Round Up: How Much Did COVID-19 Affect Business

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At this point, it is common knowledge that many businesses — large and small — have been substantially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some companies have taken the heat more than others. Small bars and restaurants, for example, have been hit especially hard, with millions shuttering for good across the country. 

In this post, we’ll explain a little bit more about how the pandemic has affected businesses across a range of industries: who’s doing well, who has suffered most, and what it all means for the future. 

Read on for your quick and easy 2020 roundup.

Who is Doing Well? 

The mental health sector has never been busier, and the birth of new ways to receive mental health care has created a thriving industry that professionals and clients don’t want to see go away, even after the vaccine rolls out. Businesses like Telehealth, which have emerged out of the crisis, include those most willing to flow with the changes, and they have adapted to the new normal sooner than later. A related industry, pharmaceuticals, has continued to sell medications successfully and has done even better this year with the increased number of sick people, including COVID-19 patients. Profiting off of poor health renders debate, but it has nevertheless allowed big businesses to bring in a whole lot of money.

Another area that has done exceptionally well is subscription box services. What better way for a business to earn a reliable revenue stream than to create additional subscription boxes that help people power through these challenging times? From self-care packages to surprise clothing, the baby industry that was subscription services has grown into a full-sized adult. 

Online secondary schooling and online tutoring have also positively grown in response to the isolation and quarantine restrictions placed in different parts of the country and the rest of the world. Other content creators and those working in the gig-economy during COVID-19 are finding that their work has become more consistent in some cases. Jobs seem to open up in response to vacancies in the traditional workplace quite often. 

Students are becoming more adjusted to online school, and the teachers and professors seem to be enjoying the new change. Some teachers can make more money working online because they can extend their teaching classes to the rest of the world. Some would say you can’t put a price on education, but these kinds of digital-age teachers certainly do. 

Grocery stores and liquor stores are both seeing increased sales as well. Since so many restaurants and bars have closed down, grocery stores, corner markets, and liquor stores are taking on more customers. These shifts have encouraged families to cook from home, requiring them to stock up on ingredients from their local markets. This shift has, in turn, generated significant surges in customer demand.

Small service companies like mobile cleaning services are having a big moment, as coronavirus fears continue to generate high demand for professional cleaning services for offices, businesses, and homes. Delivery services are thriving even more so than usual, as many consumers are hesitant to leave their homes outside of necessity. Drive-in movie theaters, particularly those within the greater California area, are also benefiting from the coronavirus protocols being enforced. From the safe and comforting space of your own vehicle, you can watch outdoor movies and enjoy being out of the house without any fears of getting sick.

Creative types are finding their work to be much more lucrative during these times. Since more people are working from home, making extra money through skills and hobbies is showing to be a convenient way for individuals to supplement their income. With all of this spare time, independent artists are able to sell a greater volume of their work on platforms like Etsy and eBay, which allows them to accumulate more passive income than they typically would have time for, and in ways that they genuinely enjoy doing. 

Who’s Doing Just Okay? 

A diverse range of companies continues to thrive by relying heavily on e-Commerce strategies to promote their products and services. Those doing the best have not lost iconic storefronts. Big-box stores like Walmart have made some adjustments to their hours of operation but are dependable resources for customers shopping for essential items. Name-brand stores like Apple and Tiffany’s had to switch to strictly online retail, which negatively affected sales during the adjustment given the allure and consumer appeal within such elaborate storefronts. Having to put aside these aspects of marketing caused sales and branding to dive, but they are still cruising along.  

Who is Not Doing Well? 

Traditional big businesses, small businesses, and family businesses struggle to stay open. Small businesses like yoga studios and family-owned restaurants suffer from the significant decrease in economic activity spurred by the pandemic. Protocols to close non-essential enterprises prompted fitness studio and gym-goers to resort to home fitness equipment and other exercise alternatives, significantly reducing income for these smaller businesses. Many small businesses only have a handful of employees, and even with government loans, paying bills and keeping establishments open was too difficult to accomplish. Family-owned retailers such as those who own gift shops and boutiques were negatively affected, as the aliveness of village and neighborhood shopping became less  frequent as restrictions went on. Even big chains like Bath and Body Works and Victoria’s Secret were negatively affected, as many locations closed. Beloved stores like Guitar Center are facing losses and rumored bankruptcy as well. 

What Does This All Mean?

The future of business, and more specifically, the future of how business will be conducted, remains uncertain. Companies big and small are doing their best to roll with the changes. Some see a positive impact with online marketing, but for others, a lack of storefront advertising is a significant liability to their successes. Online retail does not offer the same magic as walking into a Tiffany’s store or seeing your buddy pumping iron at World Gym. These are hurdles businesses will have to get past if they are to survive in the age of the coronavirus.

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.