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Sacramento region could take years for a full recovery, economist fears

"The economic impact has become much more severe and protracted than I think we were originally thinking," said Barry Broome, of Sacramento's economic council.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — The Sacramento region could take years before it fully recovers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as shopping centers and businesses across the region are bare.

This is the fear of Barry Broome, CEO, and president Greater Sacramento Economic Council, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement Thursday that some businesses can begin reopening this week.

"The economic impact has become much more severe and protracted than I think we were originally thinking about," Broome said.

Broome is estimating it'll take between three to five years for a full recovery in our area because the leisure and hospitality industries are being hit heavily and may be the last to recover.

He said he believes we may be a year away from seeing large crowds back at the Golden 1 Center or convention center, because that may be when we have a vaccine.

"If you listen to the CDC they say a vaccine is a year away and if it's a year away then I think that's a year where we're not able to enjoy the new convention probably Golden 1," Broome said. "Hopefully not. Maybe there's some kind of screening and testing, but I think even when it opens up you'll see people stay away from large gatherings."

However, he's optimistic for the Sacramento region, because there is opportunity as mindsets are changing. 

Businesses are looking to avoid elevators, rotating 75% of their employees with 25% telecommuting, and more space filled with fewer employees.

"Office requirements are gonna be less prominent," Broome said. "You're not gonna see the 40- to 50-foot towers like you see in San Diego and San Francisco... You're gonna see less of those. You're gonna see more two to three tier buildings that's gonna really favor Roseville and Folsom."

Broome says businesses will also need to be focused on the digital space. If you're looking for a job or need to change careers he suggests people get certifications in Salesforce and Microsoft.

"As a community we need to stop fooling around with these workforce models that are devastatingly inefficient," Broome said.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Ananda Rochita.

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