Depending on whom you ask, Colorado's COVID-19 lockdown was:
- Too little, too late
- An unfortunate necessity, or
- An unwarranted overreaction.
Yet, one thing probably all can agree on is the policies ushered in by our elected leaders to curb the spread of the global virus have dealt a big blow to our economy and the basic infrastructure that supports it.
Many of the Main Street retailers that provide us our goods and services were shuttered. Much of the rest of the private sector, where most Coloradans earn a living, was reduced to skeleton crews on site with the bulk of its workforce embedded at home, performing duties virtually.
And fundamental components of the public sector that serve — and are sustained by — the private economy have been whipsawed as well by the COVID crisis. Most notably, our public transportation grid and our public schools have become mere shadows of their former selves for now, with highways and local byways nearly silenced at some points in recent weeks and schools now idled and eerily empty until next fall. Both are also facing a near-term funding crisis as plummeting tax revenue amid the economic freeze will gut budgets for highways, public transit and schools alike.
Meanwhile, the economic outlook for almost all of us amid the sweeping worldwide shutdown, at best, could be called uncertain.
We've heard a lot over the past couple of months from elected and appointed officials at all levels of government as to how they are waging war against the coronavirus. This time, we are turning to key stakeholders in the economy for insights on how we might dig out of the wreckage.
We asked opinion leaders in the state's business community as well as seasoned insiders in public ed and transportation for their advice on what the same policy makers who have navigated COVID-19 now can do — and what they should avoid — to help repair the damage.
Read on for eight wide-ranging views on how Colorado's economy can recover from COVID.