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Economic disruptions such as recessions, financial crises, the loss of a major employer, social unrest, and natural and manmade disasters can negatively impact regional economies. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, creating localized economic turmoil. This left regional economic development organizations scrambling to address the most pressing needs of businesses, while also maintaining long-term visions for economic sustainability.
Resolved to withstand and grow stronger from economic disruption wrought by the global pandemic, the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) embarked on an ambitious effort to further understand the economic impacts of the pandemic and develop effective resiliency strategies.
Camoin Associates’ work built on a fiscal analysis of COVID-19 impacts on the three-county region and delved into the likely industry trends that will continue to further drive change in employment. Camoin also supported conversations among stakeholders and community leaders surrounding the relationship among economic development partners, their level of collaboration, and where a breakdown in relationships could hinder resiliency efforts.
The end product was the 2022 Capital Region of Michigan Regional Economic Resiliency Strategy, which identified goals and recommended strategies for the region related to civic leadership, business and economic development, workforce, mobility and infrastructure, and community well-being, and included an implementation matrix.
In December 2021, the TCRPC’s Board adopted the economic resiliency strategy developed by Camoin. The strategy will be incorporated into TCRPC’s existing Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, codifying the importance and intention of the resilience-focused actions.
Camoin worked with the TCRPC staff to develop a dashboard for the ongoing measurement of economic indicators that will help decision-makers draw informed conclusions about the region’s economic health. The data in the report has already been used to help local applicants make the case for funding in their own resiliency efforts.