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Santa Monica’s Economic Recovery Efforts Continue

June 15, 2021 11:30 AM
by Anuj Gupta

Santa Monica’s Economic Recovery Efforts Continue

At the June 8 City Council meeting, staff representing the City’s Economic Recovery Task Force provided a comprehensive update and progress report marking one year of community-wide economic recovery efforts focused on supporting vulnerable populations, advancing local business and neighborhood vitality, promoting safe indoor and outdoor spaces, and sharing a robust communications and engagement effort. Watch the presentation in this video and see the presentation slides here. 

Thank you to our entire community for your work to support recovery efforts.  There is more work to do, but here’s a recap of some of the work done over the past year to accelerate Santa Monica’s Economic Recovery:   

  • Over $1.15Million raised for theWe Are Santa Monica Fund that supports COVID-19 relief for Santa Monicaresidents including rent relief and mealsbusiness recovery,and advancing racial equity in our community. Recently funded projectsincludetheThanksGIVINGfood giveaway event with SMC, food boxes at the Virginia Avenue Park Emergency Food Pantry, creation of the Black Agenda, and soon the Fund will support small business recovery grants.    

  • Over $2.8 million inrental assistance providedto640 Santa Monica familiesto keep residents in their homes and connectedan additional300 Santa Monica familieswith up to $10,000 in rent relief fundedbystateand county programs.
  • Established the Virginia Avenue Park Emergency Food Pantry thathasdistributed over 10,000 boxes of food andfeedsover 250 families weekly.   

   

  • Actively working to create the Virginia Avenue Park Commercial Kitchenwhichwill be a fully licensed community-led commercial kitchen that will serve as a small business incubator and offer kitchen rentals for local businesses.  

             

  • Producedcommunity resourcesin English and Spanishtosupport SantaMonicanswithfinding employment includinglocal training and search services forjob seekers,an active“Local Hire” jobsboardthat has posted over 150Santa Monica jobs,anEntrepreneurSeriesthataddressedtopics like startingabusiness,productideation,businessplans, and more, and aCalling All Chefs seriesthat focused on bringing together local chefs and restaurant owners to share theirentrepreneurialjourney with aspiring chefs.  
  • Helped connect Santa Monica parentsand local childcare providers through provision of timely information and assisted local childcare centers with staying open and/or reopening throughout the pandemic so that SantaMonicanscan work.   

             

  • Expandeduseofpublic outdoor space for business activityallowing forincreased dining, fitness, personal care services, and retail.Parklets,sidewalks, andprivate propertywas reimagined andusedto ensure thatmore people can safely experience Santa Monica in accordance with public health and safety distancing requirements.The Ocean Avenue Boardwalkand drive-in experiences were created to support local business and neighborhood vitality.   

  • The Art of Recovery projectharnessed the power of the artsby completing over 14projects with over 50 artists so far.Efforts includedthe Main Street Al Fresco K-rail dividers, the Día de los Muertos installations,Bob Baker’s Windows of Wonderment at the Santa Monica Pier,the Rose River Memorial project, and many more.Over 50 artists have participated in this project, and13 more projects are upcoming.     

          

  • Createdthe Santa Monica Shines COVID-19 Assurance Program ensuringSanta Monicaemployees are equipped with information about the changing public health requirements and shows Santa Monica’s ongoing commitment to public health to people visiting our businesses. Businesses who have completed the programhave gone above and beyond to ensure the community feels safe and comfortable when visiting our stores. So far, over 265 businesses have registered, over 635 employees havebeen trained,and 124 businesses have fully completed the program. 

  • Comprehensive communication and outreach effortswereimplementedto expand the reach and awareness of the economic recovery efforts. Highlights include the launch of santamonica.gov/economicrecovery andsantamonicashines.comthat features consumer facinginformation about the assurance program, business specials, and more,weekly social media messages andbi-weekly emails sent to over 10,000 business contacts, distribution ofover 8,000health and safetysignsand50,000 free masksto localbusinesses to support reopening efforts and ongoing education.Over 300 earned media placementsand a 12-part“Santa Monica Shines”seriesaddresseda broad range oftopics like local volunteer opportunities, jobs, childcare, and buying local.Specificoutreach effortsfocused on buying local over the holidays and keeping our public spaces clean were deployedcity-wide, and work continues to create a shared identitythat will assist with future economic recovery efforts with a community survey launching later this month.   

  

 For more information, visit www.santamonica.gov/economicrecovery. 

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