Economic News - February 2022

February 01 2022

Dear Members, Partners and Friends of the Solano EDC,

I’m excited to reach out to you all to introduce myself as the new President and CEO of the Solano Economic Development Corporation. By way of introduction, I invite you to read this great piece they ran on my arrival to Solano in the Vacaville Reporter. In my career I've been fortunate enough to be interviewed by various regional and national news organizations. Nick did the best job at listening to what I had to say and sharing it with his readers, so kudos to him!

These past few years have been challenging for most people, businesses and organizations, including the EDC. I’m grateful for our amazing members who have stuck by us when we weren’t able to engage the community on the level of which we are capable and known for. Many people and businesses have been impacted negatively by the pandemic which provides us with a great opportunity to be of service to this region at this moment.

Many of you are familiar with Moving Solano Forward 1 & 2, grant funded programs which have informed the focus and direction of this organization. Just last week we met with a team of talented consultants to kick off Moving Solano Forward 3, funded by a grant from the EDA that was procured by my predecessor Bob Burris. Over the next 13 months we will be convening fifty groups of stakeholders to dig deep and determine how best we can support the businesses and residents of this great region. We’re hopeful that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and that we can roll up our sleeves and get to work at bringing more prosperity to all Solano county residents.

I look forward to meeting each of you in the near future. I’m excited to gather in  person again and connect on a human level. The work we do has the potential to change people’s lives, and it’s something I feel incredibly grateful to work on each and every day. Please connect with me on Linkedin and follow the EDC as well.

To health and prosperity!

Chris Rico

Solano EDC Hires Economic Development Specialist

Manuel Munoz has had experience in all three major sectors (private, public, and non-profit) in his relatively recent career. Having started in economic development, he has always had a strong passion for public service. His experience with the San Francisco Human Services Agency further strengthened his desire to build more equitable and resilient communities. He has exercised his analytical skillset to report on federal contract pricing, state and local assistance aid programs, and labor & commercial real estate markets.

Manuel has joined the team as an important part of Moving Solano Forward III, collecting and analyzing local data, as well as coordinating and collaborating with third-party consultants to gather information and accurately report on the current state of the Solano economy.

Manuel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Winters Celebrates Success of New Businesses, Population Growth

With its reputation for small-town charm, the city of Winters may surprise you – it is the fifth fastest growing city in California, and the fastest growing city in all of Yolo County. The city experienced a five percent population increase between 2020 and 2021, with a population number that now sits at 7,618.

While technically located in Yolo, Winters shares many commonalities with Solano County, and has been a valued investor and member of the Solano EDC. Winters is known for iconic businesses and major employers like Mariani Nut Co. and Buckhorn Steak & Roadhouse and welcomed several new businesses just before the start of the pandemic, like the Park Winters and Hotel Winters hotel properties. The city is now preparing to open a new three-story, 72 room Fairfield Inn to complement other lodging in the area, including the restored Abbey House Inn.

To learn more about Winters’ growth and opportunity, visit

Polaris Pharmaceuticals Expands in Vacaville

Polaris Pharmaceuticals, Inc., part of the Polaris Group family of companies, has announced the purchase of 15 acres of space in Vacaville’s Vaca Valley Business Park. The company says it plans to build a state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility on the acreage. The expansion will extend the company's manufacturing and process research capabilities in Solano.

Vacaville Mayor Ron Rowlett shared that the city of Vacaville will help the company through the city’s Biotechnology Fast Track permitting program so the new facility can be up and operational as quickly as possible.