Truckee, CA…State leaders announced Sierra Business Council as the Fiscal Agent and Regional Convener for the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) Eastern Sierra Region, which includes Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Alpine, Inyo, and Mono counties.
CERF is a new state initiative supporting innovative plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create good-paying, broadly-accessible jobs for all Californians.
In this role, Sierra Business Council will facilitate the Eastern Sierra’s initial CERF planning phase and will receive $5 million to develop the region’s roadmaps, including a strategy and recommended series of investments. Following this planning phase, the program’s implementation phase will begin in 2023 and provide $500 million statewide to fund projects identified by a diverse High Road Transition Council (HRTC) and a series of topical committees.
Sierra Business Council’s (SBC) goal for the Eastern Sierra CERF Region is to develop a regional economic recovery plan and prioritized investment schedule that will generate sustainable high-road jobs. SBC will build upon the skills and knowledge of local organizations and on-going regional processes through an inclusive, equitable, transparent, multi-lingual, data-informed planning process. The planning process will advance equity in the region by focusing on regional stakeholders, with special emphasis on historically marginalized groups in disinvested communities.
Sierra Business Council will be partnering on the implementation of CERF program priorities with the Central Sierra Economic Development District, Mother Lode Job Training Center, Eastern Sierra Council of Governments, and Eastern Sierra Business Resource Center.
“The seven counties within the Eastern Sierra CERF Region have all been impacted by the economic shifts generated by climate change and wildfire, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the housing crisis,” says Erika Harvey, Sierra Business Council’s director of economic empowerment and CERF team lead. “This process will catalyze a shift in our regional economy to new industry, create opportunities for adaptation, build a culture of collaboration, and create newfound prosperity for our residents.”
“Sierra Business Council would like to express our sincere gratitude to all Eastern Sierra regional stakeholders who supported this extensive application process,” says Sierra Business Council’s president, Steve Frisch. “Thank you for your hard work, critical feedback, engagement, collaboration, and commitment to promoting a sustainable and equitable recovery from the economic distress of COVID-19. Together, we will support new plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create high-quality, broadly accessible jobs for all Californians.”
The 24-county Sierra Nevada region is divided into four CERF regions: the North State, the Sacramento area, Kern County, and the Eastern Sierra. Sierra Business Council plans to work closely with the regional conveners and fiscal agents responsible for the other regions within the Sierra Nevada, including the North State Planning and Development Collective – Chico State Enterprises and the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment in the North State region and Valley Vision, Inc. in the Sacramento region, to conduct climate impact, economic, and labor market research.
To sign up for Eastern Sierra CERF-specific alerts from Sierra Business Council, please click here:
About Sierra Business Council
Sierra Business Council is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves the economic, environmental, and social needs of the Sierra Nevada region, catalyzing innovative solutions and increasing resilience throughout the Sierra. We work to support strong local economies and small businesses, increase regional resilience to climate change, and elevate rural issues in the Sierra. Our on-the-ground programs and projects, including the Sierra Small Business Development Center, Sierra Nevada Energy Watch, Sierra Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Partnership, and the Gold Country Broadband Consortium, are designed to bring proactive change to the Sierra.
More information on SBC’s impact can be found at sierrabusiness.org.
CERF was created by Senate Bill 162 and is administered by an interagency leadership team that includes the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). In response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 Budget included $600 million for CERF to ensure that California’s economy creates high-quality, family-supporting jobs, advances California’s climate agenda, and helps the state’s industries to build long term resilience against climate-caused and other economic disruptions.