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60% of Yelp businesses that closed during pandemic will remain closed permanently, report says



Clothing stores are reporting high rates of permanent closures, Yelp data shows (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP via Getty Images)

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Over 160,000 businesses listed in the Yelp YELP online directory,
+ 1.43%
said they have closed since the start of the pandemic from early March to August 31. Some 60% of them are businesses that are shutting down permanently, Yelp reports in its September Local Economic Impact Report.

Restaurants account for the most permanent closures among businesses listed on Yelp, followed by bars and nightlife and clothing venues as well as home decor stores.

Breakfast and brunch restaurants, burger restaurants, sandwich shops, desserts and Mexican restaurants are among the types of restaurants with the highest rate of business closures, according to the report. Foods that perform well for delivery and take-out have been able to keep their closing rates lower than others, including pizzerias, delis, food trucks, bakeries and cafes.

Source: Yelp Local Economic Impact Report

The coronavirus has impacted virtually every sector of the economy, some more than others, leading to widespread store closings and pushing the number of corporate bankruptcy filings to a ten-year high.

Some companies see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel and are now operating at a loss. The Paycheque Protection Program, which has provided more than $ 500 billion in forgivable loans to businesses in return for not laying off workers, may be part of the reason some companies have managed to stay afloat.

But even with government assistance programs aimed at helping small businesses weather the storm, many are cutting losses and closing for good.

Business closure rates vary widely across the country, but have been highest in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, where rents tend to be high and more stringent health protocols have been applied. been set up in relation to suburban and rural areas.

For example, dining out in New York has been banned for the past six months. It was not, however, in other areas of the state. It was only recently that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that restaurants could reopen for indoor dining on September 31 at 25% capacity.

Related: People who tested positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely to have recently eaten at a restaurant: CDC

On the other hand, many businesses have avoided temporary and permanent closures.

That group includes lawyers, realtors, architects and accountants, all with just two to three in a thousand businesses closed, as of Aug.31, the report said. Health care and auto companies also maintained low shutdown rates.

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