According to an analysis provided by YELP in September of 2020, 60% of COVID business closures are permanent. When vaccines became available in early 2021, consumers cautiously and then enthusiastically returned to in-person activities, such as visiting grandparents, shopping, eating out, and requesting local services for home projects.
Based on updated data and current spending trends, Yelp predicts that the United States will experience a full economic recovery. But, the situation remains grim for businesses because the negative impacts of Covid-19 on businesses already created serious problems for certain businesses such as assisted living facilities or nursing homes, restaurants, hotels, and tourism venues.
The Following Businesses are the most affected business by Covid 19.
Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
More than 186,000 nursing home residents and staff have died of COVID-19, and while most United States citizens will return to life as it was before COVID-19, nursing homes will not. The vaccine initially gave families new peace of mind as they joyfully returned to visit their elderly loved ones. Still, the Delta variant and recent concerns about the need for a vaccine booster raise new problems.
Since COVID-19, senior living executives report that residents are leaving nursing homes faster than they are moving in, which may be due to the following concerns:
- Increased risk of Covid-19 in nursing homes
- The inability for family members to visit patients due to restrictions during the lockdown
- Widespread economic hardship and increased costs
Nursing homes must address multiple issues if they hope to provide care for the elderly post-pandemic, including a flawed business design. Most nursing facilities operate two different business models in the same building, short-term skilled nursing (SNF) and long-term care. Like defense contractors, nursing homes also receive nearly all their revenue from the government.
Medicare is a federal program that typically pays $500 a day for short-term nursing care, and Medicaid payments from the state pay about $200 a day for long-term care. Facilities typically use Medicare payments to offset insufficient funding obtained from Medicaid. While it was challenging before COVID-19 to operate this faulty business design, it has since become even more challenging to fill beds with patients receiving traditional Medicare.
The New York Times predicts that two-thirds of all restaurants and 75% of independent food establishments will not survive the pandemic. Restaurant revitalization funds also offer some help to eligible bars and restaurants that seek to remain open. The vaccines sparked hope as restrictions were lifted, and by June 2021, 70% of surveyed individuals said they felt safe returning to restaurant dining.
Surviving restaurants rushed to reopen, but the openings did not deliver all those owners hoped for due to surges in cost. Restaurants experienced unexpected wage inflation in addition to increases in the price of meat, paper products, gas, and sanitary gloves. The increase in wages continues to significantly affect restaurants, as they reduce portion sizes, increase prices, and change the menu. In certain dine-in restaurants, an auto-gratuity may be added to the order as a customary tip to aid the establishment in its wage issues. The restaurant industry is one of the most affected businesses by Covid 19.
Rather than returning to poverty-level wages, workers have chosen other employment options like home delivery services or launching their own company. Another problem is that many individuals who qualify for benefits continue to collect state unemployment benefits along with the additional $300.00 weekly Federal unemployment payment.
Most restaurants are now paying their staff 20% to 25% more than before the pandemic, and they are still having problems filling shifts. While the pandemic unemployment benefits end in September 2021, no clear answer is in sight.
Transportation services, such as airlines and bus companies, took a significant hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial lockdown included a halt on all international travel and the industry is still in a slow return to form. There was also a call for more stringent screenings at airports and on planes, which often meant longer waits at security checkpoints and on long layovers. A lack of available drivers for transport vehicles meant that deliveries could not be made in many cases.
Some industries managed to survive by opting for more modern transportation methods like teleconferencing or Zoom video chat instead of workers commuting to an office for meetings. Other industries like the postal delivery service suffered as customers sent less mail out due either to lack of need or lack of available workers to deliver the mail.
On a loosely related note, gasoline became very difficult to find within just a few weeks after the pandemic began. Transportation services also opened the floodgates on increased prices for other industries where items needed to be shipped to sell them for a profit.
Hotels and Tourism Venues
United States officials are asking visitors to reduce travel to control COVID-19 and the Delta variant. Areas that previously relied heavily on international tourism are transitioning their focus to local tourism. Staycation, a popular new trend, is how hotels and resorts in popular destinations like the Grand Canyon, Miami, Disneyland Resort, New York City, and the Jersey Shore are trying to survive.
Many hotels and popular travel destinations are also struggling to hire sufficient help. Some businesses, such as Playland’s Castaway Cove at the Jersey Shore, are only open in the evenings or have reduced hours to ensure that the company can run smoothly. The Delta variant has dampened the initial confidence that adults experienced after the release of the vaccine, and many venues are at risk of closure as families postpone vacation again.
Hotels and businesses that rely on tourism also rely on families. The Delta variant is highly contagious for adults and children. Several iconic hotels are now COVID casualties. Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C., and Standard West Hollywood are highly respected and loved hotels that are now permanently closed due to COVID.
While certain sectors of the American economy are thriving, many continue struggling despite protocol and guideline safety in place. Small businesses in different industries affected by covid-19 in the USA are opting for different technologies to try to stay afloat in the mess that is the coronavirus pandemic, such as grocery or food delivery apps like Uber Eats.
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