- March 23, 2021
- BY Radius Indiana
Radius region sustains economic recovery throughout COVID-19 pandemic
BEDFORD, Ind. (March 23, 2021) –– Many community members are surprised to observe that economic growth has continued to take place over the course of the COVID-19 era, including in the Radius Indiana region — growth that was aided in part by investments made by the Radius organization.
Radius has invested over $4.4 million in its eight counties to support infrastructure, quality of place, and overall economic development improvements since 2016. Radius’s Regional Impact Fund, the state’s only deal-closing fund that supports area growth and expansion efforts, served as an additional incentive to make several regional projects possible.
“Radius aims to take a truly regional approach by investing in local businesses, infrastructure projects, and quality of place throughout our eight counties,” Radius President and CEO Jeff Quyle said. “We’re proud of the resiliency our communities and businesses have shown over the past year. This sustained growth demonstrates the potential our region has for economic success, especially when the pandemic is over.”
In December 2020, Indiana’s unemployment was 4.3 percent, the lowest unemployment rate of any of the state’s immediate neighbors. The average unemployment rate for the eight Radius counties was 3 percent. The impact of the pandemic struck the Radius counties unevenly. Defense and manufacturing-dense counties saw a very slight increase in unemployment over the course of the year, while counties with tourism-dependent economies suffered more significant job losses.
Yet by the end of 2020, the region’s resilience was evident: the regional unemployment rate in December 2020 was only 3.4 percent, below the state unemployment rate of 4.3 percent and the national rate of 6.7 percent.
Additionally, many regional employers expect to add workers over the next 12 months, according to Radius Indiana’s second regional survey of wages and benefits in southwestern Indiana. The survey also found that 77 percent of employers are planning pay raises in the next 12 months.
Radius Indiana’s recent investments in infrastructure, economic development, and quality of place include:
- Sewer extensions;
- Improvements at local airports;
- Building refurbishments;
- Water retention and detention improvements;
- Workforce training for defense industry contractors; and
- Downtown developments.
“Radius’s continued support of Washington County and our neighbors have played a crucial role in sustaining our economies,” said Justin Green, who represents Washington County on the Radius board. “Their investment, specifically in infrastructure and economic development throughout the region, has created jobs and opportunities that have prevented larger unemployment rates.”
About Radius Indiana: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.