Helping Business Boom

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

By Matt Larson

Most cities have a chamber of commerce, but the East Bay also has the Council of Industries.

Rules and regulations for operating a business are constantly changing. City ordinances, senate and assembly bills, even residents and city council members can vote on changes that could have a positive or negative impact on any business, directly or indirectly, and on top of running the business in the first place—it’s a lot to keep up with.

To help maintain a thriving, expanding business economy here in the East Bay we’ve got the West Contra Costa County Council of Industries (COI) to provide some extra support. While our economy continues to develop, COI is asking themselves: How can we help businesses stay in West County and grow? And how can we work with the city to make sure that happens?

“I meet with our mayors, city council members and supervisors to see what’s coming up—are there any concerns or issues that cities have, or the county has, in regard to business? Are there any grants or incentives out there to improve businesses so then I can get the word out? Anything we can do to help,” said Executive Director Katrinka Ruk. In addition to your local government agency or chamber of commerce, COI looks at the whole picture to provide additional support on a personal level.

“There are ordinances that apply to your business in the city, or the county, that you may or may not be aware of, and that’s one thing that I keep track of,” Ruk said. “I monitor the City Council’s agendas when they come out and relay that information to our businesses; I keep track of zoning changes to make sure businesses know if they’re able to expand in their areas or not; I work with the planning department just because—a lot of things can happen!”