Report: Boston Economy May Have Lost $250 Million Plus from Lockdown

Faneuil Hall around noon on Friday, April 19, 2013.

How much does it cost to shut down a city for an entire day?

Bloomberg Business Week reports that price tag is somewhere in the range of $ 250 million to $ 333 million, citing a chief economist at IHS Global Insight.

The citywide shelter-in-place order was lifted shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, about 10 hours after the police lockdown was extended to the entire city of Boston.

As of 6:30 p.m., police continued to search for the remaining at-large suspect in Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line, with heavy activity continuing in the greater Boston community of Watertown. The suspect was identified by authorities as 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev.

While some businesses remained open during the lockdown, many didn’t open at all or closed early, sending employees home several hours after the shelter-in-place was issued, once government officials announced it was OK to leave for home.

Dunkin’ Donuts shops in certain areas of the city remained open during the lockdown per direction from the city, the Huffington Post reported. Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer for Dunkin’ Brands, told the news site that the restaurants were asked to remain open “to take care of needs of law enforcement and first responders.”

Business Week reports that the Boston metro area is a “$ 1-billion-a-day metropolitan area,” but that some of that economic activity could continue under a lockdown with the aid of telecommuting and technology.

Other activities, such as grocery shopping, are simply shifted to another day.

But even with some business in the city lost because of the lockdown, the economic expert said he did not expect the event to have a lasting effect on Boston’s economy. He pointed to New York City and Washington, D.C., both of which were able to recover relatively quickly following the attacks on 9/11.

South End Patch