Friday, January 25, 2008

Solano EDC: Light Pierces Economic Cloud

Solano EDC: Light Pierces Economic Cloud
Solano Luncheon's Menu Offers Mix Of Optimism And Gloom
By Danny Bernardini/Staff Writer
Article Launched: 01/25/2008

Even during tough financial times, the Solano Economic Development Corporation found a reason to celebrate Thursday.

The Solano EDC held its 25th Annual Meeting in Fairfield, and the gathering offered both optimistic and doom-and-gloom predictions for 2008. Attended by around 300 members of the business community and local leaders, the luncheon featured a look back at 2007 and a peek ahead to the upcoming year.

Mike Ammann, executive director of Solano EDC, called 2008 a year of catching up on many projects started in the past two years. Large-scale expansions at Kaiser Permenante and Genentech in Vacaville were a few examples he gave regarding new facilities opening this year.

"2007 went by like that," Ammann said. "We really had a hot time. It was a lot of fun and a lot of activity."

Ammann then highlighted several aspects of all seven cities in Solano County including construction projects, economic draws and businesses. He said the next step is to brand a name that will be known throughout the Bay Area.

"We have a great community to sell," he said. "We want to get out and about in the Bay Area. When we come back next year, we'll have just as bright a story as this year."

Ammann gave way to guest speaker Sam Zuckerman, business writer with the San Francisco Chronicle. Zuckerman had a slightly different look at regional and state economic issues.

"When we start pontificating, we are often wrong," he said. "It's safe to say the state is in a recession. But I'm not a forecaster and don't know where we are headed. In fact, those making the predictions don't know either."

Zuckerman soon read what sounded like an eulogy for the economy, spouting off statistics indicating a rise in unemployment and a loss of sales-tax revenue. He did however, predict an upswing halfway through the year.

"It's hardly accurate to call Solano County a disaster area," Zuckerman said. "Even with those grim statistics."

Danny Bernardini can be reached at

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