June 25, 2020

After months on lockdown, states across the country have relaxed stay-at-home orders and allowed businesses to gradually resume operations. This slight return to normalcy caused the stock market to rally over the last few weeks to levels approaching its January 2020 highs. But even though many Americans are desperate to return to something resembling normal life, coronavirus remains a dangerous threat to public health. In fact, cases of infection have been steadily rising as states and businesses reopen.

As a Continue reading

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June 23, 2020

For months, movie theaters around the country have sat empty as Americans remained in their homes to curb the spread of coronavirus. With many businesses now gradually reopening, though, last week the nation’s largest film exhibitors also announced their plans for returning. AMC Theatres, for instance, will reopen by July 15th with a number of precautionary measures in place. Along with filling theaters to a maximum capacity of 30 percent, the company will also use advanced cleaning technology such as Continue reading

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June 19, 2020

Back in April, we looked at how American dairy farmers were dumping thousands of gallons of milk due to drastic drops in demand from businesses and schools. This video illustrates how this problem has grown in the months since and offers potential solutions that could keep supplies and prices stable.

Questions:

  1. How have dairy cooperatives responded to the supply crisis that was caused by the pandemic?
  2. Do you think independent farmers should receive more relief from federal regulators? Why or why not?
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June 18, 2020

Tomorrow is Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. Although few major companies observed this day of remembrance in the past, many are now correcting this mistake in response to the protests that have been going on for weeks in cities across the country. Firms like Nike, Mastercard, Target, and Twitter recently announced that Juneteenth will become a paid holiday next year. Best Buy offered employees a “paid volunteer holiday” they can use this upcoming Continue reading

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June 16, 2020

Before the pandemic, Starbucks cafes across the country bustled with people grabbing all sorts of caffeinated beverages before work. With millions of Americans now telecommuting, however, these once crowded coffee houses are not nearly as busy as they used to be. As a result, last week Starbucks announced that it would close hundreds of locations across North America and shift its focus to takeout orders.

“This repositioning will include the closure of up to 400 company-operated stores over the next 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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With tens of millions of Americans currently out of work, the U.S. is experiencing an unemployment crisis on a scale not seen since the height of the Great Depression. This video looks at the devastating effects of rising joblessness while also explaining how several European governments intervened to avoid disastrous unemployment rates. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the U.S. unemployment insurance system not equipped to face the current crisis?
  2. Do you think the U.S. should take a more active role in Continue reading
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In early March, the movie studio Universal had already spent millions of dollars marketing its upcoming title Trolls World Tour in anticipation of its April 10th release. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down theaters across the nation, though, Universal made the bold decision to release the movie through on-demand platforms like Apple TV and Amazon. The gamble paid off handsomely for the movie studio: after three weeks on the market for $20 per rental, Trolls World Tour brought in more 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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