San Diego Economic Advisory Group Set to Hold First Meeting

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Leaders from across the San Diego region will take the first steps Monday toward putting together a plan to restart the local economy heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, city and county elected officials announced the creation of an advisory group that will develop strategies for an eventual phased re-opening of San Diego's economy.

The San Diego Economic Recovery Advisory Group will begin meeting Monday to develop a framework for reopening the region for business, once it is deemed safe. The group consists of local "civic and business leaders,'' representing a variety of industries that can advise how best to safely reopen for business, and how to have the local economy thrive in a business environment so largely affected by COVID-19.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the advisory group is bi-partisan and bi-national with input from representatives from Tijuana, Mexico. The advisory group will work with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

“To use the stimulus funding effectively, to develop new programs that we need to both local, state or federal,” said Faulconer Friday. “And to create partnerships that deliver economic relief initiatives that will absolutely need to continue.”

The San Diego Economic Advisory Group plans to meet regularly over the coming weeks to develop strategies. At Monday’s meeting, the group will begin talks about which local businesses will reopen first.

The mayor and regional representatives have not given a timeline as to when shuttered businesses can safely open again to regular business.

"This group will not be focusing on the when, but more on the how,'' San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox said Friday. "We can't afford to blindly rush into this. We will only reopen when we are convinced that doing so will not endanger more lives.''

A similar group was established on the state level on Friday when Gov. Gavin Newsom tapped some of the country's biggest companies, labor unions, four former governors and other political allies to lead an economy task force.

The Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, with more than 90 members, Newsom said, will focus on reviving the economy in the nation's most populous state. More than 3 million of the state's nearly 40 million residents have filed for unemployment, and a recession has officially begun.

The announcement comes nearly a month after Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order that radically shifted the state's economy, forcing businesses to shut their doors, lay off workers or downsize their operations. And it follows Trump's announcement of a White House economic task force including dozens of business leaders.

NBC 7 will add updates to this story following the group’s first meeting Monday. Check back for new details later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

County Supervisor and Board Chairman Greg Cox announced the launch of the San Diego Economic Recovery Group that is charged with preparing the region for economic reactivation and recovery, reports NBC 7's Claudette Stefanian.
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