Phoenix city estimates paint grim post-coronavirus future for city's economy

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has been in rough shape, and the pandemic's economic impact on the City of Phoenix is starting to become clear.

The City of Phoenix Economic Director gave some sobering numbers on Tuesday, claiming it could take six years to recover the jobs lost in the last six weeks.

In addition, one in four small businesses could be gone for good.

"Seeing that 20% to 25% of our small businesses won't be here when this is over is terrifying for me," said Christine Mackay, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Phoenix.

Less than half of retail businesses paid their rent in April, but the big picture shows a big hit coming to the Arizona tourism industry.

"If people are doing Zoom conferences now, as opposed to traveling to Arizona, what does that look like? And our estimates right now look like it could be about 10% of those conferences, of that tourism, of that trade that doesn’t come back," said Mackay.

MAP: Arizona coronavirus cases by zip code

Phoenix City Councilmember Sal DiCiccio has been against the economic shutdown from day one. DiCiccio represents District 6, which covers Ahwatukee and a portion of Phoenix near Tempe and Paradise Valley.

“I’m not much of a computer guy because I can’t even see the presentation because I’m on my phone," DiCiccio said, during a remote City Council meeting.

DiCiccio, along with his Chief of Staff, tried to poke holes in a presentation from Arizona State Professor Tim Lant in an attempt to reopen Phoenix.

"You have to have, in the situation we’re putting them back to work, combined with a molecular test and a contact tracing program, and we do not have those programs yet in place at scale in the state," said Tim Lant, a Mathematical Epidemiology professor with Arizona State University. "When we do, then we will be able to have a conversation about putting people back to work safely."

LIVE: Interactive Coronavirus case data and map


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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ (In Spanish/En Español)

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars (In Spanish/En Español)

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  • Stay home when you are sick.
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