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The Impact of COVID-19 on Economic Development

The last few weeks have been extremely difficult on American businesses, but it has been particularly devasting for small businesses and their employees throughout the country. There are roughly 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S. employing nearly 57 million people according to the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA). This equates to 99.7% of all businesses in the U.S. and similarly at a local level here in Greater Louisville.

When the economy is negatively impacted through natural or man-made disasters, local small business is routinely hit first and hardest, resulting in long-term impacts on local communities throughout the nation.  While the scale of the Coronavirus is undoubtedly historic, we as a Chamber and community must begin to look at these small local businesses and their employees as our vehicle to ensure our region’s sustained economic recovery and long-term success.

As our community’s regional economic development agency, Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) regularly works alongside private, local, county and state partners to support job growth and new investment within our 15 county, bi-state market. This role is increasingly critical in the days, weeks, and months ahead and will require a highly customized results-focused approach to be successful.

GLI has long been a strong vocal advocate for small business but it is with a renewed commitment that we must now approach our role as an economic development agency. It’s critical that organizations such as GLI, KentuckianaWorks, WorkOne, University of Louisville, IU Southeast, Jefferson Community & Technical College, Ivy Tech and Jefferson (KY), Clark (IN), Floyd (IN) County Public Schools accelerate the collaborative approaches we have adopted, identify new services/tools to support small business, develop new industry and resource insights that position us as strategic resources, as well as foster and utilize industry networks to support professional development and peer-to-peer exchanges all focused on stabilizing and sustaining our region’s existing industry long into the future.

As the region’s largest chamber, GLI is uniquely positioned to serve as the regional economic development agency in these new and difficult times. We are honored to serve the community in this role and will work diligently to help your company rebuild. #OneLouisville #GLICovidHelp #CompassionateCity #TeamKentucky

[ About the Author ]


Johnlaunius Square

John Launius

Director of Regional Economic Development

John Launius is the Director of Regional Economic Development for Greater Louisville Inc., your Metro Chamber of Commerce.