Tennessee economy expected to bounce back in 2021 with COVID-19 vaccines in sight

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Business experts say the future of Tennessee’s economy comes with this COVID-19 vaccine, expecting the hospitality industry to start booming again in 2021 as the vaccine becomes more available.

“Overall, Tennessee’s economic growth has been strong or more consistent than other states,” said Tennessee’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Bradley Jackson.

While the hospitality, tourism, and music industries have taken a huge hit in the last nine months, Tennessee’s economy as a whole bounced back at a faster pace than the national average.

“Spending patterns have drastically changed since the pandemic– the things people purchase, the way people purchase it, the events have changed,” Jackson explained.

The University of Tennessee’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research released a study Wednesday with the proof showing:

  • Spending patterns changed drastically from leisure and services to groceries and durable goods
  • Tax revenue from building materials and retail skyrocketing
  • More business applications filed
  • Unemployment steadily declining

Amazon, Facebook, and General Motors, are just three of the hundreds of companies that have chosen Tennessee to relocate, build, or expand in during this pandemic.

Jackson said these numbers with a vaccine coming to the masses in the near future predict a positive 2021.

“When a vaccine is in site, you can start to estimate that realistically by next summer/fall, there will be a significant amount, number of people who have received the vaccine and… people’s confidence really start to change,” Jackson explained.

In 2021, Amazon’s Director of Worldwide Economic Development, Holly Sullivan, will take over as the chamber’s board chair.

“The state is doing well overall, good unemployment rates, the housing market is still quite healthy, but there are gonna be some companies that need a little bit more help– our small businesses, our main street retail companies,” Sullivan said.

She added the chamber will work with those industries as well as the state to help bring the vaccine to all businesses.

“There’s expansions lined up, so there’s gonna be job growth in all areas in the state of Tennessee,” Sullivan said, “It’s gonna be ensuring that message that Tennessee is open for business.”

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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