Monday, February 7, 2011

$50,000 Syar grant a call to action

February 7th, 2011 02:05am
By Jenna V. Loceff, North Bay Business Journal Staff Reporter

SOLANO – Solano County’s seven cities and county government have always been strong supporters of the Economic Development Corporation, but the fiscal crisis has meant funding from public sector declined by about $100,000 for the 2010 calendar year.

Due to state budget cuts, public sector funds have been diminishing over the past couple years and now account for 25 percent of EDC revenue compared with 40 percent, which has been the norm.

The EDC started a capital campaign hoping to raise that $100,000 and last year Jim Syar of Syar Industries challenged the membership to match a $50,000 donation dollar for dollar to reach the EDC’s goal of raising that $100,000.

“We are thrilled to recognize Jim Syar and Syar Industries for their phenomenal support and contribution to Solano EDC,” said Michael Ammann, executive director of the EDC. “Like all economic development organizations in California today, Solano EDC faces financial hardships due to California’s budget crisis and economic challenges. Solano business and government partners have been strong supporters of EDC and recognize the critical role EDC plays in making first contacts with companies that might locate in this region. We have faced cuts of more than $100,000 in annual funding due to these cutbacks from government and private sources.”

But even during the worst recession in a generation, Solano EDC members stepped up with a $33,000 match. The Solano EDC “Cup is More Than Half Full Award” was created to mark this achievement and challenge the membership to “more than finish the job in 2011.”

The EDC staff and officers are taking steps to reduce costs, but with these steps come the hard decisions that will affect EDC’s ability to do the day-to-day work that is necessary to keep Solano County’s economic opportunities strong.

The fear is that reductions in activities by Solano EDC will result in less exposure at conferences, trade shows, one-on-one meetings, and in public relations/advertising expenditures.

Syar Industries is headquartered in Napa and is a leading producer of aggregate rock products and paving materials in Northern California.

Syar serves the construction industry from facilities in Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, and Contra Costa counties. Today, Syar operates nine asphalt paving material plants, four recycling facilities, and ten ready mix concrete batch plants.

Syar provided materials for the original construction of Marine World, towers on the Al Zampa Bridge and Benicia/Martinez Bridge, pavement of Curtola Parkway, the widening of Highway 37, the grading and excavating of the original Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Vallejo, and paving of nearly every street in Vallejo. The Syar Family has contributed to many community organizations, events and milestones.