Commission Hears Report On Economic Recovery

How will the economy of the nation, the state, and Berrien County recover following the COVID-19 shutdown? Berrien County Community Development Director Dan Fette told the county board of commissioners this week he has some thoughts. Fette said this current recession is a lot different from other recessions.

“In the current situation, essentially what we’ve done is slammed on the brakes intentionally to more or less put us into a recession, but at the same time, the productive capacity of the state’s economy exists, the productive capacity of our local economy still exists.”

Fette said this is a supply side recession caused by the fact that people simply can’t go to work. However, that will change.

“We know that there are a number of large employers in Berrien County who have already put together their reopening plans. I’ve seen a handful of them, and what we’re going to try to do is put together a consistent, single Berrien County reopening guidance document.”

That will be drafted accordance with state guidance. Fette said the pace of an economic recovery in the county will depend on which portions of the gross domestic product are allowed to get back to work and when. He thinks things could be back to normal in the first and second quarters of next year.