“We managed it as a community,” Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson told CNN Business on Wednesday.
To date, Watson said there were about 500 confirmed coronovirus cases in the city, which led to 53 people being hospitalized and eight dead.
But according to Mayor Watson, the city’s major private employers compete in certain industries, which see economic benefits during the epidemic and are hired as a result.
Owensboro’s largest employer – its hospital, Owensboro Health – is doing financially well during the epidemic, according to the mayor.
The city is also home to bourgeon manufacturers Sazerac and OZ Tyler. Unexpectedly, food and countrywide sales of beer have increased during the epidemic.
Owensboro also owns a tobacco products factory owned by Swedish Matches. The Stockholm-based company said it saw astonishing double-digit sales growth in the United States in the second quarter due to demand for its nicotine patch.
Candens Castlen Brake, president and CEO of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, says the city is among some of the nation’s largest population centers, including Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Nashville and Indianapolis, making it an optimal distribution center .
Brake acknowledges that Owensboro’s fate is an anomaly, but says it was not an accident.
“During the last recession, our economic development team pumped large sums of money into our downtown area by a $ 40 million grant from the federal government,” Brake said. “The personal development of the city because of that has really put us on the map as a community. I think we have been lucky enough to have the development areas in our community when the epidemic still hits Were flourishing and flourishing. “
-Anleen Kurtz contributed reporting.