Economic Update - June 2022June 06 2022
Dear Members, Partners, and Friends of the EDC,
I want to share some exciting news with you. Recently the Solano County Board of Supervisors entrusted us with $4 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds they received to run a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to support small businesses. ARPA funds are to be used to remediate the negative effects to businesses and communities from the pandemic, but also to build resiliency. There is also specific direction to prioritize vulnerable populations in designated census tracks, and businesses that were not able to access CARES Act PPE loans.
What’s even more exciting is that the four regional lenders who are members and supporters of this organization are working with us hand in hand to devise and execute this program. We’re grateful to First Northern Bank, Travis Credit Union, Valley Strong Credit Union, and Westamerica Bank for their stewardship. These kinds of public/private partnerships are what EDCs are particularly well suited for. Stay tuned for more information as this program evolves.
One day last week I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the legendary Congressman John Garamendi and his staff. The Congressman is a consummate life long civil servant. As you may know, due to redistricting, Congressman Garamendi will be working on behalf of most of the County. The Congressman is committed to being a trusted and active ally to the EDC and has great vision for bringing more prosperity to the people and businesses of this county. We’re excited for what’s ahead.
Lastly, yesterday I had the pleasure of joining the Vacaville team at the San Francisco Hilton for the San Francisco Business Times annual Bay Area Biotech Forum. Vacaville was the title sponsor. As you may know, there is a burgeoning Bio Manufacturing ecosystem in Vacaville that is growing in partnership with the Solano Community College. Aaron Busch and his team, including Don Burrus and Tim Padden are doing an exceptional job of developing this corridor to the benefit of the whole region. We’re committed to supporting them and all of our cities as they continue to grow and develop.
Thank you to those of you who supported my fundraising efforts for the Aids Lifecyle. Please send me good vibes next week as I bike my way from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise vital funds for two incredible organizations. http://www.tofighthiv.org/goto/ChrisRico01
Wishing you all good health and continued prosperity.
Meet our EDC Fellows
We’re happy to announce that our EDC Fellows start this week. This pilot program is built in partnership with the Solano Community College and supported by the Kaiser Foundation. The goal is to support our fellows in their career exploration and skills development. We look forward to working with them over the next 10 weeks.
Hello, my name is Kelvin Chan (any pronouns). I recently graduated from Solano Community College, and I am officially transferring to UC Berkeley in Fall 2022. I will be majoring in Molecular/Cell Biology and Legal Studies with the long-term goal of pursuing an MD/JD dual-degree program to work on resolving health disparities and advocating for equitable practices in the medical and legal fields.
My name is Nandi Loggins-Glover and I am a Benicia resident. I have a four year old son whose name is Liam. I am currently studying political science and attending Sacramento state to occur my bachelors. My favorite things to do are go to the planetarium and I read a lot of books. I hope to obtain a lot of knowledge from this fellowship that I can use in the future.
Dixon Unveils New GE Warehouse
The 500,000 square foot GE warehouse recently constructed in Dixon and has opened for operations, according to General Manager, Jim Dubois. During a visit to the new facility by Dixon Economic Development/Grants Manager, Larry Burkhardt, Dubois indicated that the warehouse has been accepting deliveries of inventory, and currently has filled approximately 35%of its capacity. Once it reaches 65%, outbound deliveries to retailers will begin. The facility will employ approximately 40 floor personnel and 10 administrative positions.
Cal Maritime Earns Top Ranking in Money Magazine; Celebrates 92nd Commencement
A Money magazine analysis of more than 600 U.S. colleges and universities, which looks at quality of instruction, affordability, and student outcomes, has ranked Cal Maritime 8th best value in the West. The Solano institution shares the company of top-rated Stanford, followed by UCLA, Pomona College, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UC Davis, and UC San Diego. Nationally, Cal Maritime is ranked 15 on Money’s 2022 value list. See details about the ranking here.
Cal Maritime also recently celebrate its 92nd commencement. President Tom Cropper conferred diplomas upon 178 undergraduate cadets and 20 master’s degree students. Thirty-one undergraduates received 3rd Mate or Assistant US Coast Guard licenses. Read more about the Class of 2022 here.
Valero Employees Donate Time, Money, to Local Causes
Volunteers from the Valero Benicia Refinery participated in numerous events that were hosted by the Benicia Litter Pickers, Lions Club of Benicia, Loma Vista Farms, and the City of Benicia as part of Earth Day 2022. Employees also contributed to Valero’s annual United Way campaign and presented the collected funds as a donation to Meals on Wheels Solano County, which received a $5,000 check from Valero. Anyone interested in learning more about careers with Valero Benicia can attend the refinery’s Community Advisory Panel (CAP) meeting on June 14th from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. For further information, contact Pam Fischer at 707-745-7534 or Pam.Fischer@valero.com, or read more here.
Fairfield Launches Archie, Welcomes the Return of the Farmers Market
The City of Fairfield recently launched a fully integrated web chat assistant named Archie. Archie makes it easier for visitors to quickly find answers to their questions, submit service requests, and contact city staff directly. Meet Archie at fairfield.ca.gov.
The city has also welcomed back its Farmers Market with new hours from 3 to 7 pm every Thursday through October 6. Shoppers can look forward to delicious, hot, and ready meals, and an incredible variety of local California produce. Groceries, gifts, and incredible dining options will also be available. Find more information here.
Tee Up for a U.S. Open-Inspired Chamber Mixer
The Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce and its member Gillespie’s Abbey Carpet & Floor would like to extend invitation to Solano EDC members to a mixer event coming up on June 9th from 5:30 to 7 pm. The event is free for Chamber members, and $25 for non-members. Putting contest prizes include wine tasting excursions at Suisun Valley wineries. Don’t miss it! Details can be found here.
BayREN is Seeking Licensed Contractors and will Pay $100 per Referral
If you like your contractor, you can get a $100 gift card for referring them to our energy partner Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN). The contractor must be licensed, insured and pulls permits. Refer them to the BayREN Home+ program and receive a $100 gift card once they are fully enrolled.
Join Us for our Next Speaker Series Webinar on June 22
The next webinar in our Kaiser Permanente-presented series, “Female-led Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” will be keynoted by Nancy Perlman, Founder of FourthWave.io, an accelerator for women-led technology businesses.
Research shows that investing in women is one of the most effective ways to reduce inequality and increase economic growth. Learn how FourthWave is changing the gender equity narrative, and join the conversation on Wednesday, June 22 from Noon to 1 pm. Registration is free, and can be done here.
Solano Transportation Authority Breaks Ground on I-80 Express Lanes
The California Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the Solano Transportation Authority officially broke ground on the I-80 Express Lanes Project – which will convert the existing 10 miles of HOV lanes into Express Lanes, and extend the Express Lanes an additionally 8 miles between Airbase Parkway and I-505. In addition to motorcycles, carpools, vanpools, and transit – which can travel in the Express Lanes for free – other vehicles will be able to access the Express Lanes by paying a fee with their FasTrak.
“We are excited to break ground on this important project and want to thank the California Transportation Commission, the California State Transportation Authority, Caltrans, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for partnering with the STA on these projects,” said STA Board Chair and Vallejo Mayor Robert McConnell. “Once completed, the I-80 Express Lanes will create new jobs, provide congestion relief, improve safety, increase transit dependability, and allow for efficient freight movements in Solano County.”
Funding for this project was provided by a combination of Senate Bill 1 (SB1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 and local funds. OC Jones estimates that construction will take about two years to complete. For more information on the I-80 Express Lanes Projects and to follow the progress of construction, please visit dot.ca.gov.