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Business Confidence Roller Coaster

It has been a wild ride for the local business community since the shelter-in-place order was announced by Governor Gavin Newsom in March. The uncertainty of the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on employer expectations for the next 12 months. See the latest Business Confidence Survey results by clicking HERE.

Jumbled numbers and chartsThe overall short-term economic impact of COVID-19 may not be as much of a plummet as feared. Though April’s unemployment rate in Shasta County ballooned to 15.9%, many of those people do not consider themselves jobless, rather, temporarily laid off or furloughed until their business reopens. In the meantime, many people in that situation are receiving more money through unemployment than they were bringing home while employed. Add to that the 85% of the workforce that had not been adversely affected by the pandemic, yet likely received a stimulus check from Uncle Sam, and you have the makings of a brief boost in consumer spending in service, retail, and restaurants in the Redding area. Of course, having your employees making more at home than they would on the job has also created challenges for local employers in need of beefing up their workforce to meet the sudden spike in demand for their goods or services. There is a government-backed financial incentive to stay home. This is mostly anecdotal, and I would guess that we must quickly get back to near normal in terms of reopening all types of businesses or many will begin to feel a real pinch as Paycheck Protection Program loans, and other loans run dry like the creeks of Shasta County in the summertime.
The Redding Chamber of Commerce is keeping up the strong advocacy efforts at all levels of government to keep the grand reopening moving as fast as possible.
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