Where I Stand: Let’s help businesses thrive in a post-COVID world

By Ted Gaines

State Board of Equalization

Is California’s economy recovering from COVID or not? Recent jobs numbers don’t help answer that question. In May, California added nearly 105,000 jobs, the fourth straight month adding more than 100,000. That is certainly strong job growth by historic state standards. But California has gained back only about 52 percent of the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic, far below the national average of 66 percent.

What is clear, though, is that jobs themselves, more than the stock market or trade deficits or interest rates, are the primary measure of a healthy economy to most people. A surging NASDAQ stock exchange means little to those who can’t afford to put food on the table. As that 52 percent number indicates, California needs more jobs urgently and we should celebrate and support the entrepreneurs who will make that happen.

The Golden State has around 3.5 million businesses, many of them small,…

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