What is the Monterey County Business Council?

As the leading business organization in the county, Monterey County Business Council (MCBC) is dedicated to promoting economic development and business growth in the region. Our organization is committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive business community that encourages innovation and drives economic prosperity.

The Monterey County Business Council offers a variety of programs designed to promote economic development and support businesses throughout the region. Our programs include events, workshops, business support, procurement support, and networking opportunities that bring together business leaders, elected officials, and other stakeholders to discuss key issues and promote collaboration in Monterey County.

Meet the Team

Paul Farmer

Chief Operations Officer

(831) 216-3019


Paul Farmer has been a longtime business leader in the Salinas Valley and served as CEO of the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce for ten years. In 2022, Paul became the COO of the Monterey County Business Council, where he developed and oversees the Building Business Back program to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Paul’s professional background includes working in high-tech in Silicon Valley and internationally, as well as being a small business owner in Monterey County.

Personally, Paul loves to travel and is fluent in several languages. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Pomona College as well as multiple professional certifications.

Jesus Escutia

Program Manager

(831) 216-3013


Originally from Soledad, Jesus has lived throughout California. From Fresno to Sacramento, to finally settling in Salinas. Jesus’ experience spans a variety of industries, from construction to staffing to management. His current position, Program Manager for the Building Business Back program, helps local entrepreneurs and businesses access resources, funding and support. Jesus is passionate about his role and is grateful to be in a position where he can contribute to the community. Jesus and his wife have built an amazing family with their two beautiful children.

Jose Luis Barajas

Program Analyst

(831) 216-1300


Jose Luis, originally from Michoacan, Mexico and a resident of Salinas, is active in community events and organizations, having attended local schools and coming from a family with a 15-year business in East Salinas. As a Program Analyst at the Monterey County Business Council, he drives growth and inclusion initiatives, including the African American Business Summit, LadyBoss: Women Mean Business, and El Sueño Americano con Su ITIN. He is a member of the Steering Committee for the City of Salinas General Plan Update, advocating for fair development, and serves as Chair on the Measure E Oversight Committee which oversees approximately $18 million in annual tax revenue for Salinas. In addition, Jose Luis serves on the Housing Advisory Committee for Monterey County and as President of the Salinas Valley Young Professionals, where he leads efforts to empower young professionals in the Salinas Valley with the relationships, education and awareness needed to be a leader and make an impact. Jose Luis also serves on the Board of Directors for Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations, advocating for LGBTQIA2S+ rights.