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Is there anyone living in the area who doesn’t wish for a thriving business community? Boarded up downtowns hold little appeal, and a small tax base makes offering public services difficult. It is the mission of recently hired Executive Director Gil Mathew and in large part, the mission of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council (ERC), to ensure Nevada County businesses are strong and prosperous.
After several years of what might be described as “static” activity, the ERC has found its footing and is picking up steam, working hard to be the resource for Nevada County business owners. Hiring Mathew was just the start to moving the ERC forward, continuing to help local businesses find the resources needed to succeed in what has been a most difficult season.
The ERC continues to evolve to help owners meet many of the challenges businesses face today. The longevity of the organization speaks to its ability to meet the needs of the business community over time. Uniquely positioned, with a diverse board of directors from a variety of industry sectors, the ERC strives to be the resource for enterprises in today’s challenging business climate.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses across the board are experiencing unprecedented challenges. For example, manufacturing is currently suffering from supply chain interruptions, increased cost of those supplies and a shortage of qualified workers to meet demands while also facing changes in safety protocols and industry regulations.
UPCOMING MANUFACTURERS FORUM
To assist with some of those issues, the ERC is hosting a live event next Thursday, June 17, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Foothills Event Center in Grass Valley. The Manufacturers Forum is geared toward the manufacturing industry but is open to any business member interested in learning about current trends in manufacturing, resources available through state and other programs or for those who might find solace commiserating with other entrepreneurs navigating their way to success during these challenging times. Industry advisors will present information around current trends, free assistance available and, through the Sierra Business Council, aid that may be extended.
Utilizing a grant from the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), Mathew has also been meeting with owners of area manufacturers to offer no-cost-to-them help with OSHA and COVID-19 compliance, marketing, and website development and other critical areas to ensure the companies are complying with labor laws and safety requirements within the industry. More information about these programs will also be discussed at the Manufacturers Forum.
RSVP to attend the forum at [email protected].
ONLINE JOB FAIR
To assist with workforce issues, the ERC has teamed up with Chico State University to take part in online job fairs to help connect potential candidates with employer needs.
Mathew, in his role as Sierra Nevada Hospital Foundation (SNMHF) Board President, was also part of the team to develop the Nevada County Relief Fund (NCRF). NCRF is an excellent example of a variety of sectors coming together for the greater good of the entire community.
Area businesses applied for and have since received over a million dollars in distributed funds. A fifth round of funding was recently announced, and grant applications are currently being accepted. In speaking with area business owners, Mathew found many attribute the grant funds, along with PPP funds, as the difference between remaining solvent or closing shop over the last 15 months
The ERC is dedicated to the wellbeing of the local community. Monthly meetings are open to the public. To become involved, attend a meeting or for more information go to https://www.ncerc.org or write to [email protected].
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a freelancer writer in Nevada County. She writes a monthly column on behalf of the ERC.