The global coronavirus outbreak continues to upend life as we know it, making an indelible mark on the economy worldwide. What could this threat mean for San Antonio?
There have yet to be any confirmed cases of community spread in San Antonio, but under guidance from government and public health officials, more people are social distancing by staying home and avoiding large public gatherings. Money isn't being injected into the local economy like it was pre-outbreak, which is certain to negatively affect area businesses and employees.
People are traveling less, which means less business for the hospitality industry. People aren't eating out as much, so service industry workers aren't taking home as many tips. People worried about the economy are holding on tightly to their pursestrings instead of shopping at local stores or making major investments.
Has the coronavirus threat had any measurable impact on San Antonio's economy, so far? Which industries are most at risk? What about gig economy workers and those without paid sick leave?
What can be done to mitigate the negative impact for area businesses, especially those that are smaller and independently owned? What actions are local restaurants and retailers taking to preserve their livelihoods?
- Richard Perez, CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
- Greg Jefferson, business editor for the San Antonio Express-News
- Casandra Matej, CEO of Visit San Antonio
- Keith Phillips, professor of economics in the College of Business at the University of Texas at San Antonio and assistant VP of the San Antonio branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, March 18.