Seattle has ‘long, slow climb’ ahead once coronavirus crisis ends

Posted on

Empty street, boarded up windows

This story was originally published by My Northwest on Friday, April 10.


Much like many other major cities across the U.S., Seattle’s economy has ground to a halt in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. In the days ahead, digging itself out of that will likely be a tall order.


“I think it’s gonna be a long, slow climb out,” Downtown Seattle Association President Jon Scholes told KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross. “I don’t think we can expect that July and August are going to look anything close to what normal July and August looks like in downtown Seattle.”

That’s part of what Scholes describes as a sort of economic “induced coma,” but also a necessary measure if the city is to successfully return to normal in the future. And while some have emphasized the need to get the economy reopened sooner than later, that largely depends on when that can be safely accomplished.

“I think we can’t peel back the social distancing measures too soon, or we’re going to be right back where we started here in early March and have to repeat this exercise,” Scholes cautioned. “If that takes a little bit longer than we otherwise would like, I think it’s time well spent.”

In terms of more short term measures for struggling businesses, Scholes points to a sizable amount of federal and state-level resources recently made available.

“The city should be focused on doing everything they can to access the historic federal resources that have been approved in [Washington] D.C. for city governments, for state governments, for workers, small businesses, and nonprofits,” said Scholes.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.