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A Look at the Slow Road to Economic Recovery in Alexandria

For Alexandria businesses, things are better than they were, but data from Opportunity Insights shows recovery is a gradual process.

Alexandria’s consumer spending, which was down 25% from January numbers in July, has climbed to 14.8% below January spending levels. The data includes all credit and debit card transactions from an area, so that includes online orders.

Alexandria also no longer has the largest drop in consumer spending. Though levels are still lower than Fairfax County’s, the city is faring better than Arlington, which has seen 23.3% decline in consumer spending since January.

Small business revenue has also followed roughly the same trajectory, making a steady climb since mid-June when the stay at home order ended. Revenues are still substantially down, though, at 26.1% less than revenue had been in January.

While the improvements are promising, Kendel Taylor, the city’s director of finance, is warning that a full economic recovery could be at least two years away.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Employment Commission said Alexandria’s unemployment numbers have continued to decline. There were 4,443 continued unemployment filings in Alexandria the week of Aug. 22 — still substantially higher than the roughly 200 claims before the pandemic but the lowest those figures have been since April 11.

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