Port Covid relief

Oakland is to receive economic relief Photo: Robert Campbell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 Oakland is to receive economic relief Photo: Robert Campbell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0
Industry Database

Californian ports are to benefit from US$250 million earmarked to help ports recover from Covid-19 losses.

The Port of Oakland will be one recipient of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s economic relief for ports in his latest proposed budget.

“These new funds will help ports, which are absolutely vital to the state’s economic strength and recovery going forward,” said Port of Oakland executive director, Danny Wan.

“When Oakland’s port flourishes and its business partners are doing well, together, we can support more than 84,000 jobs in the region and impact more than a million jobs across the country.”

Knock-on effect

Mr Wan is also Vice President of the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA).

He said that although trade has been booming for containerised ports, tourism and related businesses like restaurants and hotels on port property have been gutted by the pandemic.

California ports have survived despite those revenue losses from port tenants, however, ports need financial assistance.

Some of California’s ports’ revenue streams were cut in half due to the pandemic’s impacts on tourism and hospitality industries. Despite those major losses, California seaports have not received direct state or federal relief up to this point.

The Ports of Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco have business partners who rely on robust tourism, which in turn pays for port leases. With Covid-19 impacts, ports have had to defer many capital projects and dig into budget reserves to meet the financial consequences presented by the pandemic.

Funding relief will help fill the financial gap generated by losses at California ports due to the pandemic. The funding is from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also known as the Covid-19 Stimulus Package passed by Congress.

More information will be forthcoming when the Governor’s budget goes through the approval process in the state legislature next month.

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