Economic Development News from the East Bay | June 2021

Exactly 15 months ago, the Public Health Officers of seven Bay Area jurisdictions came together to issue the first “shelter-in-place” order due to the rapidly unfolding events associated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, as the State of California officially reopens, businesses and residents alike are adjusting to a “new normal,” one where guidance around masking, social distancing, capacity limits, and other requirements has been largely revoked, except for specific settings such as hospitals, public transit, and a handful of other environments.

As day-to-day life continues to shift, we are also cognizant that we will emerge from the COVID-19 era much more slowly than the speed at which we moved into it. Remote work, a phenomenon that was previously confined to a handful of jobs and industries, has become widespread and is here to stay even as companies prepare reopening plans. The way in which people purchase goods and services has also rapidly transformed over the past year, resulting in tremendous growth of online platforms and on-demand delivery services. Similarly, other industries, from education to healthcare to manufacturing – have experienced their own upheavals, some of which are likely to have long-lasting impacts on how people continue to access and assign value to different goods and services.

East Bay EDA celebrates this week’s important reopening milestone and is particularly excited and hopeful that the many businesses that have struggled to survive during these unprecedented times now have a chance to recover. At the same time, we do not forget the tremendous loss that so many people have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and are committed to leading strategies to ensure our emergent economic recovery reaches everyone in our region. This fall, East Bay EDA will release East Bay Forward, a regional blueprint for a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable economic recovery. We invite you to join us in this effort in setting a new vision for our region’s future.

The nomination period for the 2021 East Bay Innovation Awards closed on Friday, June 4, 2021. We were excited to receive a large number of nominations, with more than 100 submissions in our ten categories of Advanced Manufacturing, Arts & Culture, Built Environment, Community Impact, Education, Engineering & Design, Food, Life Sciences, Clean Tech, and Technology.

Sponsorship opportunities are now open for the 9th annual awards ceremony, which will be broadcast virtually on October 14, 2021. The ceremony will showcase outstanding East Bay companies and organizations that embrace innovation in their manufacturing, products, services, and more. Your investment will help us show why the East Bay is the best place to live, work, and do business. Sponsor today!

Many thanks to our 2021 Gold Sponsors: Bank of America, Bayer; and Silver Sponsors: AT&T, City of Hayward, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Wells Fargo.

Join us on June 23 for State of the Economy, a special webinar presentation on economic impacts, resiliency, and recovery in a post COVID-19 world. We're excited to feature Dr. Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Economics. This program is presented in partnership with the Industrial Association of Contra Costa County. Sign up today!

From July 2020 to March 2021, as part of California’s Manufacturing Network, East Bay EDA conducted outreach and provided direct assistance to 265 small and mid-sized manufacturers in Alameda County. We know that manufacturing will be a strong and resilient sector that is key to our region’s economy. Read more on our blog.

East Bay EDA recently joined the California delegation in the first virtual summit dedicated to foreign direct investment into the U.S. The 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit saw representation from all U.S. states and territories and over 80 international markets and record-breaking participation with over 500 speakers, including President Biden. Learn more.

Join the Berkeley Startup Cluster for Pitch for Equity, a pitch competition and interactive event series to help Berkeley startups and innovation companies inform, cultivate, and pitch their ideas for equity and inclusion. See how Berkeley business leaders are building and defining a citywide precedent of embedding equity within the innovation ecosystem. Register today!

June 19: Juneteenth, also known as Independence Day, Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, is traditionally celebrated on June 19 and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Explore these celebration events in the East Bay and around the greater Bay Area.

June 24- 27: Oakland Black Pride will host several small events and online panels over the span of four days that celebrate and uplift people who identify as Black and queer. Inside/OUT! is the theme of this year’s inaugural PRIDE event taking place during Pride Month.