Supervisor and mayor plan for economic vitality amid pandemic recovery – Marin Independent Journal

There is a unique sense of place in Marin, a small town charm that brings families and the outdoors together downtown.

Nowhere else can you enjoy a bike ride along the bay and a hot cup of coffee at your favorite cafe before heading west past rolling hills and redwood giants to enjoy dinner and the sunset on the Pacific coast.

Each town and village participates in the weaving of the tapestry that makes Marin so attractive. Our economy reflects this dynamism.

Marin has various activities in animal husbandry, agriculture, biotechnology, manufacturing, personal services, health and wellness, restaurants and retail, as well as regional and international tourism. Marin County’s economy is back. We are faced with an important question: How can we come together to promote equity, sustainability and shared community values?

We encourage everyone to buy local and enjoy the time downtown and out. The Marinites have supported our local business during the COVID-19 pandemic and we must continue.

According to a 2012 Civic Economics survey, about 47.7% of independent retailer revenues are recirculated into the local economy, compared to 13.6% for national chains. For restaurants, about 64.9% of independent restaurant revenues flow back into the local economy.

Our towns and cities have joined with other communities in reducing the importance of parking in our streetscapes and re-emphasizing outdoor seating and redeveloped streets to facilitate alfresco dining. These first steps and lessons learned can guide inviting new social infrastructure, outdoor spaces that offer great food, companionship, and conversation, in a way that supports business and remains accessible to the public.

Projects like Reimagining Creek Park in San Anselmo are a good example. Creek Park began as a flood mitigation effort. But, with a dose of creative thought, the plans gave way to an inviting community space. This natural asset boosts the local economy and supports small businesses.

Throughout the pandemic, public and private partners have come together through the Marin Economic Recovery Task Force to respond to the economic crisis. One of the main goals of the working group is advocacy at the state and federal level to address policies and provide funds at the local level.

In collaboration with the Marin Economic Forum, the county received $ 130,820 in federal dollars to fund a strategic plan for economic vitality.

Marin is finalizing the formation of a 15-member steering committee to help guide the strategic plan for economic vitality. The committee will be made up of a range of representatives, including elected officials, public and private sector leaders.

We know we need to focus on creating a business climate that attracts and retains businesses. We can promote a vibrant and vibrant labor market by investing in human capital through skills development opportunities such as apprenticeships for a post-pandemic economy. Marin also has a solid pool of entrepreneurs who can provide a wealth of knowledge and creative energy.

The Workforce Alliance of the North Bay (WANB) provides job training and employment services that make our businesses more accessible and job seekers more marketable. In March, WANB approved a contract with Equus as a quarry service provider in Marin, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. This change will bring a coordinated and regional strategic approach to vocational training and employment services and deepen employment partnerships.

What does success look like? We can start by finding solutions to long-standing issues such as reliable and affordable child care, meeting the needs of an aging workforce, and building an equity lens into recruiting and retaining children. labor. A healthy economy means providing opportunities for all.

As we begin the planning process, we look forward to your participation in the civic dialogue. With a strategic planning grant on hand and significant federal and state dollars available, the opportunity to positively influence Marin’s business climate, our downtowns, and our social spaces is within our grasp.

This is a unique opportunity to formulate a new cohesive vision for Marin.

Damon Connolly is a Marin County Supervisor and co-chairs the Marin Economic Recovery Task Force. Brian Colbert is Mayor of San Anselmo and co-founder of the Marin County Council of Mayors and Councilmembers Economic Recovery Committee.

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