Winter storm expected to cost B.R. area $40 million in lost gross regional product, BRAC says
Working off an estimation that the Baton Rouge metro area generates about $123 million in economic activity each day, BRAC figures the winter storm that has shut down much of the city for the past two days will cost the area about $40 million in lost gross regional product. BRAC President/CEO Adam Knapp tells Daily Report that the organization has spoken with about 70 area employers in a wide range of sectors since the storm has taken effect to gauge impact. "Those most hard hit will be small businesses in the retail sector," says Knapp, noting most were forced to close Tuesday and only some were re-opening today. Most chemical plants were not majorly impacted by the storm, Knapp says, adding non-essential staff at some were sent home but production was not slowed to any significant degree. Most professional services companies in the area also closed offices on Tuesday, with some re-opening today, but Knapp notes most were able to have staff work remotely. Knapp also says BRAC conservatively estimates the storm will cost regional municipalities about $500,000 for each day they are closed and have to provide additional services related to the storm. "People know how to handle an emergency here, and the area businesses have generally been able to adjust," Knapp says. —Steve Sanoski
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