Why are we here?
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an economic shock that the region was not prepared for. School and workplaces shifted quickly to remote-only, putting stress on internet connectivity. Restaurants, gyms, daycares and more were closed, causing many to become temporarily or permanently unemployed. Travel was deemed unsafe, so important tourism money dried up. The list of impacts goes on, but the fact of the matter is this: the Hampton Roads economy was not prepared for this most recent shock – it came as a surprise, and hit both the supply and demand sides of the economy.
Today, a pandemic.
But a highly contagious, airborne respiratory illness is not the only economic shock that poses a risk. In Hampton Roads, the threat of climate change and with it sea level rise, coastal flooding, and extreme weather events is ever-present and sure to impact the next generation of business leaders in the region. Planning for the future must begin today, and preparing a resilient economy is one step towards ensuring shocks like sea level rise or a decrease in military spending have a small impact on those who call the 757 home.