By Mike Kruzman /

A recent survey confirms Livingston County and neighboring residents feel COVID-19 has had a big impact on the economy.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC) recently asked residents of SEMCOGs 7-county region to voice their opinions on the local economy. Respondents’ perceptions have fallen significantly compared to last year’s pre-COVID survey. Asked to rank the economy on a 10 point scale, the average score by respondents for 2020 was just 4.8. This is a steep drop compared to 2019’s 7.1 average. Confidence in the economy recovering in the next 12 months isn’t particularly strong, either, scoring just a 5 out of 10. When asked to look 2 years out, that number rises to 6.

A release from SEMCOG shows that the biggest impact from COVID-19 was reduced income, especially for younger generations. Emerging themes for gaining economic prosperity involved helping businesses reopen safely, reducing business costs, having affordable housing, food, and child care, and less government regulation. Infrastructure continues to be the biggest economic challenge.

The survey is part of a comprehensive effort to update the region’s Economic Development Strategy, and was the second such conducted. With the previous survey being conducted between August and September 2019, both together give a snapshot of resident’s perceptions before and during the pandemic. A full copy of the survey can be found through the link below.