In short, our government is “smaller” than most and is a relative low “welfare” county; the BriarPatch is listed among the top 20 employers along with Grass Valley Group; wine grapes eclipse timber as an agricultural crop; and the ski industry (often downplayed in our western County) is a major economic engine.
My wife and I read this report closely and observed how it dovetails with the growth of our small business — Sierra FoodWineArt magazine — which is promoting many of these elements. A profile on the BriarPatch turning 35 years old is here.
The County Economic Resource Council ought to look closely at this report and ask if it is focusing on the right elements for economic development — or too stuck in the past.
“As part of Nevada County’s budget process, a County profile was created this year. Seven counties (Butte, El Dorado, Mendocino, Napa, Placer, Sutter, and Tehama) were selected for comparison purposes.
“The counties share characteristics, including rural geography, close to an urban center, demographics, and size. The intent of the report is to provide insight into Nevada County’s unique community, social, geographic, and demographic environment.
“The report includes information on Nevada County’s health and wellness, government, criminal justice and much more. The full report can be found here.
•County staff per 1000 residents is 7.9 — the lowest of eight counties except for Placer.
•Nevada County continues to be a relatively low “welfare” county in comparison with most of its central valley and north state counterparts.
•Our county’s total taxable sales are the lowest, except for Tehema County.
•The total housing vacancy rate is 21 percent, the highest of all the comparison counties.
•Wine grapes have eclipsed timber as a top agriculture crop.
•Nevada County’s top employers include the County, Sugar Bowl and Tahoe Forest Hospital, among others.
•BriarPatch Co-op also is among the top 20 employers — along with Grass Valley Group and K-mart.
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