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Yelm has not frozen spending like other jurisdictions ahead of stark economic projections.
Why Not?

Downtown Yelm. Credit: Brant Photography
  • Editor’s note: Why have city leaders not frozen all spending like many other jurisdictions to preserve cash?
  • Why was Yelm’s 2020 Capital Facilities Plan not put on-hold during this economic crisis? The Planning Commission is getting an update today! Read more
  • Yelm officials waited 9 months after the September 2008 economic collapse before cutting spending, which caused the city to have a much longer period of recovery, with the effects still felt here today (i.e. deferred maintenance/upgrades at Public Works.)
  • The following stories highlight exactly why Yelm should enact an immediate spending freeze:

‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’: Final Yelm Business Grants Allocated

“Yelm City Council infused $109,620 into a new business grant program to help local businesses recover lost revenue during the state-mandated COVID-19 shutdown,” quoting Paul Dunn, Nisqually Valley News. [Ed. note: That funding has been totally disseminated, there is none left. How will the city help businesses this Autumn?] Read more

Downtown Oly merchants ask for support as survey paints grim picture for businesses

Ed. note: If this is occurring in Olympia, then Yelm businesses also must find COVID-19 their biggest challenge!

“Downtown Olympia has seen hard times before. The Nisqually earthquake, the Great Recession and winter weather so bad it seemed like the rain and snow would never end. Yet downtown has always found its way back.

But the COVID-19 pandemic might be downtown Olympia’s biggest challenge yet. As city of Olympia economic development director Mike Reid put it: ‘Nobody had this in their playbook.’

Nearly 40 percent of business owners indicated their business is in jeopardy of closing within the next year, and 22 percent said it could happen in the next six months.

Just as stark: About half of the customers said they won’t dine or shop downtown until the state is either in Phase 4 of the governor’s phased reopening of the economy, or there is a COVID-19 vaccine,” by Rolf Boone, The Olympian. Read more

State and Local Budget Pain Looms Over Economy’s Future

Ed. note: With this news, why has Yelm not enacted a spending freeze?

The U.S. economy struggled to shake off the last recession, with historically slow growth and a labor market that took more than six years to recover its earlier employment levels. A big part of the reason: state and local governments, which cut spending and fired workers amid widespread budget shortfalls.

The same dynamic poses one of the biggest threats to America’s recovery from the pandemic downturn. State governments are again experiencing extreme budget problems as they pay out increasing sums to cover unemployment and health costs caused by the coronavirus crisis while revenues from sales taxes and corporate and personal income tax payments plummet. States could face a gap of at least $555 billion through the 2022 fiscal year, according to one estimate.

Economists warn that the long-term risk coming from struggling states could prove even more damaging this time than the last recession, which spanned 2007 to 2009, unless Washington steps in,” by Jeanna Smialek, Alan Rappeport and Emily Cochrane, The New York Times. Read more

Posted by Steve on August 17, 2020 at 12:10 am | Permalink

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