Doing Business in Contra Costa

Contra Costa County offers a variety of organizational resources for businesses in the county. The following is a list of available resources for your use.

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General Business Information

California State Small Business Advocate

Provides a help-line which features recorded information on business related topics. It can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. State Advocate's Help-Line

1120 N Street, Suite 2101
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 654-HELP (4357)

Contra Costa Economic Partnership

The Contra Costa Economic Partnership is a coalition of business, government and education leaders dedicated to retaining and creating quality jobs for Contra Costa in order to maintain the county's quality of life.

(925) 944-8975

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Contra Costa Small Business Development Center

Operated by the Contra Costa Workforce Development Board (WDB), the Center provides small business management training to eligible individuals, thereby training unemployed persons for managing positions in the private sector. In addition, with Community Development Block Grant funds, the Center works with county businesses (except the cities of Antioch, Concord, Richmond and Walnut Creek) to create jobs by assisting them to grow. Through this project, the Center offers business management counseling, low-cost business workshops and seminars, employee referrals, a library of business information and a network of business advisors and resources. Most of the services are available at no cost to those business people agreeing to utilize the WDB as the first source from which to obtain job applicants.

300 Ellenwood Way, Suite 300
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(925) 602-6840

Demographic Information

Important demographics, or identifiable characteristics, such as age, gender, occupation, income, education and location of the target market can be obtained from the following sources:

Contra Costa County Community Development
(925) 646-2035

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Contra Costa Council
("Business Outlook" booklet)
(925) 944-8975

Association of Bay Area Governments
(ABAG) (415) 464-7900

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Contra Costa Economic Partnership
(925) 681-3266

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City Planning Departments


Minority Business Development Center

The center provides management and technical assistance to prospective and existing minority-owned businesses.

1 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 989-2920

Stockton (209) 477-2098


EastBay Works One-Stop Business and Career Centers

Provide services for businesses, families, individuals and youth seeking to find a job or advance their career. The centers operate as part of a regional allicance among four workforce boards and other workforce and educational organizations within Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

  • Brentwood
  • Concord
  • Pittsburg
  • Richmond
  • San Pablo

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Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

The counselors are retired successful business owners and managers who volunteer their time to provide management counseling to existing as well as to new businesses. Small Business Administration

(415) 744-6827
Monday-Friday
10 A.M.-12 P.M. and 1-2 P.M.

Chambers of Commerce

  • Antioch (925) 757-1800
  • Brentwood (925) 634-3344
  • Concord (925) 685-1181
  • Danville (925) 837-4400
  • Hercules (510) 799-0282
  • Hispanic (925) 281-2623
  • Lafayette (925) 284-7404
  • Martinez (925) 228-2345
  • Moraga (925) 376-0150
  • Pinole (510) 724-4884
  • Pittsburg (925) 432-7301
  • Pleasant Hill (925) 687-0700
  • Richmond (510) 234-3512
  • Walnut Creek (925) 934-2007

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA provides information on financing, business management and import/export to prospective and existing businesses. They periodically present seminars. Upon request they will send you a Small Business Start-Up Kit. The agency also provides special programs for women. These programs include conferences, referral networks and a mentor program (Women's Network for Entrepreneurial Training, WNET).

211 Main Street
4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 744-6820

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Small Business Institutes

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sponsors oncampus Small Business Institutes (SBI). Through the SBI, a business owner can receive in-depth consulting and business research. The work is performed by senior or graduate students under the guidance of their professors.

California State University, Hayward
(510)881-3557

San Francisco State University
(415) 338-2397

San Jose State University
(408) 288-8479

Phone the SBA to obtain the names of other participating universities.

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Procurement

California Department of General Services

California Department of General Services Procurement Division is responsible for the competitive bidding process, the pre-qualification of bidders, the maintenance of a State bid list, the use of non-restrictive product specifications and resolving supplier protests.
A hotline is available for information on a variety of contracting and procurement subjects, including small business certification.

(916) 323-5460

Telebiz Hotline (916) 322-5060

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California Department of Transportation

The CalTrans Office of Procurement and Contracts provides services in the areas of procurement, publications, warehousing, service contracts, architectural and engineering contracts, minor public works contracts (under $117,000) and all emergency force account contracts for phase one emergencies that immediately restore services.

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Contra Costa County

The Affirmative Action Office manages the Small Business Enterprise Program which contains names of firms certified by that office. The publication is designed to assist County departments, potential contractors, vendors and service providers with a listing of these certified firms.

Affirmative Action Office
(925) 646-4106

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The Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise Programs (MBE/WBE)

Have been established by private firms and local, State and Federal agencies to encourage minority, woman-owned and disadvantaged businesses to obtain contracts with them.

Contact:
The individual city/(ies) of interest, the County ((925) 646-4106) and the larger local corporations.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA maintains a computerized data base, Procurement Automated Source System (PASS), which lists small companies interested in doing business with the federal government or large corporations. To assist small businesses, the agency monitors federal contractors through the prime contracting and subcontracting program. The SBA certifies small companies for specific government contracts through their certificate of competency program. They also have a special program, 8 (a), to assist minorities in obtaining contracts.

211 Main Street
4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105 (415)

744-6820

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Exporting

California State World Trade Commission

The commission assists state manufacturers and growers export their products. The Export Development Office provides the development of sales leads and opportunities. An automated service is available through their office. The Export Finance Office assists in providing loan guarantees to established firms which have been exporting for a minimum of one year.

California Export Finance Office:
425 Market Street, #2838
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 557-9812

California Export Development Office
1 World Trade Center, Suite 990
Long Beach, CA 90831
(213) 590-5965

Center for International Trade Development

Classes and short-term seminars on international trade issues are offered throughout the year.

Diablo Valley College: The business department offers the class "Introduction to International Business". The basic concepts of international trade and cultural diversities are examined.

Vista College
2020 Milvia Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 841-8860 x 271

Diablo Valley College
321 Golf Club Road
Pleasant Hill, CA
(925) 685-1230


U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration

This agency offers information for the beginning and experienced exporter. They sponsor workshops several times a year, trade specialists provide personal assistance, and an International Marketing Library is available to conduct your own research. Other services, available for a nominal fee, include: research reports, export contact lists, sales leads, a foreign-buyer program, catalog and video exhibitions, a matchmaker service, catalog advertising, trade missions and trade fairs.

250 Montgomery Street
14th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 705-2300

International Marketing Library
(415) 705-2300

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA sponsors various services to assist the new-to-export firms; some of these include: exporting seminars and conferences, financing (for existing businesses), publications, and consulting.

211 Main Street
4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 744-6820

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Importing

Consulate's Office

The Commercial Officer representing the country of your choice can provide information about products from their country. Most of the countries have consulate offices in San Francisco. Consult the phone directory for the number.

U.S. Customs Service Office

The office is a customs revenue and law enforcement agency. Contact them after you know the exact product to be imported from which country. They provide assistance, preferably by mail, on the laws and duties relating to your particular product and country.

U.S. Customs Service Office
555 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94126
(415) 705-4340Return to top of page.

Other Business Resources

Community Colleges and Universities

Local community colleges provide day and evening programs in various aspects of business management. Classes are available for the inexperienced and experienced business person. Four-year universities also offer bachelor and advanced degrees in business administration and related occupations. Extension and evening courses are also presented.

Contra Costa College

2600 Mission Bell Drive

San Pablo

(510) 235-7800

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Diablo Valley College

321 Golf Club Road

Pleasant Hill

(925) 685-1230

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Los Medanos College

2700 E. Leland Road

Pittsburg

(925) 439-2181

California State University/Hayward

Contra Costa Center

(925) 945-8700

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Center of Higher Education Extension Program

San Ramon

(925) 866-1822

John F. Kennedy University

1250 Arroyo Way

Walnut Creek

(925) 295-0600

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St. Mary's College of California

St. Mary's Road

Moraga

(925) 631-4000

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Contra Costa Council

This is a county-wide association, which is involved in public policy issues affecting the economy and quality of life in the county. Sponsored by the private sector, the Council represents the interests of business people and gives them an opportunity to play an active role in the economic future of the county. One of its goals is to create new jobs and expand the county tax base. This is achieved by assisting new businesses to locate in Contra Costa County and servicing those currently established. Each year the Council publishes an update to the "Directory of Business and Industry in Contra Costa County" and the "Business Outlook", an economic development resource binder. This association also produces a monthly magazine, "Contra Costa Update". The Council annually sponsors an outlook conference, "Contra Costa U.S.A.", monthly luncheons with keynote speakers, and quarterly small business forums. Contact the Council regarding its programs, services and member benefits.

(925) 944-8975

Economic Development Corporations

The Economic Development Corporations provide loan packaging and financing assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration's loan programs. They also provide general financial consulting and packaging for government and conventional financing programs.

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Antioch Economic Development Corporation
(925) 754-4671

Bay Area Development Company
283-3760

Greater Richmond Community Development Corporation
(510) 236-2464

Pittsburg Economic and Housing Development Corporation
(925) 439-1056

Employment Development Department (EDD)

This is a State department which provides job placement and applicant testing to those seeking employment. For employers, it offers tax credit information and sponsors seminars on personnel and supervision topics.

Antioch
(925) 778-8800

Pleasant Hill
(925) 602-1520

Richmond
(925) 237-5500

Enterprise Zones

Both Pittsburg and Richmond have an Enterprise Zone. Financial incentives are offered to businesses for locating and hiring in the Zone.

City of Pittsburg Enterprise Zone
(925) 439-3505

Richmond Redevelopment
(510) 620-6546

Contra Costa Regional Permit Assistance Center

The Contra Costa Regional Permit Assistance Center (PAC) serves as a central source of assistance for business owners seeking guidance with permit application and approval processes for projects located in the following Counties: Colusa, Contra Costa, Glenn, Solano, and Yolo.

(925) 229-5950