Business Report: Coronavirus Impacts Local Business, Daily Life
Friday, March 13, 2020
Photo by Milan Kovacevic
Q: Travel and tourism are critical to San Diego's economy. What's the short term outlook after all of the cancellations and drop in travel?
A: We could tell by the announcement recently from the Port Authority, which manages the 34 miles of coastline between Imperial Beach and North San Diego County. What they're finding is that companies are canceling conventions this week. The Experimental Biology conference was canceled. The American Association of Cancer Research Conference in April is being postponed. Those two conferences alone will account for 60,000 hotel nights in the city of San Diego that somehow we have to fill in another way. The sales tax revenue for those two conventions alone is $1.75 million. The hourly workers that are in the hotel industry, that are in restaurants, are also going to be severely impacted because, without that kind of demand, there's not going to be the need for those workers.
Q: Many people are being told to work from home if they can. How might this change our culture when it comes to how we work?
A: Even here at San Diego State, we're gonna go to online presentations to students. So everyone is going to be remote. AT&T today announced 245,000 workers are going to be working remotely. So what does this mean? This means that there's no business travel, there's no face to face meeting. The issue with now all of a sudden moving everything to some kind of remote technology is daunting because we've never done this at this scale. The interesting thing is the ex-head of human resources for Google said, an ideal concept one day is to spend one-and-a-half days working from home because you could really be immersed in what you're doing, and three-and-a-half to four days in the office to make sure the culture is preserved. We don't know what that ultimate equation is, but we know that no matter what, we're in a new environment, we don't know how long it's going to last. But being able to do this is going to be an advantage for four American companies in the future.
Q: At the national level, we're now officially in a bear market. What's the likelihood that the markets can stabilize and recover anytime soon?
A: Number one, you might see spikes in unemployment. So even though we're at historical low levels of 3.5%, you might see a few tenths of a percent up, which would be shocking. since it's been so low. You might see certainly declines in the GDP rate. If there is a stimulus bill like last week's bill of $8.3 billion, that will cascade through the economy. Anything that can help workers. Anything that can help businesses kind of maintain their equilibrium over the next 30 to 45 days will be seen positively by the markets.
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