As residents fled cities during the pandemic, cities are hoping the rollout of vaccines and business reopenings will attract those residents back. Some cities are even rolling out economic recovery plans to attract workers back into offices and buyers back into the real estate market. The New York Times says midsize cities are poised for a faster rebound thanks to their relationships with local economic development groups. Such midsize cities include Austin, Texas; Boise, Idaho and Portland, Ore. Economic plans include affordable loans, small business relief, and a focus on downtown areas.
The partnerships are also encouraging investments in infrastructure as lures for new business activity. Last Wednesday, President Biden announced a $2 trillion infrastructure plan to modernize the nation’s bridges, roads, public transportation, railways, ports and airports.
“Recovery plans create an agenda for rebuilding the metropolitan area,” said Richard Florida, professor at the University of Toronto, who helped prepare a plan for northwest Arkansas.
In Tucson, the revitalization plan, which goes into effect this month, calls for assessing the effect of the pandemic on important business sectors, including biotech and logistics. Other provisions advocate recruiting talented workers and preparing so-called shovel-ready building sites of 50 acres or more.