Baton Rouge, La. (April 28, 2020) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today released its weekly COVID-19 dashboard that examines and assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional economy. The weekly dashboard is available online at brac.org/recovery.
The dashboard looks at a number of data points to illustrate the economy’s current state. With data from a number of regional stakeholders, the dashboard is the most real-time analysis of the Baton Rouge metro economy available.
“While there was optimism last week that we were nearing a plateau, the difficult economic and medical situations continue,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, senior director of business intelligence for BRAC. “The number of new weekly unemployment claims rose, indicating that there were new closures and layoffs throughout the region last week. While retail fuel sales saw a slight uptick, commercial/industrial fuel sales in the region saw a sharp decline – this may be a one-week outlier, but it is something to monitor. The hotel industry continues to struggle, with occupancy down 55% and revenues down 70%. This difficult data underscores how important the recovery period will be once the economy is more fully opened. It is incumbent on local businesses to adapt to the changing business landscape, not just during this Stay at Home period, but also for the months afterward in which capacity will be limited and health and sanitation standards raised.”
Key takeaways from this week’s dashboard include:
- Retail fuel sales have begun to slightly recover both across the state and in the Capital Region. However, the extension of the Stay at Home Order will continue to suppress retail fuel sales for the next few weeks;
- Hotel revenues are down 70% due to travel being restricted to essential actions only. Accommodation and Food Services are the highest number of unemployment claims with just under 100,000;
- Initial weekly unemployment claims rose by almost 1,800 to 16,224 in the Capital Region this week, with over 9,500 initial weekly claims in East Baton Rouge alone;
- As Governor Edwards cited in his decision to extend the Stay at Home Order, there has been a noteworthy increase in the rate of COVID-19 cases in parishes in the BRAC region.
To download this week’s indicator dashboard directly, click here.
BRAC is regularly updating brac.org/recovery with business resources and guidance related to COVID-19.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.