Strengthening The Greater Sacramento Economy Amid COVID-19

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, economic leaders in 20 Greater Sacramento communities are aligning initiatives to stabilize the region.

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S. and the world, the impact on the national and local economies is inevitable. While the nation has watched the stock markets fall, Federal and local governments are quickly taking action to preserve our economy.

Greater SacramentoRight now, the team at the Greater Sacramento Economic Council (GSEC) is analyzing data by leading economic institutions on the projected economic forecast and working with regional economic developers and leaders to support the region’s economic resiliency and recovery. Our strategic plan will help cities throughout 6 counties follow a path towards prosperity.

“At times like these, our organization is critical to the stabilization of the regional economy. Having led multiple economic organizations, I know the steps we need to take to limit the damage. We have incredible leaders who are collaborating on building resiliency in our economy,” said Barry Broome, President & CEO of GSEC.

The UCLA Anderson School of Management analyzed the projected impacts of the COVID-19 on the state economy over the next 4 years. Important takeaways include:

  • Analysts say California will be hit harder than the U.S as a whole.
  • The unemployment rate is expected to increase from 4% to 6.3% by 2022.
  • By the first quarter of 2021, California is expected to lose 280,000 jobs – a third of which will be in transportation, leisure, hospitality and warehousing.

GSEC has fostered a collaborative economic growth strategy with leaders from Yolo, Sutter, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yuba Counties and 14 cities and towns within their boundaries over the last five years. With more than 40 CEO’s and 20 community leaders on our board, we have worked diligently to create initiatives for a more inclusive economy. Now, more than ever, our work is vital for the economic health and sustainability of our region’s future. Mayors, economic developers and CEO’s of some of the biggest employers in Greater Sacramento are trusting GSEC to lay the framework of success.

“One of our biggest efforts, which was launched by our board member Mayor Darrell Steinberg, was Measure U. It is the largest inclusive package passed by a city in the United States. This funding will be crucial to the resiliency and recovery of our economy,” said Broome.

Measure U generates some $47 million for the City of Sacramento per year. It funds training programs for underserved residents to get the skills they need for industry sectors projected to be in high-demand in the future, to build careers in computer science, technology, data research and more. These fields continue to grow, and the skills underprivileged populations learn can be used in varying careers, making them a talented resource for area businesses.

“We’ve also already been building inclusive economic hubs in our region – with Aggie Square and the California Mobility Center. We started these processes years ago because centers of excellence are economic drivers in tradable sector jobs, which in turn have a multiplier effect on creating service industry jobs. They launch innovation in growing fields and provide the resources for training our future workforce in the jobs of the future. So we already have the groundwork done – now we have to make sure progress on these innovation hubs continues. They will be the backbone to strengthening our economy,” said Broome.

Aggie Square is a $1 billion innovation hub backed by UC Davis, a leading university in veterinary, medical and agtech sciences. Collaborating and garnering the support of universities in economic development creates paths towards careers for local graduates, which in turn encourages degree holders to remain in the region – giving back to the tax base. Aggie Square will develop cutting edge life-saving technology and cures in cell therapies, genomics and image diagnostics right in Greater Sacramento.

Similarly, the California Mobility Center (CMC) is backed by Sacramento State as well as Los Rios Community College District and SMUD. It will be the future of creating autonomous, electric, micro-mobility solutions including commercialization of these new products. Sacramento State and Los Rios Community College District are structuring their engineering departments to reflect the careers that will proliferate from the CMC.

GSEC has created a landing page for businesses to find and link to the resources they need from their Greater Sacramento community. It is also creating a resource toolkit for economic development professionals in the region based on established disaster recovery best practices as well as creative strategies for supporting business. Each community leader in the region is working with us to streamline the process of finding information and receiving aid. The landing page also includes resources from the state and the federal government.

For short term economic analysis and recovery efforts, GSEC’s staff economists are actively monitoring, analyzing and reporting on economic impact projections. The team is also working to develop methods of tracking business and supply chain impacts in target industries in the region through the course of the pandemic. GSEC is also hosting regular recurring update calls with partners and constituents, specifically its Board of Directors, as well as the Economic Development Directors Taskforce of all economic development professionals in the region. Through its memorandums of understanding with six commercial real estate brokerage offices in Sacramento, it will be tracking the impacts and trends on commercial real estate carefully while also working to ensure that projects underway continue.

Long term resiliency and recovery will require a strong continued commitment to the region’s top economic development initiatives such as the launch of the California Mobility Center and Aggie Square, while at the same time developing a recapitalization plan to get businesses back up and running quickly. As this virus evolves, so will strategies for economies to recover. Together we are stronger, and we will overcome this setback.

Submitted by the Greater Sacramento Economic Council (GSEC)

Want more news about COVID-19?

Check out all the latest COVID-19/coronavirus news related to economic development, workforce and business development, corporate expansion and more.