Economy and Jobs

Some Economic Insights about Northern Colorado

Recently, I was invited to brief a bank board about Northern Colorado Prospers and my perspectives on where the economy is headed as we try to climb out of the Covid-hole. A PDF copy of my PowerPoint presentation can be found here.

In the middle of the presentation and in the ‘bonus slides’ section at the end you’ll find some interesting data. Some of it is unsurprising: initial unemployment claims filings soared mid-March through mid-April. The economic downturn was widespread but part...

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An Eye on the Long View

It’s hard to focus on far away tomorrow when today is a hot mess. The economic disruption caused by the government shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has us focused on the here and now. Who can think about swimming the English Channel when they’re dog paddling to keep their head above water in their backyard pool?

Even so, Chamber leaders are looking ahead five years. The Chamber is in Year 4 of the five-year strategic initiative called Northern Colorado Prospers (NCP).  NCP h...

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America is a Gift

Happy belated 4th of July! I hope you had a great weekend. For my part, I enjoyed a quiet weekend that included grilling and a hike.

More than I should have, I also enjoyed watching video clips of alarmed newscasters in places like Los Angeles showing massive displays of illegal fireworks going off. People were going to celebrate their country in their own way regardless of what some state and local governments had to say about it. (Note to governors and mayors all across the nation: You can...

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Re-igniting the Economy and Equality of Economic Opportunity

I want to cover a couple of economic issues with this post: re-igniting the regional economy and equality of economic opportunity.

Regarding the first, you may have seen the recent story in BizWest titled “Economic developers draft plan to reignite business recovery.” It’s about a coordinated effort on the part of chambers and economic developers in the region to understand what happened to the economy due to the public health shutdown of the economy. Further, we are exploring what can ...

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Making a Better Community

Our ability to look forward pulls us into the future and picks us up when we’ve been knocked down.

The past several months has put all that to test. The extended public health response to the novel coronavirus has left a lot of economic rubble. We’re looking up from the bottom of a deep hole…but now we’re starting to see good economic news:

A V-shaped economic recovery looked unlikely but now the numbers are shooting up.
Last Friday's unemployment report showed that 2.5 mill...

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Covid Crankiness and Being a Person of Good Deeds and Good Cheer

There’s a story in today’s Wall Street Journal that starts out like this: “The U.S. economy could take the better part of a decade to fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns, a U.S. budget agency said, as a series of surveys pointed to continuing weakness in global manufacturing.”

Oh great, short-term losses and indignities of the COVID-19 and now this!

The public health response to the pandemic threat helped tank the economy. Now we have a lot of work in ...

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Thoughts on the Economic Impact to the Fort Collins Area of the Shutdown

The Board of Directors of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce held its first-ever virtual Board Retreat yesterday. A lot of topics were covered including reopening businesses and rebuilding the economy. Here are observations I shared with directors about how the public health shutdown will economically impact the greater Fort Collins area:

Lack of vaccine = a cautious public = reduced economic activity = slower economic recovery (a Nike swoosh instead of a “V” recovery). An 80% ec...

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Every Public Official is an Economic Developer Now

I hope you and your families are doing well. All of us who experienced the COVID-19 pandemic panic will remember this for the rest of our lives.

While this has been a significant health event, one that has yet to run its course, it remains to be seen whether this was an epic health crisis or a bad flu season. Either way, the lack of ‘herd immunity’ and a vaccine spurred public health officials and many elected officials to take drastic measures including ordering the closure of ‘non-ess...

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Small Businesses Finding a Way Forward

Yesterday a good article was published on the Harvard Business Review site with insights on small businesses and the COVID-19 crisis along with some recommendations. The article is titled A Way Forward for Small Businesses by Bartik, Bertrand, Cullen, Glaeser, Luca, and Stanton.

The article is worth a read and here are a few excerpts.

In detail the authors offer five recommendations for navigating the current crisis, but here’s the quick list:

Don’t rush your decisions, but do mak...

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We are All in this Together, Six Feet Apart

Dear Members,

You all continue to impress me with your humanity, engagement and perseverance during a very difficult time. Our Chamber team has tried to reach all of you via email and phone. Those we’ve been able to talk with are appreciative of the personal contact and the chance to visit with a friendly voice. Same with us. The stay-at-home order is isolating, and we miss being with you in person.

The abruptness of the economic shutdown of business by government has left everyone scram...

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