Top Economist More Optimistic About COVID-19 Economic Situation, Recovery

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Veteran economist Elliott Pollack is far more optimistic today about the economic impact and recovery from the COVID-19 than he was three weeks ago.

Pollack points to the federal stimulus program (CARES Act) helping impacted workers and small businesses, pauses on apartment evictions, flexibility on mortgage payments and new projections of fewer U.S. Coronavirus deaths.

“That’s all great news,” said Pollack during today’s New Economy (Virtual) Power Lunch hosted by Rose Law Group Founder and President Jordan Rose and Partner Court Rich.

Pollack points to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Anthony Fauci citing new COVID-19 projections from the University of Washington of 60,000 U.S. deaths.

Previous models projected as many as 200,000 U.S. deaths.

“Social distancing is working. The medical system doesn’t look like it’s going to crash,” said Pollack who expects the economic recover to look more like the Nike swoosh than a more dramatic V.

Pollack said once the pandemic eases he expects to see more people and businesses moving from places such as New York and Chicago to warmer and more hospitable markets such as Arizona.

Pollack said Arizona already is on the receiving end of 10 percent of all interstate or international moves in the U.S.

But the veteran Arizona economist does expect to see small business closures and challenges with supply chains when the economy re-opens and consumers and businesses start spending again.

“There are going to be supply chain problems in terms of getting things to stores,” said Pollack who is CEO of the Elliott D. Pollack & Company.

He also said 20 to 30 percent of the businesses that have temporarily shutdown because of the pandemic may never reopen.

The Rose Law Group virtual forum also featured Robert Flaxman, CEO of Crown Realty & Development, Restauranteur Mark Tarbell and Dr. Robert Sheeler.

Tarbell owns the popular Tarbell’s restaurant. He told the RLG virtual forum the pandemic has prompted completely new ways of doing business.

“We really just tore up the playbook. We are in a new world, a new business,” said Tarbell.

He said that includes new procedures and improvements related to cleanliness, responding to curbside and delivery customers tastes and getting impacted employees back to work.

“We learn something every day, actually we learn something every minute about our business,” he said.