Newsom dissolves economic task force on coronavirus despite new round of business closures

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that he is dissolving the economic task force that was formed to provide guidance on coronavirus related issues, Politico reported.

The decision comes in spite of California’s new coronavirus restrictions, including business closures, which are sure to cause the sort of problems that the task force was created to address.

Newsom did not give a reason for ending the task force. However, he later announced the creation of the California Rebuilding Fund, which has the expressed purpose of helping small businesses obtain loans to get back up and running.

The task force

The Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, created in April, was comprised of several high-profile individuals.

It was co-chaired by Ann O’Leary, Newsom’s chief of staff, and former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer.

Other members included all four living governors of California, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Salesforce CEO March Benioff.

Disney’s Robert Iger was also on the task force but he resigned from the group following Newsom’s continued on theme parks this fall, including Disneyland.

The primary criticism of the group came from business leaders who said it lacked detailed planning needed to combat the various economic issues that have resulted from the coronavirus, according to Politico.

Recommendations

Politico reported that in the task force’s final report, it “advised the administration on rebuilding as quickly and safely as possible from the pandemic-induced recession,” and ” helped shape the state’s reopening guidelines,” according to Newsom’s office.

The task force suggested that it is necessary to “pursue inclusive regional strategies,” to “continue to support essential workers,” and to “expand support and provide flexibility to small businesses.”

The group also identified a number of problems that California will face including “the coming expiration of unemployment benefits like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, ongoing need for federal relief and the changes to life and work brought on by the rapid shift to telework.”

It said that these challenges “are especially severe for lower-income Californians who were disproportionately impacted by job losses in 2020, as well as small businesses that have gone through an entire year of unpredictability and lower revenues.”

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