Gov Gavin Newsom, Supervisor Hilda Solis join LAEDC Members at Board of Governors meeting

LAEDC Chair Steve Nissen welcomed LAEDC members to the June 16th, 2021 meeting, noting this is the last Board of Governor’s meeting of LAEDC’s fiscal year, and the final meeting under his term as Chair.  Melissa Kham, VP of Strategic Relations welcomed new LAEDC members:

Ellie Casson

Head of Government Affairs, Waymo

Dr. Patrick Gittisriboongul

Asst. Superintendent, Technology and Innovation, Lynwood Unified School District

Gene Yoo

CEO, Resecurity

LAEDC CEO Bill Allen thanked Steve Nissen for his leadership and expressed gratitude for partnership with all LAEDC members, which has helped us reach this moment of economic re-opening.  He also said an equitable recovery depends on broadband internet for all, which was the motivation for LAEDC to form the LA Digital Equity Action League to confront this divide head-on, and asked members to visit the website and get involved.

Bill Allen also asked members to share the Safer at Work campaign materials to help promote a safe reopening of the economy, and talked about LAEDC’s support for PPE Unite, which is a public-private partnership to make PPE available to small businesses.

Bill announced the award of a grant to LAEDC from Wells Fargo to fund Together for L.A., a collaborative, multi-partner effort to serve small businesses with recovery and resilience resources and one-on-one technical assistance.  He thanked Gregg Sherkin from Wells Fargo for this funding, and thanked members for their funding, which allows LAEDC to support direct services to small business, demand for which is at an all-time high.

Stephen Cheung, LAEDC

LAEDC COO Stephen Cheung provided an update on recent reports produced by LAEDC:  The sixth annual report on Foreign Direct Investment and the new report developed by LAEDC for Center for a Competitive Workforce, Middle-Skill Occupations through the Lens of Race and Ethnicity.  He noted that LAEDC has been investing significant staff time in assistance to hundreds of small businesses in LA County, whose revenues are still down by about 30% from pre-pandemic levels, and urged members to spend at local small businesses. He thanked the LAEDC staff for their hard work, as we are on track to hit our metrics as we close this most extraordinary fiscal year.

Governor Gavin Newsom, keynote speaker at the Board of Governors meeting thanked LAEDC members for their role getting through this pandemic, and he celebrated the state economic reopening.  The Governor talked about the unprecedented state budget surplus and how that money is being invested: paying down debt, rainy day reserves, paying down pension obligations, investment in reinvigorating the economy, programs and investment to address homelessness, housing, public education including higher education and more broadly workforce development.

Governor Gavin Newsom

The Governor said the state is providing the biggest small business tax cut and small business relief grants of any state.  He also talked about California’s resiliency, with job creation in the state being strong; for example, in April, 38% of the nation’s job growth came from California.  About 390,000 jobs have been created in California during the past 90 days.

The Governor discussed the magnitude of the economic stress and pain and suffering of all kinds that have weighed heavy on all of us but praised the transformational economic development work that LAEDC’s leaders and LAEDC’s Board of Governors have led which is making a huge difference, and he thanked the audience.

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis thanked members for their leadership, and was pleased to see the new LAEDC/CCW report on the topic of occupations through the lens of race and ethnicity.  She thanked LAEDC for working so closely with her staff and the Board of Supervisors.  She announced the creation of a new Economic Department and discussed the importance of workforce training.  She thanked LAEDC for initiating the LA Digital Equity Action League to eliminate the digital divide in LA County.  She said we all know we need more investment in internet for all and she outlined a few steps the County is taking, including with private businesses.

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis

She talked about the pandemic’s impact and the reopening of California, but noted our work isn’t done and that we need employees of businesses to feel safe, we need to continue to get vaccinated and bring people back into places where they will feel safe.

Supervisor Solis talked about the many County programs that have helped small businesses including the Recovery Fund which awarded funding to 4,300+ small businesses, of which 81% were grantees of color.  Also, the employer assistance fund helped community businesses avoid thousands of layoffs, and she said the County wants to do more.  Relief needs to better identify these small businesses that need technical help to even learn of these relief resources, and she pointed to LAEDC as an important way to get the word out and provide those services.

She closed by telling LAEDC members she is looking forward to working with all of us to further advance equity and recovery for LA County’s residents and businesses.  Bill Allen thanked the Supervisor for her partnership with LAEDC this past year and beyond, with County’s efforts to deliver relief.  He thanked the County’s staff and employees as well, because they became disaster workers this past 16 months and coordinated with LAEDC at unprecedented levels.

Upcoming Events:

LAEDC Summer Member Mixer
Thursday, August 26th 5pm-7pm at Perch in DTLA

Board of Governors Meeting
Wednesday, September 15th Location TBD

26th Annual Eddy Awards
Wednesday, November 10th at SoFi Stadium

To become an LAEDC member, and support our vision of an equitable, growing, environmentally sustainable and resilience economy that works for all, please contact Melissa Kham, VP of Strategic Relations at LAEDC, at [email protected]

Melissa Kham, LAEDC

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