New Study Shows Northwest Michigan Could Lose $2.3 Billion During Pandemic

A new study shows the troubling toll the coronavirus crisis has taken on northern Michigan’s economy.

Networks Northwest released an economic analysis for the 10-county region in and around Traverse City.

Researchers say northern Michigan was disproportionately affected by the pandemic and subsequent business closures. The area is heavily touristic, plus a quarter of the workforce is non-essential and couldn’t continue work from a remote location.

Screen Shot 2020 05 27 At 2.12.41 PmThe other takeaways are striking:

-The area could lose $2.3 billion in revenues because of business closures and pandemic complications

-55% of the regional workforce is considered “economically vulnerable” during this pandemic

-19,000+ workers directly rely on the tourism industry and 33% of the total workforce is employed in accommodation and food service. A decrease in Screen Shot 2020 05 27 At 3.17.26 Pmvisitors will be felt immediately and could take a massive toll.

Networks Northwest CEO Matt McCauley says this pandemic has also highlighted the importance of broadband connectivity.

“What we have found throughout this pandemic is that broadband is not a luxury; broadband is critical infrastructure for every community,” said McCauley. “[There are] homes outside of the urban areas that did not have access to broadband.”

Their data shows large swaths of Wexford and Missaukee counties report 30% or more homes without broadband.

The report was created with the intention of empowering local leaders with the data and metrics and they navigate the region’s rebound.

To read the full report, go to


Categories: Coronavirus