INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Experts say what you do right now can make a huge difference in whether Indiana’s economy can survive COVID-19.
State leaders gave an update on the virus Wednesday afternoon. We also checked in with Indiana University Kelley School of Business Economist Kyle Anderson on this topic.
“We’re going to go into a pretty severe recession and we are seeing it all over, whether it’s the service industry, manufacturing, it’s going to be very broad," said Anderson. "And unemployment is going to spike.”
“Is there anything that people can start doing right now?” asked reporter Kayla Sullivan.
“Well, there’s a few different things, part of the issue is that we are not spending money,” said Anderson.
He said if you have income right now, spend it locally online or order local carryout food if you can.
“The businesses that are local, they are the ones that are most likely to suffer the worst from this. The large national chains, they’re mostly going to survive,” explained Anderson.
However, he doesn’t want you to put yourself at risk of catching COVID-19 to spend money.
“Don’t put that above your health, that would be my number one message,” said Anderson.
He said the state’s stay-at-home order was a good idea.
"Not only from a health and a moral point of view but from an economic point of view," said Anderson. "The number one thing we can do right now is reduce the spread of the virus, try to get increased testing, and once we are able to do all of that we can resume our normal activities and really try to build the economy back up to the point where it was.”
Anderson said he would like to see the state spend its more than $2 billion surplus to help.
We asked Governor Eric Holcomb when Hoosiers might see that money and who will get it first. He said he’s waiting to see what the federal government does.
“We haven’t spent that yet but that day is coming," said Holcomb. "And Hoosiers should know that this is the exact reason why we were so finally prudent year after year.”
Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger says Indiana was prepared for this and is reacting well.
He said 115 businesses have stepped up to help so far. He encourages business owners to educate the state on their specific challenges and apply for available loans at this time.
“In the worst of times, Hoosiers are always at their finest," said Schellinger. "And I can tell you that the business community in Indiana is outreaching, working very hard to be at assistance to everyone and is responding in the most positive manner.”
Again, experts and state leaders said the best thing you can do to help the state get back to normal is stay home, stay healthy, and spend some money locally if you have it.