COVID-19 Resources

For more than 30 years, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise has worked to leverage the private sector for the public good. At no time in our history has this mission been more relevant or vital than today. Through press briefings, webinars, op-eds and more, our experts are strengthening our commitment to share academically rigorous and sound research with the public on the business and economic ramifications of COVID-19. Please find a collection of these resources below. If there’s something you’d like added that isn’t here, or if you’d like to be connected with one of our experts, please contact Kenan Institute External Affairs Director MacKenzie Babb.


Kenan Insights

Who CARES? Assessing the Impact of the CARES Act

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July 15, 2020

In response to the economic chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government launched its largest fiscal stimulus in modern history—the CARES Act. But with $2 trillion invested in small businesses, unemployment benefits and direct cash payments to households, the CARES Act has still fallen short of its goals to spur consumer spending and restore employment. This Kenan Insight analyzes what went wrong, and offers suggestions for the anticipated next round of federal economic aid. More

Reopening Amid COVID-19: The False Choice between Lives and Livelihoods

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July 08, 2020

As federal, state and local governments struggle to reopen the economy as the COVID-19 pandemic surges onward, efforts to ensure people’s health and safety are seemingly at odds with attempts to spur economic activity. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how a data-driven approach to reopening North Carolina (and the U.S. as a whole) can help preserve both lives and livelihoods. More

The Long-term Benefits of Short-time Compensation

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June 24, 2020

Unemployment insurance has been a lifeline for millions of Americans who have found themselves out of work in the wake of the economic shutdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. But with federal, state and local government coffers strained, the time has come for short-time compensation (STC) and partial unemployment insurance programs to receive a closer look. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how these little-known initiatives can benefit both employees and employers and provide relief to an ailing U.S. economy. More

How Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Personal Economic Decisions?

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May 27, 2020

The mounting health and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic raises many questions about how this unprecedented event will affect the U.S. economy. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how people’s expectations about their own financial situation may hold some answers as to how the larger economy will perform. More

States’ Responses to COVID-19

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May 20, 2020

Governors across the United States have reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing state-level executive actions to address a range of issues provoked by the crisis. Although it is too early to gauge the long-term effects of the pandemic and states’ responses to it, this Kenan Insight provides a preliminary analysis of actions governors have taken thus far, to help inform policymaking going forward. More

Decoding the Worst Quarter in Economic History

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May 13, 2020

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has devastated the U.S. economy. But the particulars of this devastation are difficult to gauge, because unique aspects of the of the pandemic distort the data commonly used to assess such situations. In this Kenan Insight, we take a deep dive into the data to learn what it actually tells us about the economic impact of COVID-19, and suggest possibilities for a restart and recovery of the U.S. economy. More

A Strategic Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic for the African American Working Poor

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May 06, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been especially traumatic on our country’s African American working poor. From being disproportionately concentrated in low-wage hospitality and service sector jobs to struggling with caregiving and food insecurity issues due to shuttered daycare facilities and food banks, working-poor African Americans are facing an inequitable share of financial, social and psychological challenges. What can be done to ease the burdens of working-poor African Americans, both during the pandemic and moving forward? In this Kenan Insight, Urban Investment Strategies Center Director and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Jim Johnson invokes a little-known federal program, the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission (SCRC), as part of a strategic response to providing a coherent, place-based development plan. More

How Will COVID-19 Affect Commercial Real Estate?

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April 29, 2020

Commercial real estate is a major asset class, with an estimated value of more than $12 trillion in the U.S. alone. But the stay-at-home orders and business closures precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have the potential to negatively – and disastrously – affect commercial properties. What will the short- and long-term impacts be, which types of properties will be hardest hit and what policies can be put in place to help stem the tide of losses? UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor and Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies Faculty Advisor Andra Ghent and her colleagues examine these issues in this week’s Kenan Insight. More

Can Ed Tech Save Universities?

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April 22, 2020

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, institutions of higher education were under immense pressure to live up to their value propositions, with underlying tensions that have been developing for years posing an existential threat to their financial viability. As colleges and universities move classes and operations online in response to the pandemic, questions arise as to what such changes hold not just for now, but for the long-term success of higher education. Can ed tech provide a way forward? Find out in this week’s Kenan Insight. More

Where Did All the PPE Go? The COVID-19 Disconnect Between Hospitals and the Healthcare Supply Chain

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April 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in many supply chains, none more so than the healthcare supply chain. What factors have contributed to the alarming lack of readily available healthcare resources in the wake of overwhelming need? And what can be done to prevent such a disconnect from happening again? Professor Brad Staats, faculty director of the UNC Center for the Business of Health, and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Jay Swaminathan present the findings of their most recent supply chain research in this week’s Kenan Insight. More

Reopening Amid COVID-19

The Kenan Institute and the North Carolina CEO Leadership Forum have developed a new dashboard that aggregates real-time, non-standard economic and public health data to guide critical policy decisions on reopening the state’s economy amid COVID-19. Visit Dashboard


Coming Up

Webinar: UNC Entrepreneurship Center — Office & Work Culture: Is It Truly Inclusive & Equitable

Tuesday July 28, 2020 • 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

When it comes to companies and organizations, many talk a good game of diversity, especially around hiring, but truly lack the inclusion and equity part. COVID-19 has once again called out a sore eye to American society's racial inequities, class disparities and employment needs. We must address the water cooler talk that many employers do not understand and impacts their hiring process. This discussion will offer insight and solutions on how to build a truly equitable and inclusive workplace.