2020 A Year in Review
As we rang in the new year, the economy was strong, and unemployment was at an all-time low. It seemed like we were on track for another year of growth. But the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic brought both health implications and serious economic ones. While the challenges have been many, there are still bright spots in our community worth noting.
In the early days of the shutdown, SCVEDC launched a webinar series to allow businesses to share their first-hand experience on a range of topics, such as getting essential workers back to work safely following new protocols, and how to engage and support employees now working remotely. These live webinars featured panels of industry leaders for knowledge sharing and yes, some commiseration. Revisit them here: www.scvedc.org/scalingup
SCVEDC also hosted economic update webinars in lieu of our annual Economic Outlook Forecast event. Our economist, Dr. Mark Schniepp concluded the series in September with his revised forecast. He was joined by geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan and CBRE’s Director of Research and Thought Leadership, Eric Willet, who discussed commercial office trends and the future of work. Watch the updated Economic Outlook Forecast here: www.scvedc.org/outlook
Company Growth and Expansion Continued
Despite the abrupt economic downturn in the second quarter, several Santa Clarita Valley companies expanded including Lief Labs, LA North Studios, 24/7 Events, and Triscenic.
New companies also relocated to SCV. Two new Amazon fulfillment centers opened creating hundreds of new jobs, along with new biotech companies including a COVID-19 testing lab, Nusano, a cancer research lab, and the BrainStim Center treating depression and anxiety. In the manufacturing sector Spencer Aerospace, Reidel Communications, and DrinkPAK arrived on the scene.
SCV Companies at the Forefront of COVID-Fighting Technology
Several SCV businesses rose to the challenge of tackling COVID-19 through innovation: P3 Company expanded operations and began manufacturing much-needed PPE for frontline workers. Ellume pivoted their flu testing technologies to create a rapid COVID antigen test, and Applied Companies, UVDI and UVR, companies at the forefront of sanitation and air filtration technology in hospitals, airplanes and water treatment facilities, began conversations with local officials on how to implement their products in classrooms, workplaces and public places to get people back to normal safely, and more rapidly.
Filming is Back and Stronger than Ever
After an industry-wide pandemic shutdown affecting film and television productions and thousands of workers, filming is finally back and SCV sound stages are filling quickly. New sound stages include the expansion of Santa Clarita Studios, the addition of LA North Studios in Valencia Industrial Center, and their recent expansion into The Center at Needham Ranch, bringing the region’s sound stage count to over 40.
Construction Will Move Us Out of the Recession
The Santa Clarita Valley is growing, and that’s a good thing. According to Dr. Mark Schniepp of California Economic Forecast, new commercial and industrial development and construction will help spur our economic recovery. New development means more and better jobs for our residents and will help restore our strong economy.
Despite the challenges of 2020, we are fortunate to live in a community that cares about supporting businesses and places an emphasis on ensuring a high quality of life for its residents. As we move into 2021, I believe there is much to be optimistic about.
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