Atlantic County announced on Monday it is preparing for its economic recovery as the state and region begin to transition to a new, post-pandemic normal.
Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County executive, said the county is currently assessing and preparing for what it needs to recover from the coronavirus outbreak, including working closely with the Atlantic County Economic Alliance to develop legislative support to incorporate funding for local aviation purposes into any new federal stimulus packages.
“The current pandemic was unforeseeable at the local level,” Levinson said. “We have some difficult times ahead, but we are prepared at our level to do what needs to be done with the resources at our disposal, and do it quickly.”
Levinson said prior to the pandemic, the local economy was growing strong.
“Casino gaming revenues were increasing, employers were hiring, property values were rising, the tax base was stabilizing and our efforts to diversify the local economy were well underway. All of this was set back overnight,” he said.
Atlantic and Cape May counties were among the two counties hit hardest in the southern region of the state, Levinson said, particularly due to the large number of hospitality and entertainment businesses.
“The pain of mandatory stay at home orders is not limited to our area, but is being felt nationwide,” Levinson said. “According to a recent report by the Brookings Institute, Ocean City; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Las Vegas; and Orlando, Florida, home to Disney Theme Parks, have also been severely impacted.”
Levinson said economic setbacks, like in the state’s gaming and hospitality sectors, show how important it is to build up a local aviation industry.
“Our aviation assets are unequaled,” Levinson said.