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States Scramble to Assist Businesses Impacted By Pandemic, Compete for Emerging Jobs

  • State economic agencies turn focus to supporting existing businesses impacted by COVID-19 pandemic
  • Loan programs and other relief supplement federal efforts to minimize business closings and layoffs
  • Push for onshoring set to renew competition among states for emerging jobs

State economic development agencies have typically sought to attract new investors or lure companies from other states, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to change their strategy. These authorities have instead been working to support existing businesses that have been hard-hit by months of lost or reduced revenue.

Each state has established assistance programs such as loan guarantees to supplement federal initiatives like the Paycheck Protection Program. Many states are working off previous crisis management strategies such as natural disaster response plans.

The pandemic has created more political pressure for companies to establish manufacturing operations in the United States to shorten supply chains and better respond to global crises. This trend will likely lead to resumed competition among states, with companies considering states’ response to the pandemic among other factors when deciding where to establish operations.

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