Marin Announces First Long-Term Plan for Economic Development

A plan to help Marin grow its economy and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic was approved by county supervisors on Tuesday.

“We are pleased to announce the first-ever long-term economic plan for Marin County,” said County Administrator Matthew Hymel.

The Marine Economic Vitality Strategic Plan was funded with $133,000 in federal grants and just over $32,000 in county funds. It was created by the Marin Economic Forum over a period of 10 months, with the help of the consulting group James Gollub Associates.

The Marin Economic Forum is a non-profit public-private partnership aimed at promoting economic growth in the region. It is funded by Marin County, donations from businesses and individuals, and income from economic reports produced by the Forum.

Strategic planners identified six target industries that they believe are most likely to provide employment and revenue growth in Marin County over the next three to five years. These industries are life sciences. information technology/multimedia; tourism and hospitality; healthcare and aging; climate-related companies; and a new category called “remote work opportunities.”

Marin Economic Forum CEO Mike Blakeley said: “They also have mid- and high-paying jobs and should see job creation in Marin County.”

The plan also recommends pursuing five key initiatives to grow the marine economy. Scale the county’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Promote the growth of climate solutions and climate-related companies. Increase the economic mobility of county residents. Formalize countywide economic development activities.

Blakely said, unlike other counties in California, with the exception of Napa, Marin County lacks publicly funded economic development staff. He said it made it difficult for Marin to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.

“We knew we needed to be a little more intentional about how the economy recovered and what that meant for us in the future,” Blakely said. “Our organization pitched the idea of ​​creating a long-term strategy that would put the economy in order not just for the recovery, but for the longer term.”

In addition to developing a long-term growth strategy, the new plan also includes an assessment of the impact of the pandemic on local businesses and how well the economy has recovered.

According to the plan, commercial vacancies increased during the pandemic, leaving some downtown Marin with vacant lots on the street. In some downtown areas, foot traffic has not recovered, hurting businesses that rely on face-to-face consumption.

Downtown business districts and boulevards, which have a high proportion of direct local markets, are at risk of economic shocks, including current inflationary pressures.

The plan says staffing will continue to be a challenge, with low-wage jobs being the hardest to fill. This is because Marin has a smaller workforce and can accept wages lower than the “living wage” of $24 an hour. Disruptions in supply chain, inflation and other factors such as growing consumer preference for online consumption are creating uncertainty for SMEs challenging their plans and investments.

Nonetheless, the plan found that Marin’s economy bounced back from the pandemic faster than the economies of four similar counties. San Luis Obispo on the central coast. Kitsap County, Washington. Boulder County, Colorado. and Westchester County, New York.

Blakeley said: “What we found was that Marin got his job back faster, our health was less impacted, and our sales tax revenue recovered faster.”

Nonetheless, Blakely said the plan includes some short-term actions that can be taken to help Marin’s economy recover more fully from the pandemic. Each major initiative has several action items.

Blakely said one such action is to expand existing training programs to provide more opportunities for residents displaced by the pandemic.

“The Marine Builders Association has one for the deal. Hospitals have them for health care. Community Action Marin just launched Community Actions for Vivalon drivers,” said Blakeley. increase.

Another short-term action, Blakely said, is for the county to provide matching grants to local governments and chambers of commerce to boost economic vitality.

“We have been talking with cities and towns about accepting economic development matching grants to support their efforts,” Heimel said.

Heimel said the county has set aside $600,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds received for economic development, some of which could be used for this purpose.

One of the long-term actions proposed in the plan is the establishment of a private enterprise similar to Menlo Park’s SRI International to help Marin residents commercialize innovative ideas and technologies. I can do it.

“Marin has had some success with the individuals who founded the company,” consultant James Golub told the supervisor.

Another long-term action recommended in the report is to create an agency similar to MCE, formerly known as Marine Clean Energy, to aggregate marine-wide demand for large-scale climate change projects. is to establish

Chris Yalonis, president and founder of VenturePad, a co-work and meeting center in San Rafael, said:

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *