Jose Mier is a Sun Valley, CA Business Owner.
For those of you who know me, you know I’m a big proponent of business in Sun Valley. Prior to all the restrictions imposed on us due to the current situation I sang the praises of Sun Valley business from restaurants to manufacturing. As we all know restaurants remain open only for takeout or delivery and “non-essential” businesses have closed their doors. People who are able to are working from home.
Manufacturing, much like the food industry is something that can’t be done from home. Physical space is needed to perform all the steps in the manufacturing process. However, what makes a business “essential?” The answer, despite proclamations from Sacramento, is unclear.
Governor Newsom in his executive order N-33-20 states that there are sixteen “critical infrastructure” areas that must remain open. Some of these include health care and food supply. A complete list is available here.
But the state of California has not actually classified which businesses by name within these infrastructure categories, meaning it may be up to the business itself to determine if it does fit. If, at some point in the future a business which has continued to operate is deemed non-essential, or not part of the critical infrastructure list, will it be subject to fines or other legal action by the state?
We have several manufacturing companies located in Sun Valley, including some which manufacture aerospace parts. Aerospace is one of the areas within the critical manufacturing sector. It would seem fairly obvious that these companies would be exempt from any closures which is some good news for business in Sun Valley.
Aviation is another critical sector and the Hollywood-Burbank Airport remains open although air travel is down 95% from pre-COVID days.
These are two glimmers of hope in a sea of uncertainty. Other manufacturing companies in Sun Valley may have to take a closer look to see if in some way they can include themselves in the list of critical infrastructure companies. An article the the JDSupra website asks the same question and suggests the companies may have to consult legal counsel to determine if it’s “safe” to continue operations in California at this time.
From my vantage point it seems like the shutdown will never end and that the regulations and orders are things which will prevent Sun Valley business from bouncing back. Once a law or order is in place it seems like it takes an inordinate amount of time for the law/order to be rescinded. Sun Valley business can’t wait much longer. The health of our economy and our lives are at stake.