Nearly 100,000 Businesses Permanently Close Doors

Retailers providing a service are holding up better than those only selling merchandise.

September 18, 2020

SAN FRANSCISCO—Across the United States, more than 160,000 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed since March 1, CNBC reports. Of those closures, 97,966 are permanent, Yelp’s latest Economic Impact Report reveals.

“Overall, Yelp’s data show that business closures have continued to rise with a 34% increase in permanent closures since our last report in mid-July,” said Justin Norman, vice president of data science at Yelp. “Despite the hard hit small businesses have certainly taken, we’ve seen that home, local, professional and automotive services have been able to withstand the effects of the pandemic better than other industries.”

The Yelp data show many consumers are staying home and that home and professional services, including contractors, landscapers and attorneys, have experienced a lower closure rate than clothing stores and home décor companies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Auto and towing services also have a healthier outlook.

“Consumers still need these services,” Norman said. “Through the rise of virtual consultations, and contactless or socially distanced services, these businesses have been particularly resilient during this time.”

Bars, restaurants and nightlife venues have experienced the most closures because of the pandemic, but foodservice businesses that have adapted to takeout, such as delis, pizzerias and coffeeshops, have been able to withstand the downturn.

States with the highest number of permanent business closures include Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Washington.

“Due to the pandemic, these states were greatly impacted by travel restrictions and also face high rates of unemployment,” said Norman. “While it’s hard to say when we can expect business closures to stabilize, we’ve continued to see businesses successfully adapt to these uncertain times over the last six months thanks to their own hard work, innovation and local policy changes.”

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.

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