April 29, 2020 8:15 AM
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At last night’s City Council meeting, City leadership announced the Santa Monica Economic Recovery Task Force, a collaboration between City staff across departments and dozens of business and community partners to quickly develop and implement measures to get our businesses and workers back on their feet, and get our dynamic local economy moving again. The Economic Recovery Task Force is now working in parallel with active emergency response to lay the groundwork for a multifaceted recovery.
“We have started this process early to strengthen our local economy and help Santa Monica businesses and workers get back on their feet,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg. “Our first focus is the reopening of businesses and getting people back to work when it’s safe to do so. In tandem with that, we will be proposing code changes to allow for more flexible business configurations and opportunities that build on examples from Promenade 3.0. We look forward to rebuilding the foundation for sustainable economic growth.”
Areas of focus for the Santa Monica Economic Recovery Task Force include:
1. Business Retention/Reopening: Helping businesses reopen quickly and more flexibly through different configurations and requirements, and marketing support via existing partnerships (e.g. Buy Local, Business Improvement Districts, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce).
2. Business Resources - Permitting and Costs: Reducing costs of and obstacles to the opening and reopening of businesses, building on the existing Chamber-Santa Monica Alliance effort involving a number of City departments.
3. Community Economic Development: Creating opportunities, such as job fairs or web-based resources, to connect displaced workers to prior/new jobs and promoting resources and support for those who have lost jobs due to COVID-19 impacts.
4. Communications and Marketing: Messaging campaign that focuses on business resilience and businesses reopening using an array of communications strategies.
5. Federal & State Resources: Leveraging technical assistance for local businesses and accessing loans, grants, and stimulus resources.
The task force will be co-led by Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta, Housing and Economic Development Director Andy Agle, Planning and Community Development Director David Martin, and City Treasurer David Carr. Subject matter experts from across relevant City functions, including planning, public works, economic development, and communications will be heavily involved. Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District representatives, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, and other business leaders are active partners in recovery planning and implementation, as are Santa Monica College and the Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District. There will be opportunities for businesses and community members to come together around creative ways to rebuild and recover in the near and long term.
The Economic Recovery Task Force comes as the City develops a plan to restructure operations around emergency response, foundational services, and economic recovery. That plan will be the focus of the Tuesday, May 5 City Council meeting held via teleconference. For more information on that, visit www.smgov.net/council.
The best way to stay informed on the Economic Recovery Task Force is to sign up for SaMoNews at www.santamonica.gov/newsletter. For other information on local coronavirus resources and information, visit www.santamonica.gov/coronavirus.
Communications & Public Information Manager