Allen County, Indiana is the third most populous county in Indiana with approximately 380,000 residents, punctuated by the city of Fort Wayne, IN, which is the second-largest city behind Indianapolis. Commerce occurs between Chicago and Detroit. Nearly 8,000 are employed by Parkview Health Systems and 5,000 at Lutheran Health Network. General Motors and Lincoln Financial Group are also major employers.
Steel, fabrication, and automotive parts manufacturers have swung employment levels and shifts violently. Healthcare services have also faced tumultuous times. This has been offset by a strong insurance consortium in the area.
As of October 2020, the community spread of COVID has reached dangerous levels according to Allen County Health Department. The August 2020 unemployment rate was down to 6.7% from April peak of 19.8% indicating a strong resurgence of business activity. The peak and trough are also more volatile than Indianapolis.
Our featured small business this quarter is Sweetwater Sound. They are a point of pride in the community. Their rapid growth rate has only been accelerating during COVID. Their campus is worth a visit, regardless of if you’re a musician or not. You likely learn something about doing excellent customer service at scale. And the slide is fun.