Looking to anticipate and blunt the effects of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic on Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has convened a coronavirus task force that looks at the economic, health, emergency response and preparedness, and housing implications of the deadly disease.
The 66-member task force is comprised of four subcommittees, including one focused on economic impact. That subcommittee includes Alfie Meek, economist and director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute’s Center for Economic Development Research (CEDR) at Georgia Tech.
“The role of the Economic Impact Subcommittee is to help predict the economic effects on the state of Georgia from COVID19 and make recommendations,” Meek said. “We‘re also being asked to brainstorm policies that might be implemented to help ease the economic pain from this event.”
Meek has more than 25 years of experience in economic/fiscal impact analysis and community-based research. He leads the five-member CEDR staff, which works with its clients — economic developers, community leaders, and industry — to help them understand the opportunities and challenges in fostering local and regional economic development.
Meek is one of three economists selected to serve on the governor’s task force subcommittee. The others are Jeffrey Dorfman, the state fiscal economist who is the subcommittee chairman, and Thomas Cunningham the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s chief economist.
The full subcommittee met for the first time on March 19 in a virtual conference call.
“One clear goal is to represent the many different facets of Georgia’s economy that we think will be economically vulnerable at this time,” Meek said.
In addition to Dorfman, Cunningham, and Meek, the Economic Impact Subcommittee members include:
- Allan Adams, State Director UGA Small Business Development Center
- Nick Ayers, Managing Partner AFH Capital
- Will Bentley, Georgia Agribusiness Council
- Donna Bowman, Office of the State Treasurer
- Labor Commissioner Mark Butler
- Peter Carter, Delta Air Lines Chief Legal Officer (and Chair, Metro Chamber)
- Bill Douglas, Athens First Bank & Trust
- Georgia State Sen. Frank Ginn
- Walter Kemmsies, economic consultant to Georgia Ports Authority
- Steve McCoy, Chief Investment Officer, Office of the State Treasurer
- Richard McPhail, Chief Financial Officer, Home Depot
- Georgia House Rep. Clay Pirkle
- Joe W. Rogers, III, Waffle House
- Jessica Simmons, Department of Revenue Deputy Commissioner
- Jim Sprouse, Executive Director Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association
- Will Wade, Georgia Student Finance Commission