ATLANTA — The coronavirus pandemic represents an economic development opportunity for rural Georgia, local business and government leaders said Wednesday during a conference sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

The highly contagious invisible virus has made Americans wary of living in close proximity to each other in urban settings, Larry Hanson, executive director of the Georgia Municipal Association, told in-person and online audiences at the chamber’s fourth annual Rural Prosperity Summit in Tifton.

“Density is what the coronavirus loves,” Hanson said.

“People are wanting to leave metro areas,” added Bill Gross, owner, and president of W.H. Gross Construction Co. in Kingsland. “Rural Georgia is in a phenomenal spot right now.”

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