On this episode, I chat with local business owner Ken Turnage II who is working to form a Business Alliance group to advocate for better treatment of businesses, advocate for better policy and work on solutions that benefit economic development. We also touch on a variety of other issues facing the City of Antioch, its budget, and the impacts of COVID-19 on his business.

 

Episode Overview:

  • 00:40 – Introduction
  • 01:27 – Turnage explains what is going on around his business on E 18th Street in Antioch. What he is seeing has led to the idea of working to create a Contra Costa Business Association after dealing with blight, burglary, homeless, arson, etc.
  • 06:40 – Turnage explains he is paying $1,500 per month due to loss, illegal dumping, graffiti, burglary.
  • 08:45 – how the Business Association will focus on the City of Antioch and work its way out to other cities in the County. The group is planning to identify how businesses are suffering and offer solutions based on policy issued by City, County and State regulations.
  • 11:00 – Business are forced to pay for security, impact on police force—we get into Antioch Measure W and how some of the funding went to areas that do not generate revenue. Turnage notes the priority should be on how do we make it better for everyone who is here first, which items helps everybody in the city because everybody is paying into it.
  • 13:33 – Code enforcement need and tackling “slum lords” with shopping centers.
  • 15:20 – Turnage highlights vision of Business Association
  • 18:50 – We jump into current events and what is essential business vs. non-essential snice he is in construction where some construction is allowed, and others are not. Get into liability of working during COVID-19 and dealing with all the ordinances—its random and not enforced equally.
  • 23:18 – With Turnage being on Antioch Planning Commission and lack of sales tax, what does he see happening with City Council punting decision on citywide cuts do to projected loss on sales tax due to COVID-19.
  • 28:47 – Economy and bank loans plus unemployment discussion
  • 31:20 – We get into Antioch water cooler chat from a business perspective. We chat on if too much focus has been put into the Antioch Downtown and the city has become split into different sections. We chat about Antioch priorities being reactive.
  • 39:10 – Turnage highlights the right data is not being collected to help economic development for future planning. The Business Alliance is to take frustration and do something about it because ranting on social media does nothing.
  • 46:40 – What does the future hold for Turnage being on E 18th and fallout from COVID-19. A lot of businesses are just not going to make it.
  • 51:15 – For those interested in the Business Alliance, k2gc@comcast.net is Turnage direct email.

If you would like to be a guest on this podcast, please contact burk@eastcountytoday.net and highlight what you would like to discuss.

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