The Golden State, which performed some of the strictest lockdown measures in the nation since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, completely reopened as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday.
The climb out of lockdown coincided with a Monday report by Bloomberg that recognized California as the No. 1 economy in the nation, pointing to the pandemic as a reason for its increased GDP, job creation, and rise in household incomes.
"If anything, COVID-19 accelerated California's record productivity," the report announced, continuing that the state defied critics who often maintain the state's methods are "bad for business."
The report was cited by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Rep. Ted Lieu, and MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough.
"Thank you to the people of California for powering CA to the #1 state economy," Lieu stated in a tweet. "California is moving forward because most Californians believe in science and don’t wake up every day trying to own the libs. We have better things to do."
However, some Californians are doubtful of the boom trickling down to them.
"The California economy is No. 1 in the country? I can't believe that," announced Terry Rapoza, a resident of Redding, vocal regarding his opposition to the state lockdown orders. "That's hard to believe because I know that a lot of vacation spots, a lot of places are still shut down. I know a lot of businesses have left."
Yorba Linda Mayor Peggy Huang said she wasn't surprised by the state's tough economic statistics yet said the data is likely skewed due to the overwhelming attendance of California's innovative industries, like Big Tech.
"We're very diverse, given you have very strong agriculture to very strong aerospace," said Huang, a Republican. "Silicon Valley is constantly putting out innovative companies. And I think that might be one of the reasons why you can see the diverse economy help keep the GDP and what these figures show."
Huang continued: "For California, a state that's heavily dependent on capital gains tax, it's gonna look really good ... But it doesn't go down to the lower people, which is why the people in Silicon Valley are hitting it rich. They're doing really well. But the people on Main Street, the Mom and Pops on Main Street, are not."
Huang explained that her city, which lies approximately 35 miles outside of Los Angeles, has a 4.9% retail vacancy rate, and the labor shortage has been hard on local businesses as they try to return to normal.
Steve Knauf, who owns Steve’s Sportsmans Cafe in Mariposa, said finding workers has been a struggle for many restaurants and local retail shops.
"We can't find people (to work)," Knauf said.