Chasing viral opportunities

Pima County sees growth in COVID disruptions
Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 16:05:07-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The COVID pandemic is disrupting business in a way that could channel an economic boost to our area so Pima County is devoting some COVID recovery money towards attracting more business here.

COVID has companies re-thinking whether they’d rather operate in a medium sized city like Tucson, instead of a crowded big city----and COVID has shown some workers can work anywhere they have a good internet connection.

Pima County Economic Development Director John Moffatt says the County’s directed about $150,000 to Sun Corridor---the organization that works to attract more companies to Southern Arizona.

Selling points include an attractive place to live, with lower costs than much of the rest of the country.

“You know, certainly getting the people to move here in this current environment is beneficial, but once you get the workforce, locally, that starts to attract more and more companies, you know, Raytheon is a good example because of all the engineers they have here, we see other companies with engineering focus wanting to be close by.”

Even before the Pandemic, companies like Caterpillar saw Tucson as a good place to plant one of the company’s major divisions.

Moffatt says when the pandemic disrupted supply chains from Asia, that reinforced the appeal of placing more manufacturing in Northern Mexico. That helps Southern Arizona because companies here supply parts and expertise.

“We are seeing nearshoring occurring from Asia, because of the supply chain issues that occurred in, in China, many companies are now looking at Northwest Mexico, to, to what we call near shore come back , where they're closer to their engineering they're closer to production, they don't have the long term shipping time and cost.”

Moffatt says he can’t talk about some of the companies that may build their future here but he thinks the business trends the pandemic reinforced, will persist after COVID is gone.