Team of medical, business, and academic experts coordinate for roadmap to recovery

What’s next: Planning for re-entry

Even as saving lives remains a primary focus, plans for reopening our economy are underway. SLO County has assembled a team of medical, business and academic experts who will coordinate with REACH in assembling a roadmap for re-entry here on the Central Coast, CAO Wade Horton said during REACH’s Monday Townhall webinar. 

Reopening will “not be a light switch,” SLO Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein noted, but more likely a gradual lifting of restrictions and recommendations driven by public health considerations. “We want to avoid having done all this for naught.” A plan should be ready for public review within a few weeks. 

Also on Monday’s Townhall call:

State Sen. Bill Monning on the deep impacts of COVID-19 on the proposed $215 billion state budget, projections that state revenue could drop by half, emergency legislation to fund schools and efforts to draw up a status-quo budget for passage in June. 


Kris Yetter, Promega Biosciences President and REACH Board member, on Promega’s work in producing COVID-19 test kits and the supply chain problems holding back production globally.

Watch video of the Townhall, then dive into some reads on what reopening may look like: 

American Enterprise Institute: A road map to reopening

McKinsey & Co.: COVID-19: Implications for business

MIT Tech Review: Stop covid or save the economy? We can do both

NY Times: Cities that went all in on social distancing in 1918 emerged stronger for it

Task forces jump in to support SBDC and small businesses

The Cal Poly Small Business Development Center lies at the nexus of the exploding demand for small business support and relief. To help boost the SBDC’s impact, REACH brought together a team of private and public sector leaders to help build out a network of professionals who can advise business owners and managers as they navigate the many options ahead.

Under the guidance of SBDC Director Judy Mahan and with leadership support from Collaboration LLC Founder Michael Gunther, task forces of professionals in accounting, human resources, SBA lending and online business transition are now up and running.

Watch Mahan break down the options in a SLO Chamber webinar

Reach out to her by email

Find resources online 

Centralized website launches as first step in recovery plan

REACH joined SLO County in kicking off economic relief and recovery for the many businesses and households feeling the sweeping impacts of COVID-19.

A first step is the launch of, a one-stop website that streamlines access to resources including government aid, job opportunities and more. The website and future efforts are being coordinated in concert with a network of partners in business, government, education and nonprofits.

“We are one region, and we need to have one united voice, one coordinated response to the significant challenges facing the lives and livelihood of the people of the Central Coast,” said REACH CEO Melissa James. “The first of many actions of this coalition is to bring access to economic relief resources all in one place.”

Read more

Watch the briefing

Statewide partnerships in action

REACH continues to work with our partners across California to amplify our voice at the state and federal level. 

REACH signed a letter with other members of the REAL Coalition (Regional Economic Association Leaders of California) petitioning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to expand the CARES Act to nonprofit 501(c)(4) and (c)(6) organizations to help Chambers of Commerce and similar partners working to support our community health and wellbeing. Read the letter. 

California Forward, a nonprofit leading a charge for sustainable growth of which REACH is a member, published a viewpoint making the case for an equitable rebuilding of the state’s economy. Read the viewpoint on CalMatters.

REACH joined other partners in the California Economic Summit in signing a letter of support for the Regions Rise Together grant program (AB 3205), which would help regions rebuild a more inclusive economy with more economic resilience for all residents.

Townhall talk emphasizes resilience

Our regional economy has the fundamentals to emerge from this temporary economic shutdown and see recovery by third or fourth quarter, Beacon Economics Founder Chris Thornberg said in REACH’s third weekly regional leader call last week.

But fiscal sustainability is paramount. “Expect a long, slow climb out,” said Mindbody CEO Rick Stollmeyer, a REACH Founders Circle member, who shared his thinking on managing through the COVID-19 induced economic impacts. “Get ahead of it, run your scenarios and pick the most likely one.”

Watch video of the townhall

Read the Beacon forecast