Business Outlook of Private Urban Forestry in the Northeast-Midwest Region of the United States
Morgan Hoy, Rajan Parajuli, Stephanie Chizmar, Omkar Joshi, Jason Gordon, James E. Henderson, Sayeed Mehmood, Puskar Khanal, Olivia Witthun, and Laura Buntrock
Abstract: Background: Urban forestry is a crucial sector of the green industry and increasingly a tool used to address ecological and sociopolitical challenges in urban landscapes. Along with a number of public agencies and nonprofit organizations, various private industry types are directly involved in the development and management of urban trees and landscapes. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the outlook of private green industry businesses on their urban forestry activities in the Northeast-Midwest region of the United States. Methods: Based on a survey of private businesses involved in the green industry in late 2020, we developed an empirical model by incorporating industry types, business metrics, and issues related to urban forestry perceived by private businesses. Results: Results from an ordered logistic regression model suggest that nursery and floristís supplies merchant wholesaler businesses are less likely than other businesses to have a positive outlook on urban forestry activities. We found that survey respondents who reported a higher percentage of urban forestry employees had a higher likelihood of a positive outlook of their business. Conclusion: Many respondents referenced how COVID-19 has been an overall deterrent to economic growth, implying that the state of their business depends on the recovery of the economy. The findings provide useful policy and management insights on how private businesses perceive the future outlook of urban forestry. These study results benefit the private sector and public agencies involved in urban forestry for better planning and programming in the Northeast-Midwest region of the United States.
Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic; Green Industry; Ordered Logistic Regression; Urban Forestry.