The economic toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough to measure, but new estimates from the Federal Reserve suggest it wasn’t as bad as feared for smaller businesses, according to the Wall Street Journal
(16 April, Simon). A study released Thursday by economists at the Fed estimated that the pandemic forced the closure of roughly 200,000 US establishments above historical levels last year. Individual companies account for about two-thirds, or roughly 130,000, of the extra closures if historical patterns hold, according to the Fed economists, who examined businesses with employees. Other closed establishments are units of major companies, like Gap or Pizza Hut, that closed some locations while remaining in business. The study found that barbershops, nail salons, and other providers of personal services were hit hardest by the pandemic. The estimates are preliminary, and it is possible that more businesses that have held on so far could eventually collapse under the weight of back rent, unpaid loans, and other expenses.
From "COVID-19's Toll on US Business? 200,000 Extra Closures in Pandemic's First Year"
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