By: Beatrice Silva
3 min read October 2020 — COVID-19 quickly spun counties that rely heavily on tourism and hospitality into a flash recession. Due to a statewide emergency order, businesses were forced to close their doors and thousands of people in Orlando lost their jobs. Despite the challenges, the region remains steadfast in its mission toward economic recovery.
In 2019, data showed that Orlando had the fastest-growing job market in the United States, creating around 43,300 new jobs, according to the Orlando Prosperity Scorecard. With continuous job and population growth of around 1,500 new residents each week, Orlando was on track to build an even more prosperous future.
While the coronavirus may have thrown a wrench in the region’s economic framework, it didn’t destroy it. The loss of international and domestic tourists was perhaps the hardest blow to the tourism and hospitality industry, which Orlando heavily relies on. However, this period allowed other sectors of Orlando’s economy to shine.
“While Central Florida is best known for tourism and hospitality, we also are seeing growth in two sectors in terms of economic development: healthcare and technology — fintech in particular. One other sector we are seeing strong demand in is transportation and logistics,” Marty McAndrew, market executive for Wells Fargo, told the Orlando Business Journal.
The Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, a Philadelphia-based health system recognized for the treatment of musculoskeletal issues, is just one of the many organizations that have moved its headquarters to Central Florida this past year. Teaming up with AdventHealth, the pair have plans to build a 12-story, 300,000-square-foot medical office building totaling around $100 million. The partnership will merge Rothman Orhopaedic’s research and expertise with AdventHealth’s network in metro Orlando, which sees more than 3.4 million patient visits annually.
“We are making a major investment to bring more healthcare services to Central Florida, while building a connected, innovative system that is designed around the consumer’s needs,” said Daryl Tol, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, in a press release. “Rothman Orthopaedics is a world leader, and together with the AdventHealth Orthopedic Institute, we will push the field of orthopedics into a new phase of research, prevention and treatment.”
Behind the region’s tourism and entertainment district lies a diversified economy. While sectors such as healthcare, aviation and technology continue to grow, city officials are determined to jump-start those sectors most affected by the pandemic. To that end, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer allowed restaurants and local retail stores to expand their operations into outdoor city areas to help businesses get back on their feet.
“We know there are few, if any, businesses that have been immune to the impacts of this global pandemic,” Dyer said in a news release. “Whether closing completely, limiting operations or having employees work remotely, our employers and entrepreneurs have helped us control the spread of this virus and now we can begin to reopen our economy responsibly. Our local businesses provide a livelihood for our residents and are at the heart of everything we do as a community and so we want to do what we can to support them on the path to recovery.”
During this period of economic recovery, sound insights and collaboration between community leaders will be pivotal for Central Florida’s success. To learn more about future developments in Orlando and its healthcare sector, register now for the Invest:Orlando 2020 Virtual Launch Conference.
The conference takes place on Oct. 22 at 11:30 a.m. The virtual conference will feature two robust panels, starting with “Keeping Orlando healthy: Current and future landscape of the healthcare sector,” moderated by Dr. Folakemi Odedina, professor for Florida-California CaRE2 Center, and featuring insights from Tony Jenkins, market president of Central Florida Region Florida Blue, Jennifer Wandersleben, president and CEO of Acute Care Services Advent Health Central Florida and Babette Hankey, CEO of Aspire Health Partners.
The second panel, “Continued development of Central Florida in the wake of a pandemic,” will be moderated by Jason Perkins, shareholder of Carlton Fields, and featuring insights from Phil Brown, CEO of the Orlando International Airport, Mark Israel, CEO of Universal Engineering Sciences and Gary Huttmann, Executive Director of MetroPlan Orlando. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will deliver the keynote address to close the event.
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