MARIN COUNTY -- The Marin Economic Forum, a private-public partnership aimed at enhancing Marin's economic vitality, received a $75,000 grant from the Marin Community Foundation. The grant will be allocated over two years to support a variety of programs.

"MCF is pleased that an organization like MEF has come to fruition," said foundation President and CEO Tom Peters, "and we are impressed by the strong support demonstrated by local business sponsors for an approach to our local economy that also emphasizes environmental and social outcomes."

Programs the grant will support include biennial updates to the Marin Economic Bulletin, which provides Marin-specific data and benchmarks;  continued work by MEF task forces focused on attracting and retaining businesses specific to key targeted industries; and interaction with local governments and public agencies to ensure clear, efficient and timely processes.

The first Marin Economic Bulletin was released at the end of October and included data, forecasts and analysis on categories such as incomes and spending, labor markets and price, real estate and financial markets and social and environmental factors affecting economic choices. Business attraction and retention efforts will focus on core technology industries, agri-tourism, health care and the built environment.

"As MEF nears the one-year mark, I am impressed with the dedication of our volunteer board, drawn from targeted industries all over the county," said Supervisor Judy Arnold, vice president of the MEF. "It is especially clear during challenging economic times such as these that we cannot achieve our local civic goals, including the environmental and social goals that we hold so dear here in Marin, without a thriving local economy."

The forum was started with an initial $150,000 from the county, and last year it pledged to match up what the group raised up to $150,000. In August, the county approved the $150,000 match after the forum raised $180,000, primarily from businesses needing consulting and large employers in Marin.