Aggressive and Flexible Reopening Strategies Bolster Southern Markets’ Prospects as Local Economies Regain Traction; Recent Uptick in Cases Presents Risk
South positioned for rapid recovery barring second wave. Most Southern states largely avoided the worst of the health crisis before adopting ﬂexible and early reopening plans that could pay dividends for the local economies. Assuming a recent ﬂare-up of the virus does not force businesses to close again, the aggressive relaxing of lock-down policies has the potential to save a greater number of small businesses relative to much of the nation. Notably, the resumption of a higher percentage of business activity before most loans made through the Payroll Protection Program expire maximizes the popular government program’s effectiveness across many Southern states. As a result, commercial real estate fundamentals in the South could face lower hurdles as the economy recovers.