Cook County line. Submitted photo
Submitted photo

Delicate balance of community health and supporting the local economy likely to surface

WTIP reached out to Jim Boyd at the Cook County Chamber of Commerce to start the month of April to learn if there is any measure of the economic impact here in Cook County as a result of the governor’s ‘stay-at-home’ order.

Following that inquiry, Boyd met with Linda Jurek from Visit Cook County and Mary Somnis from the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority.

Based on a data analysis Somnis assembled with figures and statistics from Explore Minnesota and the local lodging tax revenue collected in recent years, the local economy in Cook County is losing more than $191,000 per day for the month of April as a result of coronavirus closures and cancellations. If this situation continues as it is now, with the stay at home order and other local, state and federal guidelines, the local economy would lose more than $383,000 per day during the month of May.

Also waiting on the doorstep in Cook County is a pressing sentiment regarding the COVID-19 pandemic: How to balance the merger of community health and the local economy as businesses start to reopen, potentially in early May.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Somnis about these topics and more on the News at Noon program April 6. The audio from that conversation is shared below.