At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, small business owners braced for what seemed like a short-term inconvenience. But as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, many small businesses are still operating at limited capacity or have shuttered completely. The past months have been tough on everyone. We’ve been urged to stay away from our elderly family members and other loved ones, wear masks in public and social distance.
Governments have shut down bars and restaurants, limited gym use, postponed sporting activities, restricted hair salon and personal care services, and encouraged people to stay home. Then there’s the travel industry – everything from air travel to cruise ships are feeling the pain of consumers staying home. These actions have forced many establishments to lay off staff, and small restaurants and shops have been shuttered, not to mention that the entertainment industry has been all but decimated; concert venues and movie theaters continue to sit vacant. Mom and pop stores unable to transition to an online platform are closing left and right. Ultimately, the economic impact of these actions has devastated small business.
According to a recent Yelp study, almost 100,000 small businesses in the U.S. have closed permanently since the pandemic began.