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Downtown Sacramento business boarded up. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Let’s Help Businesses Thrive in a Post-COVID World

California has gained back only 52-percent of the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic

By Ted Gaines, July 9, 2021 2:32 am

Is California’s economy recovering from COVID or not? Recent jobs numbers don’t help answer that question. In May, California added nearly 105,000 jobs, the fourth straight month adding more than 100,000. That is certainly strong job growth by historic state standards. But California has gained back only about 52-percent of the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic, far below the national average of 66-percent.

What is clear, though, is that jobs themselves, more than the stock market or trade deficits or interest rates, are the primary measure of a healthy economy to most people. A surging NASDAQ stock exchange means little to those who can’t afford to put food on the table. As that 52-percent number indicates, California needs more jobs urgently and we should celebrate and support the entrepreneurs who will make that happen.

The Golden State has around 3.5-million businesses, many of them small, single-person operations. Our labor force comprises more than 15-million people, though. Almost everyone in the state depends on someone else for a job. In the private sector, that someone is an entrepreneur.

California has been blessed with some of the most creative and successful entrepreneurs in the nation, most notably in Silicon Valley, which is the unquestioned global leader in technology and has long been the source of high-paying jobs. Their stories are legendary, and we owe much of our prosperity to these world-changers.

But the magic of entrepreneurship doesn’t depend on innovation. You don’t need to build a better mousetrap, or a better search engine, to succeed in business. It doesn’t take a new idea; it takes courage, determination, and hard work. You can find donut shops and dry cleaners in strip mall after strip mall. There are nail salons and real estate offices everywhere. They are not providing anything new, but are providing something valuable. And by doing that, they survive, then grow, then hire, providing employment for others, too. I respect their efforts and congratulate their success.

Recently, super-entrepreneur Elon Musk announced he was leaving for Texas, and one California legislator publicly told him, in so many words, “good riddance.” That’s a heartless statement considering the hundreds of thousands of people looking for work in our state and Mr. Musk’s proven ability to create enterprises that provide tens of thousands of jobs. It shows a complete misunderstanding of the economy. It shows an unwarranted hostility towards businesses and the people who build them.

If we want to speed up our ascent from the depths of COVID-induced economic devastation, we should take this moment in time to recognize the vital importance the brave men and women who take the risks needed to start a new venture. Simply put, entrepreneurs are heroes and government should treat them as such.

California must look right now to remove barriers to their success. That means lower taxes, lower fees, fewer stifling regulations that bury them in paperwork and take them away from their mission, and in too many cases, out of California.

COVID presented special challenges that call for special responses. The state that CEO Magazine rates the worst place to do business for more than a decade straight needs to look in the mirror and realize it can help its unemployed most by helping its employers. Governor Newsom, himself a private business owner, should call a special session this fall on jobs and economic development, specifically with our entrepreneurs and small business owners in mind.

Let’s put these heroes in a position to flourish – someone looking for a job right now is depending on their success.

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8 thoughts on “Let’s Help Businesses Thrive in a Post-COVID World

  1. Freedom is the missing ingredient that ____ ___ Newson does not comprehend. Lets apply for a job today-anywhere-even a job that you can start 10 minutes and after applying and get paid daily. What is the first thing we run in to? The outdated/ stale corona virus measures still being socially pressured on employees . “Wear a mask” …The pandemic theatre is still alive and well-mostly for employees. This is a huge turn off even for the starving and homeless. To be greeted with people wearing a mask? No thank you. The proven dangers of the teeny particles of graphene oxide on the masks aside, not seeing whole faces and smiles aside, many people suffocate in these masks and can not tolerate them. To be made to practice insanity when we know better-is inhumane. Everybody wants to work, wants to live a full life, what ever their situation, dependency for gov handouts is control, is slavery just like living in fear.
    The second the masks are incinerated along with the “requirement” (bullying tactic-not a law) to take the antioxidant destroying, graphene oxide filled injections, and all the trashy covid signs are removed….WATCH out world! People will be competing for jobs again and working as many as possible-especially after this nightmare experience.

  2. Those boarded up windows are not because of covid, they are because there is no law and order which means terrorist groups like BLM and antifa will rule the streets until they are rounded up and jailed.

  3. And……………………………CA’s medieval and draconian business rules and regulations, aided by municipal medieval and draconian business rules are still big roadblocks to businesses starting up or remaining here. I am currently paying rent on an empty store, and have been paying rent since September 2020 waiting for the City of L.A. and the state to issue my permits. Yes, 10 months. With this type of nonsense, it’s no wonder businesses are bailing. And as long as the anti-business DemocRATS control CA, change is fleeting.

  4. In the beginning, I was sympathetic toward businesses that were forced to close under the heavy hand of our government. But I am no longer sympathetic. Looking back, it is clear that there was always a huge population that would have gone out of their way to support businesses that gave government the finger and remained open. But they chose to obey rather than fight, leaving no way for the rest of us to fight with them. Their choice. No more sympathy from me.

    1. Joe, if you owed a business and kept it OPEN defying the shutdown orders by Newsom, the county health officer along with the district attorney would have fined you $15,000. If you continued to defy the order, they would have continued to fine you. And YOU want to blame business owners?

  5. California is the perfect anti-business storm. High cost of doing business, insane regulations, out of control homeless people who terrorize businesses and their customers, covid fascism, super high taxes and governments (state, county and city) determined to drive everyone out of business. Then there is the lack of law enforcement and the releasing of hard core criminals with the explicit permission to steal anything they want from stores as long as it is under a grand. It is a wonder any business has stayed.

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