Over the last few weeks, restaurants and retailers across the country have gradually reopened with limited capacity, plexiglass barriers, and other anti-Covid restrictions. According to a recent study of the review site Yelp, however, approximately 140,000 listed businesses that closed in March remained shut down in June. What’s more, 41 percent of those companies have closed for good. Retailers accounted for the highest number of closures at 27,000. Coronavirus lockdown measures also majorly hurt restaurants, with 53 percent of closed Continue reading

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A couple of weeks ago, we looked at how Airbnb hosts are struggling after the travel industry came to a standstill due to widespread stay-at-home orders. This video explains in greater detail why the once successful startup was so vulnerable to an economic downturn and what that means for both Airbnb and its hosts in the long term.

Questions:

  1. What factors made Airbnb so successful for nearly a decade?
  2. Do you think Airbnb will be able to recover from this Continue reading
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Before the coronavirus pandemic, takeout and delivery orders made up just a small portion of total sales for most restaurants. With countless customers now homebound, though, to-go business has never been more important for eateries across the country. Many restaurants use apps like Grubhub, Seamless, or DoorDash to handle delivery orders, but these services come with quite a few problems for all their convenience. Besides signing up companies that don’t offer delivery, food startups have also deceived restaurants and Continue reading

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April 30, 2020

Although many companies remain closed during the ongoing pandemic, some businesses have been able to alter their operations to produce increasingly vital supplies. This video looks at how Dogfish Head Brewery managed to keep its employees on the payroll while also supplying local hospitals with hand sanitizer.

Questions:

  1. How did Dogfish Head Brewery change its operations to make hand sanitizer?
  2. What is the three-step process that Dogfish Head Brewery used to engage with their community during the coronavirus crisis?
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April 28, 2020

Last week, legislators approved of another round of small business loans after funding failed to reach thousands of companies the first time. Unfortunately, many of these desperate businesses are encountering the same problems as they did a few weeks ago. Shortly after going online on Monday, the Small Business Administration’s electronic loan portal crashed due to high demand. “The SBA’s systems were not designed to and are not capable of handling the volume of loans banks processed over the last Continue reading

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April 21, 2020

A few weeks ago, legislators approved a $2 trillion stimulus package that set aside $349 billion for small businesses that have drastically altered operations during the pandemic. After a poor rollout left many companies unable to petition for relief, however, the fund dried up last weekend with thousands of businesses still in need of loans. What’s more, among the companies that received relief included major chains with thousands of employees and numerous locations across the country.

For example, the Continue reading

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April 16, 2020

With thousands of stores closed around the country, U.S. retailers saw sales plunge by 8.7 percent in March. That represents the worst monthly decline on record as millions of consumers stopped visiting restaurants, bars, and shopping malls due to stay-at-home orders for coronavirus containment. While sales of cars, furniture, and electronics all experienced double digit drops, spending at clothing stores plummeted by more than 50 percent. Manufacturing capacity and oil production also fell to their lowest rates since the end Continue reading

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April 7, 2020

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused countless restaurants and stores across the country to alter their services or close entirely, some for as long as a month so far. This stretch of downtime has been devastating for many small businesses that usually get by on week-to-week sales. At Old Town Pizza & Brewing in Portland, Oregon, owner Adam Milne had to lay off two-thirds of his staff as the brewpub transitioned into carry-out only service. In the process he racked Continue reading

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April 3, 2020

Earlier this year, we looked at how the fitness startup ClassPass grew into a $1 billion company thanks to an innovative business model that allows members to easily find exercise classes in their area. Flash forward just a few months later, however, and ClassPass finds itself in a completely different position due to widespread shutdowns caused by coronavirus containment. As gyms and fitness centers closed across the world in March, ClassPass watched as 95 percent of its revenue disappeared within Continue reading

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February 25, 2020

Since 1978, Bob’s Red Mill has made high quality whole-grain products that are staples of upscale grocery stores across the country. The California company generated more than $50 million in sales in 2018 and employs nearly 600 people. Although staffers at Bob’s Red Mill enjoy wide-ranging benefits including profit sharing, their stake in the company got even bigger at a recent birthday party for founder Bob Moore.

During a speech in front of many employees, the 91-year-old entrepreneur announced that Continue reading

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