Businesses Taking a Hard Hit with the COVID-19 Pandemic: How is it affecting Businesses All Around?


By Emma Dowell, Reporter

The world renowned CoronaVirus devastatingly struck the United States leaving the economy in unsettling conditions. As the U.S is gradually trying to get a hold on this outbreak, life is slowly coming to a grinding halt—and with it much of the economy. While the CoronaVirus has hit most businesses, some are taking the hit way harder than others. As a result, we are seeing the number of businesses in the U.S diminish to a great extent. Due to the businesses hurting, we are seeing many alter their norms to meet the new expectations and guidelines that will ensure the best safety for  everyone involved. 


A great amount of American workers have already been laid off, and more job cuts are likely to occur. According to the data collected by the University of Minnesota, “The country has lost 20.6 million jobs since mid-March, resulting in an unemployment rate of 14.7%, a level not seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s.” As a result, we see many laid off workers suffer, not to mention handle the stress of having to find a new job. Now, the U.S economy is entering its ninth month of recession. According to Brookings they explained, “A substantial rebound in spending in the third quarter of the year, as self-quarantining eased, and businesses reopened following the initial pandemic-induced reductions in economic activity. However, the level of economic activity remains well-below pre-pandemic levels.” Given this, the pandemic hit to business has tapered off since it’s highest point which was in March. However, it was such a devastating hit to businesses that we are still way below the level of economic activity that the country needs to be. It has been predicted that because of this devastating hit, we will be recovering for years to get our economy back to the way it was. 


Many wonder, “what industries have been specifically hit during this time?” The answer is, an immense amount. For example we can look at food service. Between full and limited service restaurants, caterers, buffets, more than  10 million Americans work in the food business industry. According to USA Today, “Major cities have ordered restaurants to only offer takeout options as a preventive measure. This could jeopardize billions in wages for employees, many of whom are hourly workers. In the beginning, restaurants were expected to lose 20% of sales in the first week of March. By March 16, a dozen states had imposed restrictions on restaurants hosting dine-in customers.” Now, in the month of December, we have gone into yet another recession of the virus where we are seeing business close. As a result, this certainly does not help the economy and get back on its feet. Another industry we see take a pretty hard hit is the transportation industry. According to USA Today, “With Americans working from home and staying in instead of visiting bars and restaurants, ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are seeing their potential ridership dissipate.” Given the information, looking at the nation’s demographics, we see that public transportation, especially in major cities, rely deeply on public transportation. As a result, a lot of employees can not make it to their work on time potentially causing them to lose their job. Overall, there are so many more industries that are being affected by the virus, but we have to try to make the best out of what we have. 


To get a better understanding of how the pandemic has affected businesses all over, I interviewed two business owners who manufacture parts for the firearms industry. Mike Dowell and Jodie Mixa have gone through their ups and downs during this pandemic, but overall they have learned and progressed during all of the caos. When asked Dowell how has this pandemic affected your business? He explained, “Looking at the positives, our business has actually been pretty successful during the pandemic. This is primarily due to people staying at home and are reverting to buying online. Therefore, we have seen a spike in sales due to the increase in orders. On the other hand, this comes as a hardship as well. We have so many orders coming in that fulfilling inventory has been difficult.” Mixa added, “This pandemic has also made our business very busy and stressful at times. To elaborate, many of the customers seem to get angry and desperate when things are not on the exact time. However, they fail to realize that we are in the middle of a global pandemic.” Dowell and Mixa explained that they have implemented many new procedures when it comes to staying safe. This includes, hand sanitizer at every working station, 6ft distance between employees, and when anyone is feeling sick they are sent home with pay until tested. When asked, how has the pandemic affected your relationship with your suppliers? Mixa explained, “We have had to find new sellers due to the enormous consumption of supplies from our normal suppliers. Therefore we had to look for new business so we could produce the product with the correct tools.” Finally, when asking Dowell and Mixa, looking back at everything, would you say your business did well during the pandemic? They both responded with pretty similar answers. Mixa responded with,  “Yes, I would say our business has done well given the circumstances. As it is stressful and demanding at times, our business has grown tremendously.” Dowell also added in, “We have handled the pandemic well. However, this was not done without blood sweat and tears. I can say that every single one of our employees were heavily involved in the business.” As a result, this gives a good insight behind one of the businesses hit during this pandemic and how they grew and progressed given the hard circumstances. 


To conclude, It is made without a doubt that the CoronaVirus hit the U.S hard and fast. However, given the time during quarantine to think about ways to stay safe while also making profit, businesses are adjusting to how they run, and the best way to maintain their profession. The CoronaVirus may have broken down the economy, but it’s now time to rebuild!!