The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise’s research on the economic impacts of COVID-19 got a boost recently thanks to a grant from the NC Policy Collaboratory.

The $109,000 grant will enable the Center to expand its ongoing research to cover all 23 western North Carolina counties.

The COVID-19 economic impact study will look at how the region’s key industries including tourism, small business, entertainment, and outdoor recreation have been effected thus far by the pandemic.

The research will also specifically include WCU within its scope, looking at its impact as an employer and economic driver.

In recent coverage of the grant by Morganton’s “The News-Herald,” WCU’s Chancellor Kelli R. Brown is quoted:

“Academic quality and excellence are hallmarks of Western Carolina University, and this grant award is a testament to your contribution to WCU’s robust community of scholarship,” Chancellor Kelli R. Brown said to the center’s primary investigators for the project. “Moreover, research and scholarship such as yours will create a high impact on your students, through their research engagement and your teaching. Collectively, our community benefits from the impact and results of your research.”

From Center Director Edward Lopez:

“We’re excited to receive this funding. It lets us study the economic impacts of the pandemic and shine light on what is needed to support bottom-up post-COVID-19 recovery.”

Read the full story in “The News-Herald”