On Wednesday, January 13th CARW welcomed Secretary Missy Hughes with the WEDC and KC Conway Founder and CEO of Red Shoe Economics and Chief Economist for CCIM.
Secretary Hughes provided an update on what the state of Wisconsin and WEDC did during the shut downs to keep business alive and what they are doing help Wisconsin businesses through the pandemic. KC Conway provided an insightful look at the current state of the economy and how it has been impacted by COVID-19.
A few takeaways:
- 40% of small businesses have closed
- 50% of restaurants have been forced to close, may see 60-70% of especially local restaurants if things don’t improve
- we’ve seen huge disruption in large convention cities
- events & conferences will occur again, but will happen differently – most likely in smaller markets not big convention cities
- adaptive re-use is going to the suburbs and companies are coming up with creative ways to use empty buildings
- cities like Milwaukee may fare better than larger more metro cities because of affordability and cheaper skilled workforce
- borrow now because rates are likely to skyrocket in the next few years – we may see inflation like in the 70’s
- the office key card indicator shows only 16.5% of people have gone back to the office (due to lock downs and lack of liability shield insurance)
- record number of sublet opportunities
- things that we were worried about a year ago are no longer relevant
- pay attention to the fed, they often get it wrong
- the current monetary policies will have huge consequences