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 12 months’s financial 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 12 months, and that it’s going to be bumpy with extra COVID circumstances and funky climate that may dampen spending. However he stated the latest fiscal package deal ought to present a useful backstop for a shopper base.

He stated with much more customers saving cash this 12 months, the second third of the 12 months ought to brighten for companies.

“With the vaccine and hotter climate, I anticipate companies to begin to try to return to extra regular operations and you understand those that will not be underneath authorities constraints are probably to do this in a wave,” Barkin stated. “I can think about a couple of high-profile firm’s elevating their hand in bringing of us 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 1,000,000 over that one 12 months February 2020 to February 2021 in gross sales tax,” Shull stated. “However in case you add the three taxes collectively meals tax, lodging tax, and gross sales tax we’ve misplaced about $5,000,000.”

Shifting to unemployment, Shull stated, this time final 12 months 67,500 folks had been employed within the metropolis and county. He stated by Might about 9,000 jobs had been misplaced however 4,000 had been recovered by October 2020

The county additionally being hit arduous, Armstrong additionally stated there was roughly a 30% decline in meals tax final 12 months than there was in 2019.

Armstrong and Shull each stated that group leaders are taking a look at methods this 12 months to supply financial reduction and inexpensive housing within the space.

Copyright 2021 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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