At the dawn of 2020, Central Savannah River Area small business owners were expecting the area's retail economy to expand by 4.1%. This optimism was stoked by the National Retail Federation's chief economist who said, "Consumers remain upbeat and have the confidence to spend, and the steady wage growth that has come with the strong job market is fueling their spending. The state of the consumer is very healthy."
By February, however, the country entered into a COVID-19 induced recession. Then, to slow the spread of the pandemic, in early April, the Governors of Georgia and South Carolina shut down all but the most essential businesses in their states. This brought the CSRA's $8.6 billion retail economy to a standstill.
As stores, restaurants, and offices in the Augusta area begin to re-open, consumers' appetite for spending is returning. According to Nielsen, loyal radio listeners are very likely to be first in line at the cash registers.