Pandemic Impacts Survey Report Now Available
The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) conducted an online survey between late September and early November to document local economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an important component of a pandemic response and recovery plan (PRRP) that WMSRDC is developing for the region. Information gathered through the survey will also be incorporated into the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and shared widely to help the region adapt to evolving economic circumstances and identify potential long-term economic hurdles.
The survey was created and promoted in partnership with local economic development partners from the counties of Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana. Survey participants were able to complete any or all of three survey forms, which were targeted to households, businesses, and public and nonprofit entities. WMSRDC utilized the SurveyMethods online software to design the surveys. Links were distributed via social media, email to regional community and economic development networks, and on the WMSRDC website landing page.
Nearly 500 responses were submitted during the brief survey period, with participants hailing from all corners of the WMSRDC region. The sizable number and geographic distribution of responses will help paint a valuable region-wide picture of pandemic impacts. A survey summary report is available at https://wmsrdc.org/project/pandemic-impacts-survey/. The full PRRP document is expected to be complete by June 2022.
The pandemic impacts survey was made possible with a planning grant from the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration accepted by WMSRDC in July 2020. In addition to the PRRP efforts, the grant has enabled WMSRDC to adapt to the pandemic through workplace upgrades and enabled WMSRDC to facilitate broadband planning and implementation efforts throughout the region. WMSRDC played a lead role in establishing a broadband task force for Muskegon County earlier this year. Lastly, the grant enabled WMSRDC to hire a part-time planner to support PRRP efforts and increase the overall capacity of the organization.
Inquiries regarding the survey, PRRP, and the WMSRDC economic development program may contact Stephen Carlson at email@example.com.