The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our lives and economy. As a result of disruptions that businesses have faced during the pandemic, we have seen record-high unemployment and permanent business closures. Until the coronavirus is under control and we can return to our normal lives before the pandemic, the impact on our economy and American families will only continue to worsen.
According to the Local Economic Impact Report published by Yelp in September 2020, more than 97,966 businesses have permanently closed during the pandemic. In a University of Southern California’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) study, projections show that net losses on U.S. GDP from the pandemic could be between $3 and $4 trillion over the next two years.
The struggling economy provides no shortage of challenges for our nation to overcome. At a time when American businesses and families are suffering and the country needs economic stimulus, government officials should prioritize opportunities that can help support U.S. industries and stimulate the economy. Long overdue investments in our nation’s infrastructure, for example, can help rebuild our outdated infrastructure system while creating new jobs in communities nationwide.
In addition to finding new opportunities to accelerate economic recovery and rebuild our country, economy and workforce during this difficult time, vaccine distribution will be the key to any return to normalcy. Until the world population is vaccinated, the virus will continue to spread and threaten our ability to fully recover, which is why we need a coordinated vaccine rollout system in place here in the U.S. and globally.
This month’s edition of Inside Story explores opportunities for economic growth and recovery, including infrastructure investments, as well as the need for an efficient vaccine distribution process to combat this public health crisis.
–Gloria Story Dittus, Chairman, Story Partners