Stateside: Looking back at this year in business | Michigan Radio

Stateside: Looking back at this year in business

Dec 23, 2020

As 2020 draws to an end, many small businesses are closed or operating at a reduced capacity. We take a look at what has this year looked like for businesses large and small and what has that meant for the wider economy.
Credit Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we take a look back at this year in business. For those invested in the stock market, it’s been the best of times. For those waiting in food lines, it’s been the worst. We’ll talk with some experts about what’s been going on with the economy and looking ahead to a new year.

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How COVID took over the economy this year, according to one economics professor

  • Charley Ballard is a professor of economics at Michigan State University.
  • He joined Stateside to talk about the industries hardest hit by the pandemic, what we’ve learned about Michigan’s workforce, and to take a  look back at Trump’s economic policy.
  • “I think we learned that Michigan’s workforce, we are hard working people, we are resilient, we’ve taken these punches and we’re still standing,” Ballard said. However, the state’s lower than average educational attainment rates could mean that adapting to a new, high tech economy might prove difficult.

How the COVID economy that shaped 2020 will impact the future

  • Sandy K. Baruah is the president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber
  • Dustin Walsh is a reporter with Crain’s Detroit Business
  • They joined us to talk about topics spanning the economic world, from what trends the pandemic accelerated, the divides between how high and low wage workers and large and small businesses fared in the pandemic, and why help from congress is so crucial.
  • “A lot of small businesses are the ones that are impacted by the shutdown orders, simply because of the nature of what they do,” Walsh said. “We can argue over what was necessary and what wasn’t, but no matter what has happened it’s the same case through every state in the country regardless of whether they did shut down orders, small businesses are the ones that have been decimated.”
  • “We are building and exacerbating the wealth gap with each economic crisis and this one is going to be, I think, larger than most,” Baruah said. “So focusing on our citizens that don’t have the 21st century skills to kind of take the new jobs that are going to be created out of this technological spike that we’re going to see, that we’re living through right now, has to be at an incredibly high priority.”