Forecast on Small Businesses in the US Amid COVID-19 Crisis
Many small businesses across the US are already feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Many people are already avoiding stepping outside their homes due to the threats of the deadly novel coronavirus.
Forecasts for Businesses due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
An analyst forecasted that the effects of the COVID-19 can result in 15,000 permanent retail store closures this year. According to the Economic Policy Institute's prediction, the COVID-19 outbreak can cause three million workers in the United States to lose their jobs before summer.
These predictions are slowly being felt by many small businesses in the country, says an article. According to a recent survey by Goldman Sachs with more than 1,500 small business owner participants, more than half of them believed they can continue to operate for three more months amid the difficult conditions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The Non-essential Businesses
Many states in the US had already ordered non-essential businesses to temporarily postpone operations. Those who are left operating are grocery stores and pharmacies. Though there was no permanence to the order, some small businesses in different states had already closed totally or reduced their hours of operations significantly.
According to the owner of a jewelry boutique in North Carolina named Barb Skupien, she had never imagined that her business will be closed for days. She first opened her shop, Embellish, in 2015 after operating a similar store for seven years in Chicago.
On March 16, Skupien closed her store. She feared that the people who visited her store were not scared of the threats of the COVID-19. Her shop normally has 15 to 20 daily customers on average. She closed her store because she believes she has the "civic duty" to be part of the solution to fight the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.
North Carolina is not yet implementing the closing of non-essential businesses. It means that she closed up her store to help the country's fight with the deadly disease.
Many retailers in the country are already preparing for closure for a month or more. Skupien is still unsure when she will reopen her shop. She said that it could take weeks or months before she can go back to her business' normal operations.
With the difficulties of cash flow, Skupien is still problematic on how she will pay the rent of her store. Her rent is $3,800 per month. According to her landlord, she was permitted to defer two months of rent with the possibility of a re-evaluation of her position.
In the absence of the break given by her landlord, she would have been left with no choice but to close up her jewelry shop in a month. Skupien said that she has enough savings to last her for a couple of months until the government says that the country's COVID-19 situation is already in control.
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