SCAG fully supports Gov. Gavin Newsom’s commitment to an equitable economic recovery strategy as part of his 2021-2022 budget proposal. SCAG has prioritized an inclusive and equitable recovery strategy as critical to Southern California’s economic future. As we build our recovery strategy, creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed is essential to building a strong, resilient, sustainable economy.
Gov. Newsom’s $4.5 billion Equitable Recovery for California Businesses and Jobs plan includes $575 million to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with priority given to disadvantaged communities and underserved small business groups. An additional $777.5 million would go to job creation and retention, regional development and climate innovation. A proposed $500 million investment in the Infill Infrastructure Grant Program would provide direct assistance to local communities so they can build the infrastructure needed to support much-needed new infill and affordable housing. Other components of the Governor’s plan address infrastructure investment and workforce development strategies aimed at workers displaced during the pandemic.
Each of these funding commitments underscores the vulnerabilities we must overcome as a region and state if we’re going to build a truly healthy post-pandemic economy and address an equity gap that was spiraling out of control long before COVID. As we were vividly reminded during SCAG’s recent Southern California Economic Summit: “Charting an Inclusive Recovery Strategy,” individuals and communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Of the more than 1 million jobs lost in our region during the first few months of COVID, the vast majority were low-wage, low-skill positions often held by the region’s most at-risk populations.
SCAG applauds Gov. Newsom’s commitment to addressing these inequities and is prepared to provide whatever support necessary to ensure a resilient and inclusive recovery.