The Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) is hard at work informing local economic development leaders and public officials on the current and potential impacts of COVID-19. Through assessing the impacts of the virus, the Center for Regional Analysis is informing decisionmakers on how to diminish the severity of these impacts and support economic recovery once the crisis is under control.
”We have three primary roles,” said director of the Center for Regional Analysis Terry Clower. “No. 1, collect, organize, and convey available data in a useful, concise format; No. 2, offer our insights and knowledge on the structure of the regional economy that allows government and businesses to better see the breadth and magnitude of the economic impacts of business disruptions; and, No. 3, bring to bear our experience and expertise in promoting business development in the economic recovery phase of this crisis.”
As the virus continues to ravage much of the country, the Center for Regional Analysis is providing real-world assessments for leaders and decisionmakers.
“Our focus has been to provide actionable data and information to decisionmakers without getting caught up in public pronouncements projecting specific impact assessments,” said Clower. “In any crisis, be it financial, natural disaster, or health-related, especially a crisis that emerges with such rapidity that we cannot rely on usual sources of data about local economic performance, our goal is to clearly state to decisionmakers what we know and don't know, and what we can reasonably forecast.”
While we ride out the crisis, it is important to look forward. Clower has some advice on how to respond when the community safely opens back up.
“The impacts of business disruptions will cascade across industry sectors the longer this goes on,” he said. “However, the longer the restrictions on movement last, the more we will see businesses adapt to changing and emerging opportunities.
“So, at this point, the impacts are exacerbated by the shock to the system—this crisis took hold in less than one month. A key to our success in recovering from this crisis will be to support the re-opening of surviving businesses and facilitate the creation of new enterprises who will fill the gaps left by those businesses that fail.”