I think the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to keep the US economy in the doldrums for a lot longer than people would like to think. The Chicago Tribune reports:
The coronavirus pandemic has forced an estimated 4,400 businesses in the Chicago area to close, including 2,400 that say they won’t reopen.
The data, released Wednesday, comes from crowd-sourced business review platform Yelp.
Nationally, more than 132,500 businesses have permanently or temporarily closed since March, according to Yelp. Temporary business closures are decreasing nationally as some states reopen, but permanent closures are rising, accounting for 55% of all closed businesses.
. . .
Restaurants and retail have been the hardest-hit sectors … Yelp gathered the data by counting businesses on its platform on March 1 and tallying how many of those owners had marked their businesses closed by July 10, either through changing hours or through a COVID-19 banner on its page. Business owners have the option to mark their business as either permanently or temporarily closed. The company then vetted the closures, and excluded one-day closures unrelated to the pandemic, such as Easter.
There’s more at the link.
More than a third of the US workforce is (or was until recently) employed by very small and small enterprises, according to the Bureau of the Census.
If we lose a lot of our small businesses, we lose those jobs with them. A large number of small businesses have closed their doors around here, and many will not be coming back. Bars, restaurants, one of the larger gyms . . . they’re all shuttered right now. I know a lot of people are hurting.
We need to take this into account in our planning for the future. We can’t afford to think of ourselves alone when it comes to emergency preparations, building up reserves of supplies, and the like. I’d like to encourage all my readers to find out more about the needs of local food banks and charities that support people in need. I know there are young mothers out there needing diapers and baby clothes, families going hungry, and people needing things done (e.g. servicing a car, fixing an air-conditioning unit, plumbing problems, whatever) that can’t do them or get them done, because they can’t afford the parts or can’t afford to hire a technician.
If we can help, let’s do so. Let’s not leave that to nameless, faceless bureaucrats, but get involved personally if and when possible. That’s how we build stronger communities – and we’ll all need stronger communities to resist the “tyranny of the majority” (even if they aren’t a majority) that Antifa and BLM are trying to impose on us right now. People who are jobless, broke and hopeless are easy targets for those trying to radicalize them – so let’s do what we can to prevent them from giving up hope.
That may be an even more important consideration after the November elections.