When Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer joined the Board of Supervisors in 2021, our region was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many businesses were struggling. She immediately got to work on new ways to drive economic prosperity and inclusive growth. 

Supervisor Lawson-Remer co-authored a bipartisan proposal to ensure $30 million in federal relief dollars would be dedicated to supporting small businesses throughout the county that were disproportionately affected by the shutdowns during the pandemic. It helped more than 4,000 businesses keep their doors open, lights on, rents paid, and workers employed. 

She also wrote and passed a policy during the pandemic to support mom-and-pop landlords who were struggling financially because their tenants weren't working and unable to pay rent. The Supervisor's policy allowed them to pay their bills and keep the tenants housed. 

The pandemic showed that childcare is not just a child issue and it is not just a women's issue. Childcare is also an economic issue. It impacts our workforce and the ability of our region to be competitive. Unfortunately, one in eight childcare settings closed after the pandemic began. Supervisor Lawson-Remer authored and passed a policy to distribute $1 million to open new child care centers and expand quality childcare. Supervisor Lawson-Remer led the charge to create a new Child Care Blueprint for San Diego County as a way to expand the childcare workforce, build more capacity at existing facilities, and increase access to quality care. 

The cannabis industry in San Diego County is continuing to grow, but not equitably. Supervisor Lawson-Remer voted to develop a new cannabis permitting system that is inclusive of a social equity program to provide entrepreneurs from marginalized communities greater opportunities to secure a cannabis business operating permit. 

Supervisor Lawson-Remer has also championed the green tech and cleantech sectors because of the global green technology market that is projected to see a seven-fold increase over the next decade. Our County is now in a better position to leverage Green Economy opportunities. In the last three years, the County has established a team dedicated to economic development. Now the County, unlike in the past, is coordinating with regional business leaders on ways to support and drive economic development.

One example of the County's new approach to supporting business and economic growth is the Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOs) program to reduce start-up costs and barriers to entry for entrepreneurs who produce home-cooked meals from their own kitchens. County wide there are now 70 MEHKOs permitted, including 12 in District 3. According to the MEHKO Coalition 58% are women-owned and 70% are minority-owned. 

Actions to support businesses and economic development have been plentiful during her first three years on the Board of Supervisors, but there is more left to do until we truly achieve economic prosperity and inclusive growth countywide.

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