Uniting for Recovery: A COVID-19 Economic Response Agenda
In March, a portion of the Missouri economy came to a sudden, intentional halt. As the public health crisis around COVID-19 arrived in Missouri, many businesses across the state had to dramatically alter their operations as Missourians adopted social distancing practices to help stop the spread of the disease. These necessary actions had a profound and negative impact across Missouri’s economy.
As the state continues to battle coronavirus and look to the future, the Missouri Chamber is releasing Uniting for Recovery: A COVID-19 Economic Response Agenda.
“First and foremost, Missouri must continue the fight against the threat posed by COVID-19. We need to do everything we can to support our health care industry and first responders who are serving on the front lines of this crisis. As we combat this pandemic, we must also take proactive steps to help our economy recover from the swift, severe damage that has been wrought by this pandemic,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The United for Recovery agenda is our effort to bring Missouri together behind a common-sense plan that is built on data and input from stakeholders across our state. We look forward to collaborating closely with Missouri leadership on this response as we work together to repair our economy, get Missourians back to work and protect against future threats.”
The Uniting for Recovery agenda is designed to work in parallel with the ongoing, influential Missouri 2030 initiative. The recovery agenda is built around proposed responses that can be enacted in three stages: Leading During Crisis, Strengthening Our Recovery and Protecting Our Future. It includes the results of a Missouri Chamber business impact poll illustrating the depth of the economic pain being felt in the state. For example, 68 percent of Missouri businesses expect to see revenue decline in 2020, with the average business forecasting a 27 percent revenue drop. Half of Missouri businesses expect to enact temporary layoffs this year, with 17 percent anticipating permanent layoffs. In addition, 15 percent of businesses expect to permanently close this year as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
“For those of us who have spent our careers working to improve Missouri’s economy, what we are facing right now is the challenge of a lifetime. There is no relevant historical guide for a recovery like this. That’s why the Missouri Chamber took on the challenge of conducting the research, bringing together the stakeholders and developing this United for Recovery plan,” Mehan said. “We feel strongly that our future is in our hands. We need to begin working on this recovery now to ensure that the economic pause caused by this crisis does not turn into a full stop for sections of our economy. We are ready to make this happen and show the world that Missouri has a resilient economy and has united behind the steps needed for a strong recovery.”