Despite Long Odds
We started this year with confidence and maybe a touch of arrogance, bolstered by a strong market and a swollen portfolio of leads and prospects. And then everything was halted due to the Coronavirus. The Orange County Partnership never stopped as we immediately formulated an action plan that, despite long odds, resulted in the much needed creation and retention of jobs for Orange County residents.
We understood that no one was getting a free pass this year as the virus threatened all of our lives and livelihoods to varying degrees. Since failure is never an option, especially when led by an arsenal of committed and dedicated members of our Board of Directors and by the inspired leadership of County Executive Steve Neuhaus, the Partnership pressed on, doing whatever was necessary to succeed in its mission to create jobs that will ultimately stabilize our economy.
We are proud to say that the county’s year-end numbers rival some of our best years as we worked with remarkable development companies, construction companies, labor and businesses on their expansion plans. As documented in this year’s Annual Report, the opportunities that await in the coming year provide promise of continued growth that will offset the economic damage of the virus. The leads this year have been plentiful-- especially in e-commerce and distribution requirements. There has been an explosive land-grab by national developers representing large retail and pharmaceutical companies needing prime locations to distribute product. Believe it or not, during a pandemic and an economic pause, we had a 211% increase in job creation, a 253% increase in square-foot occupancy and a 27% increase in capital investment compared to 2019.
We close the year replacing arrogance with humility and gratitude. We celebrate our health care heroes who battle on the front lines, saving lives and preserving hope.
As economic development professionals, we work together with our strategic partners to strengthen our economy. When we all work our hardest, we all win!
In closing, thank you to our Investors who believe in and support the mission of the Orange County Partnership.
Have a safe and Happy Holiday!
President & CEO