How is COVID-19 affecting Raleigh’s economy? Officials break down the math

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — New data released by the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau shows that coronavirus has already had more than a $36-million dollar impact on the local economy.

Downtown Raleigh has become a microcosm of the rest of the country with multiple businesses shutdown due to coronavirus concerns while others struggle to keep the doors open.

“They don’t know what they’re going to do,” said John Dyer.

To date COVID-19 has caused 100 conventions and sporting events to cancel, dropping hotels to their lowest occupancy rates in years, costing the area more than $36-million.

“Our hotels now are down in the single digits in terms of occupancy,” said Dennis Edwards, CEO of the Greater Raleigh Conventions and Visitors Bureau. “With the closures of the restaurants and only allowing curbside, and delivery, it makes it even more challenging.”

Eleven conventions have already vowed to return once the pandemic is over, but according to Edwards it’s unclear what the local landscape may look like at that point.

“I think we’re going to see more hotel closings,” said Edwards. “Looking long term the more concerning thing is how many of these hotels and restaurants will be able to reopen.”

“The repercussions economically could be disastrous or they could be something mild and the government is sending stimulus packages or whatever,” said Ashley Dyer. “There’s really no way to know right now.

“I think the governments both state and federal are doing everything they can to help small businesses,” said Edwards. “The unfortunate thing is it has to happen quickly or they’re not going to survive.”

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