Newsom Plan for Helping Struggling Businesses a Welcome Start

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Gov. Newsom this week previewed his plans to spend $4.5 billion to support California’s COVID-wracked economy through a variety of investments and assistance to small businesses and other employers, workforce development, infrastructure, electric vehicles and housing. Details of the plans are expected today when the Governor formally unveils his overall 2021-22 budget plan. It’s a welcome package for helping the thousands of businesses and millions of workers suffering under the weight of COVID shutdowns. Much more will need to be done as the pandemic continues to rage.

Just as important in addressing the immediate needs of California’s economy is addressing the longer-term and well-documented issues that continue to plague the state’s overall business climate—issues that have prompted a growing exodus of businesses and investors. Excessive taxes, onerous regulation, soaring homelessness, an historic housing crisis and raging wildfires are among the issues that are finally finding traction for other states looking to capture some of the economic magic that has made California a global innovation powerhouse.

The Bay Area Council this year is mounting a major new business climate initiative—Repair California—to raise awareness among political and other leaders about the existential threat these issues pose for the state, end complacency that California’s economic dominance is a given, and work to attract new business and investment and prevent departures.

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