Will The Virus Improve Our Economic Development?
October 9, 2020
North Carolina’s relatively modest rate of COVID-related deaths per capita may become an economic development marketing advantage, according to Dr. Michael Walden, Extension Economist at NC State University. At the end of September, the state had a fatality rate of 33 deaths per 100,000 people, well above New Jersey’s 181 per 100,000 rate, the nation’s highest. “North Carolina’s rank was lower than those for any of our neighboring states as well as for states we often compete with for businesses, like Texas and Ohio,” Walden says. “This will be particularly important for luring companies and entrepreneurs from high death-rate states, such as those in the Northeast.” The pandemic may, in fact, change the economic game for rural North Carolina communities if people opt permanently to live in lower-density communities. Rural environments equipped with high-speed Internet may be the first to experience the improved competitiveness, according to Walden.
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