60 Percent of Closed Businesses Will Not Reopen

September 17, 2020

According to data collected and analyzed by Yelp, nearly 163,700 businesses have closed since the start of the pandemic in March. This marks an increase of 23 percent from July when Yelp last released statistics about closures. To make matters worse, about 98,000 of those businesses will remain closed permanently. 

More than 32,000 of those shuttered businesses are restaurants, 61 percent of which have closed for good. Yelp claims that restaurants like pizzerias, delis, food trucks, and bakeries have performed much better during the pandemic than breakfast spots and dessert-focused eateries. Still, the coronavirus has delivered a fatal blow to tens of thousands of restaurants, with the National Restaurant Association saying that the industry is on track to lose $240 billion in sales this year. 

Restaurants often operate on slim margins and cannot survive on takeout alone. However, many consumers remain wary about dining in at restaurants, and rightfully so: a recent study from the CDC found that adults who tested positive for Covid-19 were twice as likely to report that they dined in at a restaurant in the past two weeks. Meanwhile, retailers are also struggling with about 17,500 closing permanently. Established stores in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have been hit especially hard as tourism has basically flatlined.


  1. Why do you think some types of restaurants like pizzerias have been able to stay afloat during the pandemic while others have struggled and closed? 
  2. Do you think the federal government should provide more relief to struggling small businesses? Why or why not?

Source: Danielle Wiener-Bronner, “More Than Half of Businesses That Closed During the Pandemic Won’t Reopen,” CNN, September 16, 2020.

3 Responses to 60 Percent of Closed Businesses Will Not Reopen

  • I think they’ve been able to stay open is because they are pickup or delivery and because they’re known locally. I think the government should provide for small business’s to an extent because it’s also their responsibility.

  • I think pizzerias have stay in business because they have stayed open since the start of the pandemic. I remember ordering Dominos for weeks because it was the only thing available. Also, making the actual pizza is not the expensive. I have a friend that owns a pizzeria and he tells they make about 700% profit out of each pie. Lastly, who doesn’t love Pizza.

  • I think they should provide more relief programs to the failing businesses. First of all, the restaurant industry provides a lot of jobs. A lot of people in America supports their family working in the restaurant industry. The more they close the more people that are going to be left unemployed. Secondly, restaurants also create tax revenue that goes the government. saving this businesses especially the small ones could be millions of dollars in tax revenue. Lastly, The government in my opinion should sit by and watch this businesses fail. Everything that could be getting done, should be getting done.

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