A proposed one-time, $250 million allocation to California ports was announced this past week, designed to help them recover from effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The funds, from the federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund in 2021-22, will be distributed by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
The ports have played a critical role in the state’s response to and recovery from the pandemic, including distributing protective equipment to the public, housing homeless individuals, berthing the USS Mercy, assisting the disembarkation of the Grand Princess, sponsoring food drives for families, and proactively testing and vaccinating their workforce and local residents.
“California’s ports are backbones to local economies and home to treasured local, regional and international tourism destinations. The funding announced will be crucial for this industry that has been so heavily impacted by the pandemic. Their continued strength and financial solvency will be an essential component of California’s economic recovery.” Said state Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, who chairs the Administration’s International Affairs and Trade Development Interagency Committee.
California ports are also critical components of the state’s supply chain, shipping products in and out of the country, driving economic activity and tourism, providing regional employment, and raising revenue for local jurisdictions and the state.
“California’s ports are engines that drive our local, regional, state and national economies. They’re also huge job creators,” said Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom. “These funds will help our ports recover from the pandemic, continue to create and sustain good-paying jobs and fuel growth across our state and our country.”
California’s ports are the gateway to California and the nation. The three largest ports – Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland – handle approximately 40 percent of the nation’s containerized imports and 30 percent of all exports. Over one million California jobs are connected to trade through ports; they are the workhorses that power the freight industry which drives roughly one-third of the state’s GDP.
In addition to moving freight, the state’s ports serve California’s large tourism industry. The Ports of San Francisco and San Diego serve countless hotels and resorts, restaurants, cruise terminals, marinas, and related facilities. The Port of San Diego has one of the country’s largest sport fishing and recreational boating fleets.
Further program details will be announced at a later date.
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit, www.business.ca.gov.