevel 1024x768 Global NxLevel Strategies helps Antioch businesses create an intelligent business model

Attorney Roy Stanley speaks to Global NxLevel Strategies’ current Business Plan Writing Course at the Antioch Chamber of Commerce conference room.

By Allen Payton

The Global NxLevel Strategies Entrepreneur program is a business planning and management, entrepreneur-training course. Led by the husband and wife team of Mitchell and Quincy Hardin, Global NxLevel Strategies brings with it the energy and excitement to captivate, motivate and inspire your communities’ entrepreneurs, youth-preneurs, start-ups, existing businesses and career seekers.

Business planning development is critical to start-up and existing businesses. They offer an interactive, instructor-led entrepreneurial training course, which guides in planning, writing and launching your business vision.

Guest speakers such as attorneys, bankers, accountants and successful entrepreneurs bring added insights to the course.

Our program is delivered in a collaborative learning environment that encompasses real life case studies, business-to-business networking brought to you by experienced business owners and educators with a wide array of business and career experience,” said Quincy.

Global NxLevel Strategies provides comprehensive business development and leadership training. They have several different program formats available. The curriculum can be tailored to meet your individual and/or group needs.

The outcome of the development of a business plan acts as a road map for start-up and future growth. A business plan dissects every aspect of a business. More importantly it teaches you how to set realistic goals, predict cash flow, establish a budget and identify their markets.

Their next 10-week Business Plan Writing Course, which costs only $95.00, begins Thursday, April 9 and will be held at the Antioch Chamber of Commerce conference room, 101 H Street, Waldie Plaza.

To register call (925) 209-1584, email GlobalNxLevel@gmail.com or visit www.GNSInfo.biz.

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Renovations to Antioch shopping center on Contra Loma Blvd. reflect local resurgence

Sunday, March 8th, 2015
Contra Loma Plaza top view Renovations to Antioch shopping center on Contra Loma Blvd. reflect local resurgence

Aerial view of Contra Loma Plaza.

Phillips Edison & Company announced recently that the Contra Loma Plaza completed a façade renovation, major lighting upgrade and landscape improvements as part of a community revitalization effort in Antioch.

According to the company’s website, the shopping center is anchored by SaveMart and positioned in the heart of Antioch’s residential community and across the street from high-density residential development, with easy and direct access from Highway 4 and more than 88,300 residents in the three-mile trade area with an average household income over $74,500.

I am really pleased with the renovation. The bright lights and the improvements to the landscaping have taken a large step towards the safety and the overall pleasing appearance of the plaza which is a good example of making Antioch a much more welcoming location for businesses,” said Hans Ho, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, a group that meets regularly and assists with safety enforcement, neighborhood involvement and improved communication between businesses within the center. “We look forward to the continued improvement of this community and Plaza,” said Ho.

Renovating the Contra Loma Plaza was an important project for us, and we are thrilled to see its completion has made such a positive impact in the community,” said Joe Schlosser, vice president of portfolio management at Phillips Edison. “The support from the Antioch community and retailers in the Contra Loma Plaza to improve the area has been tremendous, and we are very proud to be an invested community partner throughout this resurgence.”

I would just like to thank the new ownership at Contra Loma Plaza for investing in Antioch and doing such a great job upgrading the shopping center. It looks terrific,” said Steve Duran, Antioch City Manager.

The Plaza’s new façade was designed by Architecture Design Collaborative, a full service planning and architectural firm specializing in retail, commercial, and residential projects, located in Costa Mesa, California. The construction of the project was carried out by Smith Development & Construction Company, a general contractor with more than 30 years of experience in the residential and commercial building and design industries of California.

To see a Youtube video of the improvements to the center, click here.

Phillips Edison & Company offers a complete range of retail solutions for investors and retailers. The Company has an operating platform designed to optimize property value and consistently deliver a great shopping experience. Phillips Edison provides retail services including development, redevelopment, leasing and management of retail centers. Established in 1991, the company’s portfolio currently includes a national footprint of retail properties. The Company has corporate offices in Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, New York City and Atlanta.

For more information, please visit www.phillipsedison.com or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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Full Circle offers weekly organic produce deliveries to homes in Antioch, East County

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Organic produce and wine form the perfect ‘pear’

Rejecting the idea that consumers have no choice beyond “industrial food” and its harmful effects on health and the environment, Full Circle connects people directly to growers and artisans through weekly deliveries of farm-fresh, locally-sourced organic fruits, vegetables and other all-natural products.

Full Circle recently began offering its home delivery service in Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg and Discovery Bay in East County.

harvest box Full Circle offers weekly organic produce deliveries to homes in Antioch, East CountyCalifornians have always been progressive,” says Andrew Stout, founder of Full Circle. “And their dedication to sustainably-grown farm-to-table produce is no exception. We believe that just one week of Full Circle is enough to change the way people think about food and we’re thrilled to bring our high-quality service to new households.”

Full Circle has worked with local California farmers for more than two decades and already delivers to members across the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento; the expanded service area will bring home delivery options to approximately 1.3 million additional people.

To explore local farmers, delivery areas and prices, visit fullcircle.com.

About Full Circle

Founded in Carnation, Wash. in 1995, Full Circle brings the best in farm-fresh, locally-sourced organic and sustainably-grown fruits, vegetables and other all-natural products directly to its members’ doorsteps every week across Alaska, Washington, Idaho and California. Full Circle’s mission is to connect families with local organic farmers and to change the food system by providing a healthy, fresh alternative to industrial food. For more information and membership options, visit fullcircle.com.

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On the move: Local FASTSIGNS® relocates to larger location

Saturday, February 28th, 2015
IMG 5837.33 copy2 On the move: Local FASTSIGNS® relocates to larger location

FASTSIGNS new location on Sunset Drive in Antioch.

To kick off the New Year, local signs and graphics provider FASTSIGNS® of Antioch has moved to a larger facility located at 1388 Sunset Drive, which is right off Highway 4 and Hillcrest Avenue.

Our new location allows us to serve our customers even better with increased space for design and production, as well as additional meeting space for customer consultations,” said Randy Sabatte, who owns FASTSIGNS of Antioch with his wife, Debbie, and son, Joel. “We have also expanded our capabilities by adding new equipment and an indoor vehicle bay to install vehicle graphics all year round.”

FASTSIGNS of Antioch’s new location is almost double the size of their former facility at 5035 Lone Tree Way. The added space allows room for new equipment to help meet the demand for high volume signage projects and quick turnaround. FASTSIGNS of Antioch acquired an HP Latex 360 Printer, which uses environmentally-friendly inks for versatile and long-lasting graphics. The center also added a Vision CNC Router for producing ADA-compliant signs, dimensional letters and an array of other unique applications.

FASTSIGNS in store 300x122 On the move: Local FASTSIGNS® relocates to larger locationWith our experienced staff, we look forward to continue supporting local businesses and providing the same great customer service,” Sabatte said. “My team and I are excited about the opportunities our new location and equipment will bring. When our customers walk in our center, they will also be greeted with new digital signage displays in our remodeled showroom.”

Independently owned and operated, FASTSIGNS of Antioch has been providing visual communications and marketing solutions to local businesses and organizations since 2007. The center provides wall, window and floor graphics, architectural signs, wayfinding solutions, trade show displays, safety signage, vehicle wraps and more.

About FASTSIGNS®

FASTSIGNS® of Antioch is an independently owned and operated sign, graphics and visual communications company that provides comprehensive visual marketing solutions to customers of all sizes—across all industries—to help them meet their business objectives and increase their business visibility. To learn more, visit fastsigns.com/520 or call (925) 755-7446.

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Get more money on your insurance claim with help from Antioch public adjusters company

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
Independence team Get more money on your insurance claim with help from Antioch public adjusters company

The Independence Team – from left, Steve and Sandy Boydstun, Erin and Tony Astone, with little Nigel.

By Allen Payton

There’s a service being offered by a local business that property owners may not be aware of. I know I wasn’t, until now. Independence Public Adjusters, Inc. (IPA) can go to bat for you with your insurance company when you have a claim for fire or flood damage, to make sure you get the maximum settlement you deserve.

It was started in October, 2012, after company President Tony Astone spent 20 years in the insurance industry, including working for Safeco, as an adjuster handling multi-million dollar claims, and five years with one of the largest public adjuster companies in the nation.

He’s brought his expertise to Antioch, in this family owned and operated business, with his new wife Erin (they got married, last year), who works there part-time, and partner Steve Boydstun, who handles sales management, and Steve’s wife Sandy, their office manager.

For usually 10% of the total settlement, IPA is licensed by the state to handle property claims and represent a property owner’s interests, to ensure the insurance company fulfills its obligations in your policy and “have things put back the way they were before the damage,” Tony said.

Ninety-percent of what we do is residential,” he shared. “House and contents, mostly fire or cars that run into homes, or flooding from pipe breaks.” But, they also handle commercial claims, as well.

The insurance company pay to fix it, but not always the way it should be, according to the Fair Claims Practices with the California Department of Insurance, he added.

Get the most money you deserve from your insurance

IPA logo 246x300 Get more money on your insurance claim with help from Antioch public adjusters companyIPA has consistently been able to get clients a higher percentage of recovery by not allowing the insurance company adjusters to take short cuts. That’s because they take more time, do the detail work and have their own estimators, content specialists and forensic accountants who use their expertise for the property owner, not the insurance company’s bottom line.

The insurance company adjuster is overworked and underpaid, handling a high volume of claims,” Tony said, who knows from his years on the insurance company side of the business. “So, we take the time to get it right.”

For example, one of their clients was offered a $25,000 settlement by his insurance company, for repairs after experiencing a pipe break and flood damage to his home. Independence was able to get that homeowner a settlement of $213,000 in repairs, after doing their analysis of the damage.

On another claim, by a church, for water damage due to flooding from a pipe, Independence was able to increase their settlement from the initial offer of $75,000 to $320,000 instead. Why? Because they discovered the complete amount of damage to the walls and carpeting, as well as from mold that the insurance company’s adjusters had overlooked.

It’s best to get Tony and his team involved at the beginning. If people wait to hire them until after the insurance company gives them their estimate, it’s usually lower and too late.

You may have shot yourself in the foot, by saying something that becomes a coverage issue,” Tony said. “You won’t even know that you left money on the table and it will take longer to settle the claim.”

The company can even help those who have already settled their claim up to three years later. They can do an audit and determine if the settlement should be greater and they only get paid their fee if you get more money from your insurance company.

They deal with your insurance company for you

IPA not only adds financial value to your insurance claim, they also save you time by being the ones on the phone or at meetings with the insurance company.

It simply starts with signing a Letter of Representation, then Independence takes it from there.

The fact that they work on a percentage basis, means they have an incentive to get the maximum settlement for their client’s claim.

Now, after his years in the business, Tony has established credibility and good working relationships with insurance company adjusters by gaining their trust. That’s because Independence can always defend anything they claim on behalf of the property owner. Some times an insurance company adjuster, who has worked with Tony and the IPA team will just ask him what their settlement offer should be and go from there.

What Antioch residents say about Independence

They have many satisfied clients, whose testimonials can be read on their website at www.independencepublicadjusters.us.

One Antioch resident, named Helen had this to say: “Not only did they secure for me what was due on the insurance company; but they exceed my expectation in every way. Tony and Steve are A-1 professionals and awesome individuals; extremely helpful. I can’t say good enough for IPA.”

Antioch residents Robert and Tracie Hill shared their experience with Independence: “On Sept. 15, 2013, we had a fire at our home, which totaled my Garage and Laundry Room. Upon getting home to view the damage, I was met at my car by a person from a Restoration Company. He wanted me to sign this and that before I could even think about anything. A neighbor put us into contact with Steve from IPA right away. He told me to wait and think my options through. Steve told me what he does and represents with IPA. I felt comfortable with him not rushing me into a decision. The next day, my wife and I met with Steve and Tony. I was really impressed with their knowledge and experience. We signed with them, and it was the best decision that we made for our claim. Tony, took over the claim, and hit the ground running! He took care of everything and kept us informed of all things via email, texts and phone. He was able to get us an advance for living expenses and a place to stay right away. Tony was able to get us all that we were entitled to. My wife and I absolutely recommend IPA to anyone that is in need of some experts to work their claim.”

So, now that you know that this service exists, and right here in Antioch, if you experience property damage from a fire, accident or flood or know someone who has, do as their slogan states. “Claim Your Independence” and give Tony and his team a call at (925) 325-4989.

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Antioch Chamber to co-host annual East County Economic Development Summit February 27

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

To be held in Brentwood and focus on agriculture

EC2 2015 Antioch Chamber to co host annual East County Economic Development Summit February 27

The annual EC2 Economic Development Summit will be held on Friday, February 27th, 2015 from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Brentwood Community Center at 35 Oak Street in downtown Brentwood.

This year’s focus is on agriculture and attendees will learn about our county’s remarkable food industry. The day will include panel discussions and lunch keynote speaker will be Glenda Humiston, State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

Hosted By: EC2: The Collaborative, The City of Brentwood and BALT

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce is a member of EC2 (aka EC Squared) which stands for the East County Economic Collaborative.

Space for the summit is limited. So, to attend you must register.

For more information or to register, click here.

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Choose your favorite Antioch businesses in the 2015 People’s Choice Awards program, be entered to win prizes!

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

AH Peoples Choice 1st Place logo A Choose your favorite Antioch businesses in the 2015 People’s Choice Awards program, be entered to win prizes!A new awards program has been started to recognize those Antioch businesses, which the people of Antioch like most.

The 2015 Antioch People’s Choice Awards will honor the best businesses as determined by your votes.

Be sure to see the official ballot on pages 13 and 14 of the February issue, cut it out, write in your choices and mail or drop it off at our office at 101 H Street, Waldie Plaza, Suite 3 in downtown Antioch. Download the two sides of the ballot, here.  2105 People’s Choice Ballot Or you can download a ballot by clicking on the top banner on the Home Page of our website www.antiochherald.com.

Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, March 10 to be counted. One entry per person. Those who submit ballots will be entered to win gift certificates from local businesses!

Winning businesses will be announced in our April issue and be given special decals for their business windows, and be able to use one of the logos, above in their advertising, throughout the year.

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Postal workers stage on-going protest at Antioch Staples, want Postal workers handling mail

Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Staples protest 1024x768 Postal workers stage on going protest at Antioch Staples, want Postal workers handling mail

Members of the American Postal Workers Union protest Staples on Friday, January 30, 2015.

By Allen Payton

Holding signs that read “Don’t Buy Staples” and “The U.S. Mail is NOT for Sale” members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) were protesting in front of the Antioch Staples store, on Friday, January 30, as part of an ongoing effort to stop the office products chain from handling mail.

We are here to protest the partnership with Staples without postal workers behind the counters providing mail service,” said Alan Menjivar the Lead Stop Staples Organizer.

They are Staples employees without training, nor sworn to safeguard the mail and provide proper mail services,” he added

Postal workers are required to take 40 hours of classroom and 32 hours of on-the-job training to be qualified for the job.

We’ve been protesting for a whole year after they started a pilot program for six months,” Menjivar said. “Then they changed to an approved shipper program to confuse the American people. But they’re still doing the same thing.”

This is about the 20th time they’ve protested at the Antioch Staples store. The workers at the protest are from all over the Bay Area.

“They’re here about every other week,” said Staples Store Manager Toreano Norris. But, that was all he could share, as he is not authorized to speak for the company.

Post Office at Staples 300x225 Postal workers stage on going protest at Antioch Staples, want Postal workers handling mail

Members of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce joined Staples store staff for a ribbon cutting for the new postal service on November 18, 2013.

Announced in November, 2013, Staples began a pilot program in 80 stores, for an exclusive shipping agreement with the U.S. Postal Service.

The union warned Staples in a letter from the APWU President, in January, 2014 after the program was implemented.

But they ignored the letter,” Menjivar said. “So the protests began that same month.”

However, once the protests started, which included rallying their troops and enlisting the support of a couple teachers unions, Staples canceled the pilot program. All they do now is the same thing done at other stores, such as UPS stores, Postal Annex, Parcel Plus, and even Chevron gas stations, as well other office supply stores.

Now, it’s a national boycott. So, the protesters were attempting to get patrons from doing business at the Staples store. But, it didn’t appear to have any affect, as customers came and went, without any turning away.

Customers inside the store commented on the protest.

“It’s the unions. It’s just something they have to do to protect their benefits and their jobs. They have a very strong union. My wife worked for AT&T. She did the same thing for 35 years, with a protest every year,” said Joe Biernacki who lives in Pittsburg. “I like Staples and have been shopping here for years. That won’t stop me at all. I’m a union supporter. But no one’s going to stop me from getting my business done.”

“I came to do business and these people are trying to shove paper in my face. I’m getting sick of protests,” said Mike Steele from Discovery Bay.

The protesters admitted they don’t have a problem with the service being provided at Staples, as long as there’s a postal worker behind the counter. That’s because, according to Menjivar, the National Labor Relations Board has determined that mail dropped off at any Staples store is not considered U.S. mail until it’s in the possession of a postal worker.

Staples has been providing the service in lieu of postal workers who work the window at the post office,” Menjivar explained. “The postal service has been removing the vending machines, reducing staffing and operational hours and inviting people to go to the stores, as late as 10:00 PM, instead.”

The mail delivered to Staples after the one collection for the day will remain there all night, unsecured, by not being in a processing facility, by law.

However, staff in the store shared that Staples staff were trained by USPS employees for the pilot program and that the mail is kept in a locked box with security cameras inside the store.

Staples is closing stores nationwide, 225 in 2015,” he added. “So the impact is if the USPS reduces their service and then Staples closes their stores, then the people will have to go to the next closest post office or Staples in another community to get their mail handled.”

According to Menjivar, the current U.S. Postmaster General has been trying to privatize the postal service. The program with Staples was launched to determine if it would be cost effective to pursue a partnership with other retailers.

He’s been trying to dismantle the postal service. But he’s on his way out,” said Menjivar. “The protest is having an effect, admitted by the Postmaster General. Other retailers are not signing up.”

It’s [the Postal Service] in the Constitution,” said Ernest Johnson, a retiree from the Oakland Post Office. “What would a senior do, having to go two blocks, [to get their mail]. It wouldn’t make sense. This is a trend heading in the wrong direction.”

The first step has been to go after Staples, because they’re planning to expand the service into 1,500 Staples stores nationwide and because they’re the largest corporation involved in the mail business.

So in essence, we’re working from the top down,” said Robert Laney an automation clerk in San Jose. “We’ll expand the fight to other corporations who are in the mail business. “

Speaking of the Staples employees who handle the mail Johnson stated, “They’re not sworn. They haven’t taken the oath.”

Neither did they take the Civil Service Exam,” Laney added.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution, known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power states “The Congress shall have Power To…establish Post Offices and post Roads….”

It doesn’t say anything about privatizing the delivery of the mail nor contracting out the service to private companies.

The protesters plan to be out at the Antioch Staples again, this month.

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