Business leaders say collaboration key to Solano's future

Regional leaders in business and economics said that a continued synergy among industries and policymakers in Solano County will be crucial to maintaining its diversity of industries and continued growth.

"In these times, economic challenges have forced more people to work collaboratively," said Sandy Person, president of Solano Economic Development Corporation. "Solano County has been doing that for a long time. I think Solano County is doing it better."

[caption id="attachment_61421" align="alignright" width="360"] Sandy Person, Kevin Finger, Robert Eyler[/caption]

Speaking in advance of North Bay Business Journal's second-annual Impact Solano conference on Sept. 26 in Fairfield, Ms. Person and other conference speakers said the county's economy continues to evolve and encourage opportunities for growth while responding to a changed landscape following the worst periods of the economic recession.

Part of those efforts have included leveraging the assets of Solano County municipalities to attract companies across a variety of sectors, including biotechnology, energy and food processing.

Centrally located in what economic professionals call the Northern California Megaregion, Solano County sits at the intersection of several major freeways and railways and has a commercial port, Benicia.

"We're between the political powerhouse of Sacramento and the business powerhouses of San Francisco and Silicon Valley," Ms. Person said.

The county also has ample natural gas reserves and weather conditions that have allowed for wind-power developments that will soon exceed 1 gigawatt of annual electricity production -- enough to power approximately 1 million California homes.

Despite those assets, Solano's economy has not been immune to the effects of the recession. Construction, one of the largest among seven industry clusters tracked by the Solano EDC, has been particularly strained.

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