The State of the Athens Economy
2020 has been hard on the Athens economy. As we look forward to the fall, though, there are plenty of positive signs for our favorite small town.
Athens has seen strong growth in recent years with new businesses and developments. In addition, the city has received a great deal of positive press nationally and regionally. Athens is recognized as a top college town and great place to live. It has also been named as one of the best small towns in America.
When 2020 began, everything was looking great for the Athens economy. Ohio University was adding buildings and creating new programs. In addition, new businesses were getting ready to locate in Athens, including a Menards. The University was dealing with budget issues, though, and was making plans for some changes. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it changed everything in Athens, just as it did of the rest of the country.
Most of the Ohio University students went home for the spring. Many of the bars, restaurants and other businesses closed. Many people lost work due to the pandemic.
The coronavirus also further hurt the Ohio University budget. The university delayed layoffs, but eventually eliminated hundreds of positions in order to meet budget demands.
Plenty of positive signs for Athens
As we move in to July, though, there are plenty of positive signs for the Athens economy. Many of the bars and restaurants have reopened. Many other businesses have as well. Many of the Athens rentals also have new tenants for the summer, too. A large number of students have come back to the city for the summer.
Construction is continuing on the Ohio University campus, too. The construction work on the Menards store and other projects is also moving forward. In addition, several businesses have stayed very busy and strong during the pandemic. Many have been hiring new employees over the last few months.
Ohio University also recently announced that students will return to campus in late August for the fall semester. You can read more about the fall semester plans here.
The return of students will continue to fill the Athens rentals and bring more customers to the local businesses. The local economy is still hurting, but we are encouraged by positive signs for the fall.
To learn more about the best rentals in the strong small town of Athens, check out our property listings.