Back to Business Ad Hoc Committee
Background and Analysis:
At a special meeting of Friday, March 22, 2020, the Beaumont City Council created an ad hoc committee tasked to develop a program to help guide the community toward economic recovery required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic shut-down. Ad hoc committee members are Mayor Rey Santos and Councilmember Julio Martinez.
The ad hoc committee began actively working on the project in conjunction with a City staff support team that was comprised of employees from the Economic Development, Public Information, Police, and Human Resources departments.
Ad hoc committee members established five objectives for the effort as follows:
- Provide a basis of understanding for where the local business community is now,
- Identify where the business community is going,
- Establish where businesses are in the continuum of the State’s recovery plan,
- Identify what businesses need in order to get started or get back to normal, and
- Identify how the City of Beaumont might facilitate reopening local businesses.
Additionally, the ad hoc committee titled this effort the “Beaumont – Back to Business Program.”
Committee efforts were comprehensive and included a proactive outreach effort to local businesses, the general public, and local labor groups. Separate surveys were conducted for the business community and for the general public. The business survey was designed to find out how familiar businesses were with the State and County recovery plans and related guidance, whether businesses had pursued and/or received financial assistance, and whether they planned to apply for financial assistance. The general public survey was designed to find out how comfortable citizens were with getting back to business as usual and what businesses might do to make them feel confident to patronize their establishments.
In total, there were 42 responses to the business survey which represents approximately 8 percent of the City’s brick and mortar establishments, and 226 responses to the citizen survey.
In addition to the business surveys, nearly 200 of Beaumont’s businesses were contacted by ad hoc committee members, Economic Development and Police Department staff. Through these contacts, the “Beaumont – Back to Business” program was explained, businesses were invited to provide feedback and encouraged to fill out the business survey.
A total of 226 surveys were completed by members of the general public. The survey was structured so that responses from the Solera and Four Seasons communities could be segregated from the general public in order to determine if there were any significant deviation between the senior population and the population as a whole.
City staff was able to identify 12 labor groups that represent Beaumont’s local work force. Each labor group was contacted to identify key labor issues and acceptable list strategies to mitigate health and safety concerns. A guidance document was developed and submitted back to the labor groups for a final review, which has been completed.