California to spend $60 billion on stimulus projects in 2010 Economic Recovery Forum reveals

“We spent $18 billion last year in  California,” Jenifer Grutzius, chief  of staff, Governor’s California  Recovery Task Force told a large  crowd recently  at the 2010  Economy Recovery Forum at  Woodbury University.

“We have to use separate
computers to track the federal stimulus money coming to California, and this year we plan to spend $60 billion dollars, this despite the golden state’s $22 billion dollar state deficit,”  Grutzius said. “We have had to cut back on staff, which is why there only one – me – from the state Recovery Task Force. There is stimulus money coming, and small and large business should take advantage of that.”

Jennifer Grutzius and
Michael Landver, CDC, Sun Valley.

Grutzius advises the Administration and Task Force member on policy opportunities within the American Reinvestment adn Recovery Act of 2009. Prior to joining the Task Force, she was the assistant secretary for Economic Development at the California Businss, Transportatoin and HOusing Agency, and Grutzius previously served as an assistant Cabinet secretaryu in the Governor’s office.

Josie Marquez, LA County WIB
and Paul Audley, FilmLA, Inc

“We also have funds to help the economy,” said Josie Marque, executive director, Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board (WIB). “We plan to spend $60 million in 2010,  and I am resonsible for the administration of more than $32 million in Workforce Investment Act formula fundss and an additional $34 million in AMerican REcovery and Reinvestment funds.

Marquez is an active board member to the National Workforce Association and a is a member of the National Association of Workforce Boards and California Workforce Association.

She is a 13 year veteran Los Angeles County employee.

Other speakers included US Small Business Administration District Director Alberto G. Alverado, Los Angeles Office.

“I brought a half dozen representatives, and yes there is money for small business and loans, so now is the time to expand and hire more employees,” he said.

“The good news is the Box Office had a record year,” said Paul Audley, president, FilmLA, Inc., “But the bad news for Conan O’Brien is actually good news for TV prodouction business in Hollywood, because for every one hour of prime time drama shows shot in LA it spells 15o jobs and $15 million dollars a week.”

Hollywood Rebounds

On-location film, television and commercial production activities in Los Angeles have seen a 19 percent drop as recession, runaway production and lingering effect of contract dispute between management and actors took their toll on local productions.

Audley told the crowd, “Although 2009 has been a bumper year at the box office, the city still saw the steepest year-over-year decline since 1993 when the statistics became available. The production has been a major employer and key economic engine of the city, home to Hollywood and the related entertainment industries.”

FilmL.A. reports taht the hardest hit was feature film production, which had been steadily falling over much of the last decade as L.A. lost jobs to Canada and, increasingly, other states such as New Mexico, Louisiana and Michigan that offer tax credits and incentives to filmmakers.

The uptick wasn’t enough to keep features from falling 30 percent for the year, however. Feature films accounted for 4,976 permitted production days.

The master of ceremonis was Greg Krikorian, executive vice president of Business Life magazine.

Greg krikorian, Josie Marquez, Michael Landver at Economic Recovery Forum.

“Small business firms are the most reliable job creators we have, and they’re vital to our overall economic recovery,” Krikorian told the audience at Woodbury University, also a sponsor of the event.

“This forum gives us an outline of business toolst that are needed to create jobs and help lead our country back toward prosperity. Improving the state of our nation’s economy is critical,” said Krikorian.

Krikorian noted that the uncertainty over the economic impact of added taxes, health care reform, the cost of cap-and-trade and the unfriendly business environment are just a few of the factors causing small business to tighten their budgets and plans to expand.

For more about Business Life Magazine visit their site at: or their blog at SoCal Business Blog.

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