Avondale Sees Mixed Economic Impacts Amid Pandemic
The West Valley city of Avondale has more than doubled its population in the last 20 years. With that, has come rapid economic growth. John Safin, president of the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce, said earlier this year, business was booming in the region.
“Back in January, I was telling everybody our future is so bright, you’ve got to wear shades," Safin said.
The economic downturn caused by the pandemic is making an impact, but Safin thinks, after coronavirus, business in the southwest Valley could recover quickly.
Over the last decade, a lot of the economic growth in Avondale has been in manufacturing, e-commerce, logistics and health care. Ken Chapa, Avondale’s economic development director, says even with so much of the U.S. economy on pause, those are all industries still in demand.
“They're actually doing very well right now," Chapa said.
But it’s not all big business in Avondale. As the city’s population has grown, mom-and-pop restaurants and other small businesses have opened, too. Now, they’re the ones feeling the biggest impact, Chapa said.
“You’re having people that, through no fault of their own, they did nothing wrong, they just simply opened up a business, and this kind of came out of nowhere and knocked them back," Chapa said.
For now, Chapa said his department is focusing on connecting those small businesses with resources and encouraging Avondale residents to order take-out from local restaurants.