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MORPC Looking Closer at Impacts of COVID-19 through Foundation Grant

    November 17, 2020

    COVID-19 has impacted many aspects of society. And now – thanks to grant funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, and the City of Columbus – the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is taking a closer look at the effects of the pandemic.


    MORPC, working with several partner organizations, is developing a series of policy briefs that will include analysis and insights on the medium- to long-term impacts of COVID-19 in such areas as housing, small businesses, employment, and more.

    “We’ve seen throughout the pandemic that local decisionmakers have had to act quickly to address challenges impacting their communities – often with limited information, making it difficult to fully consider the long-term impacts of the pandemic and our response measures. These research briefs will help address that.”
    Aaron Schill, MORPC Director of Data & Mapping

    The briefs will look closely at where Central Ohio was before the pandemic and assess its long-term challenges. They can then be used to foster community conversations and help make decisions in the months and years to come.

    The policy brief topics are:

    • Economic and community development
    • Employment and small businesses
    • Housing markets
    • Social sector (such as nonprofit and philanthropic organizations)
    • Technology and broadband access
    • Transportation
    • Vulnerable populations and disproportionately impacted communities and neighborhoods


    The briefs will include data and mapping to illustrate the three to five most pressing issues for each topic – especially as they relate to factors contributing to inequities that were exacerbated by the pandemic. In addition to policymakers, they will be beneficial to the media, nonprofit organizations, issue-based advocates, and community leaders.

    The briefs are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

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