Economic Development Collaborative Releases Profile of COVID-19, Community, Business, Nonprofit and Worker Impacts in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties
The report will serve to inform an inclusive and equitable economic recovery across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties
CAMARILLO, Calif. – The Economic Development Collaborative (EDC) and the Regional Small Business Development Center Networks of California (SBDC) released a commissioned study titled, “Profile of COVID-19, Community, Business, Nonprofit and Worker Impacts: Informing an Inclusive and Equitable Economic Recovery in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.”
Conducted by Dr. Jamshid Damooei, Professor of Economics at California Lutheran University, the profile provides documentation of the level of vulnerability due to the pandemic of each of the 45 zip code areas in the two counties, enabling local organizations to understand where its most urgent to concentrate small business services.
Prior to the profile’s release, business service providers did not have a detailed account of county impacts by industry sector, community, or neighborhood. The full 287-page report produced many illuminating insights including the following:
- 44.6% of all residents in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties are living in highly vulnerable communities with low employment, high rates of poverty, limited access to social and economic amenities, as well as government and community services.
- Looking specifically at nonprofit organization capacity, the research shows that 76% of all nonprofits in Ventura County and 64% in Santa Barbara are themselves very small employers and especially vulnerable to the disruptions of the pandemic. This compounds our concerns for businesses and residents in our high-risk communities, given that these communities are extremely dependent on these nonprofits for service and support.
“The research confirmed one of our largest concerns,” stated Bruce Stenslie, EDC President and CEO. “Recovery is especially slow for low-income workers and small businesses, with the barriers to recovery most acute for businesses with fewer than 20 employees, across all neighborhoods, regardless of economic conditions. This creates even greater urgency for pushing out small business services as a lifeline for recovery.”
The report not only supports the careful and informed targeting of business services, but it will also be useful for a broad array of social and economic programs regionally.
To learn more, read the full study.
For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact the EDC’s local media liaison, Lexie Smith, at Lexie@theprbarinc.com.
About the Economic Development Collaborative
A private nonprofit, the Economic Development Collaborative was founded in 1996 with funding from the County of Ventura, the 10 cities in the county and key private-sector companies to provide a pathway to business growth, economic prosperity and high quality of life for all.
Today, in partnership with the Small Business Development Center, the EDC is a regional asset for economic vitality in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, giving businesses, community partners and civic leaders the resources they need to succeed. By leveraging public and private funds, the EDC has become a key player in delivering business consulting, funding and strategic initiatives that support the region.