Dear Cal Expo & State Fair Fans:
Like many business’s Cal Expo & State Fair have been hit hard during this COVID-19 pandemic. Cal Expo, which in a normal year hosts over 200 events, was forced to cancel nearly all of its events, and the 2020 State Fair, impacting over 800 seasonal workers and costing Cal Expo and estimated $16 million in revenue. The reality is Cal Expo will not be able to continue operating soon, and that is after making devastating cuts and issuing layoff notices.
Cal Expo, with its rich history, in agriculture education and innovative technology is also a regional and statewide partner in emergency preparedness and response during these extraordinary times of crisis. Cal Expo has generously partnered with California and other regional partners to be a COVID-19 testing site, a temporary site for homeless trailers, and a go-to partner during the state’s historic battle with catastrophic wildfires.
All this has been accomplished over the years with very little assistance from the state. As an independent state agency, Cal Expo does not receive operating funds from the State or qualify for traditional PPP loans or much of the federal assistance and resources that are given provided to small businesses and corporations to help weather these harsh economic times.
Without assistance, Cal Expo may be gone forever, and along with it, the traditions and customs and yearly showcasing of innovation that hundreds of thousands of Californians have grown to love. Along with that, hundreds of jobs that pay living wages will be lost, and Cal Expo’s regional economic impact will be missed, in a state and region that is already experiencing double-digit unemployment.
Cal Expo is #MoreThanAFair, we are a partner and a connection to the statewide community, and its cultural significance to California.
The Cal Expo & CA State Fair Team