The regional economic development organization for central Indiana says early signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic are starting to show, though much work and many challenges remain. The Indy Partnership says the diversity of businesses in the nine-county region is helping to fuel expansion and economic development. Indy Chamber Vice President of Regional Economic Development Sara Iglehart credits the “the diversity of industries we have here in the Indianapolis region and the resiliency we’re able to have.”
However, Iglehart tells Inside INdiana Business there are still many uncertainties.
“One of the biggest is there’s still quite a bit unknown and we still have several months before I think we can positively look at this and say we’re on a positive road to recovery,” said Iglehart. “There’s certainly challenges coming during the winter months, particularly around our small businesses throughout the region and we need to stay focused on continuing to support them and provide the resources for our small businesses as they are a critical component to our economy.”
Iglehart says focus must also be maintained on the region’s workforce. She says while the state’s unemployment rate of 6.4% is an improvement over previous months, it’s still double what it was in March.
“At an industry level, we’re going to certainly continue to look at the the industries that we anticipate or that site selectors are indicating are going to be strong moving forward so that we continue to market the region to industries to hopefully create even more jobs for those that are unemployed,” said Iglehart.
Industries such as e-commerce and certain life sciences and manufacturing sectors have flourished during the pandemic, while other major industries such as tourism have take a big hit. However, the Indy Partnership says those industries are now stabilizing and working toward recovery.
“We’ve seen impressive business retention and expansion efforts undertaken by our region despite these unprecedented challenges,” said Iglehart. “The Indy Chamber, our parent organization, has been incredibly nimble working to support these efforts, as well as pivoting our focus to address the needs immediately facing the small business community by delivering the necessary capital.”
The Indy Partnership says despite the headwinds caused by the pandemic, the region is well positioned for growth.
Iglehart says there are still many uncertainties looking forward.
Iglehart says there are some positive signs despite the pandemic.