LVEDC 2020 Annual Report Released, Available Online
By Colin McEvoy on March 16, 2021
Despite the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis, the year 2020 saw several new and exciting development projects in the Lehigh Valley, as well as initiatives that will help continue to guide the regional economy through the end of the pandemic.
These projects and initiatives were among the highlights of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) 2020 Annual Report, which is appropriately entitled “A Year of Resilience.”
“The solid and diverse base of the Lehigh Valley economy, built over the past decades, is getting us through,” LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham wrote in the report introduction. “While there were a few bumps in the road, the economic renaissance of the Lehigh Valley continues.”
The report highlights the 41 major expansion or new development projects tracked by LVEDC in 2020, which created or retained more than 6,000 jobs. A map, complete table, and detailed descriptions about each project are provided.
These include projects from such companies as Allegiant Air, A.P. Deauville, Bowery Farming, Flexicon, Forward Air, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hecktown Oaks, OraSure Technologies, Sharp, Suncup Juice, TSW Alloy Wheels, U.S. Specialty Formulations, and more.
The report also details the economic effect the COVID-19 pandemic had upon the Lehigh Valley, and how the region’s businesses and community responded to the crisis.
Total employment in the Lehigh Valley dropped to a low of 322,100 in April, and unemployment reached a historic high of 16.6% that month, according to the report. By the end of the year, employment had risen to 368,300, and the unemployment rate had dropped to 6.5%.
Lehigh Valley life sciences companies created products to help fight the coronavirus, and LVEDC assisted regional businesses with emergency financing applications, according to the report. It also discusses how the region is well-poised to benefit from the e-commerce boom brought about by the pandemic.
“Thanks to its economic fundamentals like its central location and access to markets, the Lehigh Valley industrial real estate market was particularly well-positioned to weather the economic downturn caused by COVID-19,” the report reads. “Distribution, shipping, and logistics are among the strengths of the Lehigh Valley’s industrial real estate market, and those sectors are expected to continue to do particularly well when the national economy rebounds.”
The report also highlights the region’s record-high gross domestic product of $43.3 billion in 2019, and the fact that the Lehigh Valley has once again ranked among the Top 5 regions in the Northeast in terms of economic development projects completed.
Other highlights of the report include the marketing campaign Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, LVEDC’s talent supply initiative, and the organization’s video interview series with 11 new corporate executives in the Lehigh Valley.
The report also includes information about virtual events LVEDC hosted throughout the year, the organization’s brownfields redevelopment efforts, external news coverage the regional economy received in 2020, and a three-page year-end Commercial Real Estate Report.
The LVEDC 2020 Annual Report was designed by Michelle Chrin, who has designed the organization’s annual report for the last five years, as well as its Commercial Real Estate Reports, Investment Opportunities brochure, Board Directory, and other marketing materials.
For the last three consecutive years, LVEDC Annual Report has won an International Economic Development Council Excellence in Economic Development award for Best Annual Report (Population Greater Than 500,000).
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