The spread of COVID-19 is one of the greatest public health and economic challenges that our country has ever faced. This is truly an unprecedented time. As offices, stores and restaurants closed and consumers and employees stayed home, American businesses, our workforce and our nation’s economy have been severely disrupted.
The World Economic Forum covered a recent report published by McKinsey & Company on the global economic impact of COVID-19; according to the report, recovery could take three years and possibly longer for the travel and hospitality industries that were hit hardest. While most of America has been impacted, some states or regions in the U.S. that were severely impacted by the coronavirus will likely face greater challenges to get their local economy back up and running. The Brookings Institute recently published a list of communities that will face the hardest economic recovery from COVID-19.
As we forge a new reality, steps will need to be taken to recover from the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and workforce in our communities, states and nationwide. Preparing for that challenge now will be key in our ability to move forward swiftly towards economic recovery.
While the road ahead is uncertain, many government officials, organizations, associations think tanks, academics, economists and industry experts have already begun sharing ideas on steps that our country can take now to prepare our businesses, industries and workforce for recovery. In this month’s edition we will hear from some of these individuals on ways to restart our nation’s economic engine.
As some states begin to reopen and we begin taking steps to get Americans back to work, the health and safety of the workforce must be prioritized. That may mean testing employees, reimaging office spaces and putting new safety guidelines into place. Finding the appropriate balance between managing public health and safety and reopening the economy will be key. We’ll also need to continue providing aid for small businesses.
This is an unprecedented challenge for our country, but Americans are resilient, and we will overcome it. Strengthening the economy and our workforce must be a priority as we look ahead to the future.
–Gloria Story Dittus, Chairman, Story Partners