KERSHNER: Region to Emerge Stronger after Pandemic

Covid-19 has impacted cities, metropolitan areas, businesses and economic growth across the world.  However, the Dayton region’s strong economic positioning before Covid-19 and our flexibility to adapt as a region, uniquely positions us for economic growth as we emerge from the pandemic next year.  Unfortunately, the Dayton area has been through community crises before.  2019 gave us an unanticipated Master’s degree in community crisis management that none of us were expecting.  This experience, coupled with our strategic economic development continuity gives the Dayton region a position of strength as we enter 2021 and look toward a future without Covid-19.

Economic investments have remained focused on the future: The renovations of the Dayton Arcade have infused an initial $100 million into downtown Dayton.  While the world managed the pandemic, this catalytic downtown Dayton economic project pressed on and should be completed in Q1 2021 and will provide a one of kind entrepreneur support coupled with higher education opportunities that are uniquely “Dayton.”   DP&L parent company, AES, is nearing completion of a $20 million center of excellence moving jobs from South America to their McGregor Park campus in Dayton.  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has continued to realize U.S. Department of Defense investments and the base is now boasting almost 35,000 jobs, a $15 billion annual economic impact and continues to be the state’s largest single site employer.  Developers are investing today on Monument Ave., constructing a new high-rise apartment building and the Fireblocks development continues to recruit new businesses and opportunities and enhance the downtown Dayton landscape.   CareSource recently quantified the impact of their national headquarters investment in downtown Dayton with an impressive $1 billion annual impact, 4,400 jobs and $22 million in state and local taxes.   Finally, last week the Ohio General Assembly passed a long anticipated state capital appropriations budget that will infuse over $18 million into economic development and quality of life projects throughout the greater Dayton region.

These projects, investments and continued improvement are not by accident, but are the direct result of investor confidence, economic forecasting and a continued assurance that the Dayton region has a strong future for a direct return on their investments.  Covid-19 has equally impacted communities, cities, states and countries across the globe.   But our continued economic investments and community crisis management gives the Dayton region a unique opportunity to come out ahead as we evolve out of this pandemic.  Dayton doesn’t die, we just get better.

Chris Kershner, CAE
President & CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

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