The economic impact of COVID-19-related restaurant and bar closures in April 2020, alone, has resulted in a loss of $52.4 million to the economy of Northwestern North Carolina.
The findings were released by economists at Appalachian State University's Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysis (CERPA), who released a May 2020 report on the regional economic impacts of COVID-19. Specifically, the study examined restaurant closures during North Carolina's "Stay at Home" Order affected the economy of a five-county region in northwestern North Carolina in the month prior.
The region includes Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga and Wilkes Counties.
The researchers estimate that the restrictions resulted in the $52.4 million loss by direct (employment), indirect (supply chain effect) and induced effects (reduced spending of employees and suppliers)on the gross regional product.
"This translates into the annual equivalent of losing 675 full-time jobs (annual FTE) or a reduction in full-time equivalent employment of 8,112 (one-month FTE) during the month of April, and corresponding foregone labor income of $17.2 million. The reduction in GRP represents approximately $3.5 million in total foregone sales tax revenue, about $1.05 million of which is distributed to county and other local governments in the region, and foregone labor income reduces state income tax revenues by about $548,000."
The researchers add that the report is a preliminary analysis based on assumptions from a single month of data.
About the Center for Economics Research and Policy Analysis
The Center for Economics Research and Policy Analysis (CERPA) at Appalachian State University enables decision-makers to implement policies that better achieve targeted outcomes by producing research and disseminating information on current economic and policy issues. Housed in the Walker College of Business Department of Economics, CERPA maintains the Appalachian Experimental Economics Laboratory (AppEEL) as part of the experimental economics program and encourages faculty and student student research. For more information, visit cerpa.appstate.edu. For more information, visit cerpa.appstate.edu.