Bryan Starr Presents on the State of Business, Coronavirus Response to Irvine City Council

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Main News Photo

Bryan Starr, President and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber, presented on the state of business in Irvine to the Irvine City Council.

The Oct. 27 presentation, made by telephone in consideration of COVID-19 safety measures, covered Irvine’s workforce, businesses that are doing well despite the crisis.

Starr mentioned Edwards Lifesciences, Johnson & Johnson, Masimo, Medtronix, and others, which are developing COVID-related technology from testing, monitoring, and PPE, to vaccines.

“Irvine is leading the way for the state of California when it comes to dealing with how we move forward through COVID,” he said.

The hotel and tourism industry and small businesses are most at risk for revenue reduction or permanently closing. However, with approximately 276,000 employees in Irvine, less than 1% have been permanently laid off since March this year, according to the California Employment Develop Department WARN Notices.

“That speaks to the resiliency of this community, and the fact that we have 21st-century jobs that are on the frontline, even in a pandemic, have been able to sustain themselves,” Starr said. “That’s a position of strength for us as a community.”

Starr acknowledged that although every job lost is a misfortune, the relatively small number of them is a testament to the Irvine Master Plan, which well-positioned the city to weather crises.

During his presentation, Starr reviewed measures the Chamber has implemented to help businesses mitigate the Coronavirus crisis's effects and navigate recovery resources, including an Emergency Business Resource & Recovery web page, a Coronavirus Community Response newsletter, and the Celebrate Resilience Award event as part of a community resiliency campaign. A City/Chamber partnership included outreach to more than 21,000 Irvine businesses, guiding them to access local and federal financial assistance programs.

Starr credited community partnerships among city management, business, academia, and nonprofits for how Irvine will emerge from the Coronavirus crisis successfully.

Among other topics covered during the City Council meeting, emergency response personnel provided a review of emergency response to the Irvine fire that began on Oct. 26, burning several acres, and that threatened the north-eastern residential portion of the city.

“The fact that we lost no structures is amazing. Everyone came together in amazing fashion,” Starr said of the exemplary response made by the Irvine City Council and emergency services.


Category: Business News, Chamber News, Irvine News