The Coronavirus has been a terrible tragedy. Over 60 people locally have died from the virus, over 330,000 nationally and perhaps millions have died around the world.

So it's an unexpected result that the virus has actually had a positive impact on the Jackson County economy.

The county doesn't depend very much on tourism or entertainment for its economic lifeblood, so the decline of those economic sectors from the virus has been minimal in Jackson.

But the inability to travel, to eat out and to do the "normal" activities of life has kept a lot of money at home this year. Instead of a vacation, a lot of people spent that money to do remodeling projects. 

The result of all that constrained activity has been to concentrate spending more locally. The result has been record highs in the amount of sales tax funds local governments get from all that spending. That has been a surprise to government officials who feared a dramatic economic decline last spring.

But the longer-term economic impact may be in an explosion of additional distribution centers in the county. The virus has shown just how important online shopping has become and the need for distribution and logistics to meet that demand.

For the most part, local distribution center jobs have been steady and growing during the virus providing some stability during an unstable time.

And it's generated a lot of interest by companies looking to locate additional distribution facilities  in the county.

County economic development director John Scott said last May that the disruptions in the supply chains from the virus showed the need for additional warehouse space, something that Jackson County has seen boom in recent years.

"There's about to be a huge run on all warehouse space," he said of Jackson County's available buildings.

Jacksons County had seen an uptick in economic activity as businesses continue to look at the community for expansion throughout the year. Some of that is tied to the SK Battery facility in Commerce, but some of it is also tied to Jackson County's geographic location along I-85.

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