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Council of Business & Industry Mission Statement

The West Contra Costa County Council of Business & Industries is the regional advocate and member resource for business and industry that strengthens the local economy and improves the quality of life by working collaboratively with all stakeholders.

This mission is accomplished by:

  • Serving as a forum for members, helping in the exchange of ideas, viewpoints and solutions to challenges.
  • Increasing exposure through education of COI members and community stakeholders on the positive economic impact COI members have on the region
  • Developing partnerships with industry, building trades, public agencies and community groups to enhance the local economy
  • Building relationships and taking a leadership role in working proactively with elected officials on identifying and shaping policies that strengthen the local economy.
  • Taking a leadership role in working proactively on identifying and developing regional policies that strengthen the local economy

Congratulations Vernon Whitmore, City of Richmond Mayor’s New Chief of Staff

Vernon WhitmoreBy Tom Butt, Mayor city of Richmond, CA

Former Richmond Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff Christopher Whitmore has taken the position of executive director of Richmond Promise, replacing founding Executive Director Jessie Stewart, who is moving on to a new position with UC Berkeley athletic program. He did a great job, and we will miss him!

Christopher will be replaced by his father, Vern Whitmore, a retired journalist, and public affairs consultant who has worked with and forthe City of Richmond in various capacities for three decades. Like me, Vern isa Vietnam veteran. He has an education degree with a minor in BusinessAdministration from Harris Stowe State University in St. Louis. Vern’smulti-decade career in journalism included the West County Times,the Post and the Globe Newspaper Group where he became the owner and publisher of the award-winning community newspaper distributed in Richmond, Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco. While publisher of the Globe,Vern served as president of the West Coast Back Publishers Association.

In recent years, Vern transitioned to governmental affairs, forming Whitmore Majors Government affairs in 2016. He is a former chair and current board member of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce,president of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Council and former chair of the board of the Richmond Community Foundation

The Chief of Staff position is for one year and three months…. until the end of the Mayors term.

MEASURE U/Business License Tax

In November 2020, the City of Richmond voters passed Measure U Business License Tax which changed the calculation of the business license tax effective January 2022. Previously businesses would be taxed on the number of employees they had in the City of Richmond – except different rates were established for the cannabis businesses and property rentals.

The new tax is a progressive tax based on a business’s gross receipts made in the city of Richmond. For those businesses with$250,000 or less of gross receipts in the City of Richmond, their business license tax would be $100.00. If your gross receipts in Richmond are more than $250,000 a year, you would pay a progressive rate depending upon what classification of business you are in and what level of gross receipts you have. If you have an office in Richmond but have no gross receipts in Richmond, you would pay a business license tax based on your City of Richmond payroll.

To compare what you are paying now with what you will be paying to go to the Council of Business & Industries (COI) home page and use this Calculator Tax for Measure U

You can also contact Katrinka Ruk at or call 510-260-4820.


Information on City Website go to: