Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce shares 2021 economic outlook

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – On Friday, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce held its 2021 economic outlook with audio system from the Metropolis of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County and the Federal Reserve Financial institution of Richmond.

Tom Barkin, President and CEO on the Federal Reserve Financial institution of Richmond, was the primary speaker on the occasion who mentioned final yr’s economic system, the place they nonetheless noticed spending in 2020, and the unemployment fee.

Barkin stated we’re in the midst of the primary third of the yr, and that it’s going to be bumpy with extra COVID instances and funky climate that may dampen spending. However he stated the latest fiscal bundle ought to present a useful backstop for a client base.

He stated with much more shoppers saving cash this yr, the second third of the yr ought to brighten for companies.

“With the vaccine and hotter climate, I count on companies to begin to attempt to return to extra regular operations and you recognize those that should not beneath authorities constraints are possible to do this in a wave,” Barkin stated. “I can think about a couple of high-profile firm’s elevating their hand in bringing people again to work.”

Brian Shull, government director of Harrisonburg Financial Improvement, and Casey Armstrong with Rockingham County each additionally introduced on native unemployment, enterprise developments and tax loss.

“The town misplaced about half one million over that one yr February 2020 to February 2021 in gross sales tax,” Shull stated. “However should you add the three taxes collectively meals tax, lodging tax, and gross sales tax we’ve misplaced about $5,000,000.”

Transferring to unemployment, Shull stated, this time final yr 67,500 individuals had been employed within the metropolis and county. He stated by Could about 9,000 jobs had been misplaced however 4,000 had been recovered by October 2020

The county additionally being hit exhausting, Armstrong additionally stated there was roughly a 30% decline in meals tax final yr than there was in 2019.

Armstrong and Shull each stated that group leaders are taking a look at methods this yr to supply financial aid and inexpensive housing within the space.

Copyright 2021 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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