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Source: Louisiana Workforce Commission

St. Tammany Corporation works collaboratively with partners throughout the community and appreciates their insights on the opportunities and challenges they experience within their organizations and industries. “Most pressing recovery issue is the disruption to the supply chain and the resulting increases in costs that escalate substantially in very short time frames,” shared Bonnie Eades, Executive Director, Northshore Business Council (NBC). Amy Ybarzabal, Executive Officer, Northshore Home Builders Association stated that new home building continues to rise, but the increased cost may further impact the availability of affordable housing. Another NBC member also noted the rising sale prices of the resale of existing homes. Lacey Osborne, President and CEO of the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, mentioned workforce as the most pressing recovery issue, including finding employees, current employees adapting, and the emotional and mental health impacts of the pandemic. Donna O’Daniels, President and CEO, St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission, shared a similar sentiment stating, “Without question, the most pressing recovery issue right now is workforce recruitment and retention. Hotels, restaurants, and attractions are struggling to find and retain employees. Because that customer service and face to face interaction is such a big part of our visitor experience and what drives the very high percentage of repeat visitors we have, this is an area of significant concern for tourism.” “COVID-19 significantly accelerated many trends that were already happening in the retail real estate industry. We have seen some vacancies, but we are encouraged by the considerable interest and activity in backfilling space. We are seeing some tenants moving, upgrading to new spaces, and new retail concepts and uses emerging. COVID-19 also fast-tracked the healthcare real estate arena by expanding patient access points through retail locations,” stated Marty Mayer, Chief Executive Officer, Stirling Properties. “The

commercial real estate landscape may look differently postCOVID, but people will always need social gathering spaces.” Additional federal relief may also positively impact these industries, among others. The American Rescue Plan Act designated $350 billion in aid for state, local, and tribal governments, which were hit hard by declines in tax revenue during the pandemic. In our community, these funds will impact the parish and municipal levels of government. St. Tammany Parish is developing a strategic plan for allocating these funds, to support not only immediate needs, but longerterm strategic investments in our future. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was established by the American Rescue Plan Act to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. The food and culture industry is an important part of our local economy, and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund is a distinct opportunity for businesses in that industry to offset some of their pandemic losses after a tough year. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Find more information about the eligibility requirements and application for the Restaurant Revitalization Program on restaurants.SBA.gov. St. Tammany Corporation remains a resource hub for businesses and regularly shares timely, relevant information related to pandemic recovery and resiliency on our online platforms. Stay connected with St. Tammany Corporation on Facebook at @StTammanyCorporation, Twitter at @StTammanyCorp, our website at StTammanyCorp.org, and our data and research platform at StTammanyStats.com. Ashley Llewellyn and Elizabeth Lee are the lead staff contributors to this article.

EDGE June | July 2021

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Profile for EDGE of the Lake

Edge of the Lake Magazine June | July 2021  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique people that make up our community. Expect the unex...

Edge of the Lake Magazine June | July 2021  

EDGE of the Lake gives a fresh edgy look at the parishes north of the lake and the unique people that make up our community. Expect the unex...

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