As our nation and world continue to grapple with the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, East Bay EDA and its network of regional partners are working hard to respond to new realities gripping the regional economy. The Bay Area and California have been lauded for our efforts to flatten-the-curve and avoid some of the worst-case projections that were feared at the start of the shelter-in-place (SIP) orders issued last month, and we rightfully need to keep our attention on minimizing the potential spread of coronavirus in our communities. Yet as the economic toll of the pandemic continues to mount, we also must look ahead to position our region for recovery.
Last week, we launched the
East Bay Business Recovery Survey
to begin to quantify some of the economic impacts that businesses have been experiencing since the region-wide SIP was implemented. The initial results of this effort are sobering: slightly more than half of all businesses expect to lose more than 60% of their revenue over the next three months, and nearly one third estimate they will need to permanently close if the SIP lasts more than 2 months, as this will cripple cash flow and impede payment of rents and other expenses. Tens of thousands of residents have lost their jobs, severely disrupting their lives and further exposing the inequality between those who can work from home vs. those who do not have the ability and privilege to do so.
East Bay EDA’s leadership
will be convening with senior public health officials from Alameda and Contra Costa counties on April 23 to discuss the latest local developments related to COVID-19 and the myriad issues that need to be worked out so that more parts of our economy can open up again. It is a most timely topic for our region’s businesses, who have shared concerns about being able to weather additional costs and navigate forthcoming regulations designed to ensure the health and safety of workers and customers when more of them are able to reopen.