April 17, 2020

With millions of cars off the road and thousands of airplanes sitting idle on tarmacs, oil consumption has plummeted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. This has led to a drastic drop in petroleum prices that could have an enormous impact on the global economy in the months to come. This video looks at how trade tensions caused prices to fall before the Covid-19 crisis and how oil producing nations are now rethinking their priorities. 

Questions:

  1. How has 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 14, 2020

Last week, we looked at how dairy and egg suppliers that primarily work with restaurants are struggling to adapt to a radically changed business environment. And while food companies that service supermarkets are better equipped to deal with the current crisis, many suppliers are now facing labor shortages as an increasing number of employees fall ill with coronavirus. Experts predict that the nation’s food supply chains will be disrupted in the coming weeks, potentially resulting in local shortages of certain Continue reading

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April 10, 2020

Over the last few weeks, shoppers at supermarkets across the country have stocked up on versatile staples like milk, bread, and eggs that are well-suited for hunkering at home. But as many meat and dairy producers ramp up production to satisfy this increasing demand, food companies that serve clients like restaurants and schools are drastically scaling back. With many eating establishments now closed or take-out only due to coronavirus containment, food suppliers have seen demand for their services plummet. As 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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March 31, 2020

With movie theaters closed across the country due to coronavirus containment, millions of Americans are streaming video in order to stay entertained. According to analysts, the time spent watching streaming video has steadily increased every week since stay-at-home orders went in place earlier in the month. During a seven-day period in mid-March, viewing sessions on Vizio’s smart TV platform rose by a whopping 40 percent over the previous week. “We’re not just seeing more time spent with streaming and TV, Continue reading

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March 27, 2020

With movie theaters across the world closed due to coronavirus containment, experts predict that the global film industry could lose as much as $15 billion this year. China shuttered more than 60,000 theaters in January right before the annual Lunar New Year holidays, a boom period that usually brings in $2 billion in box office sales. Meanwhile in the U.S., AMC Theatres recently announced that it has furloughed its CEO and corporate staff after the company closed more than 1,000 Continue reading

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March 24, 2020

Although countless businesses have either altered their hours or closed up entirely, supermarkets around the country remain very busy as people gather supplies for their extended stays at home. Along with items like soap, hand sanitizer and toilet paper, Americans are also stocking up on foods with long shelf lives. As a result, sales of dry goods like beans are skyrocketing. “In one sense, this is like my best dream,” said Tim McGreevy, the leader of a trade group for Continue reading

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March 20, 2020

With many businesses altering their day-to-day operations, millions of Americans working in restaurants, bars, hotels, or for gig companies like Uber have seen their hours and pay cut drastically. This video looks at how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting regular people working in the San Francisco Bay Area and the solutions that they are asking for to relieve this crisis. 

Questions:

  1. Why do small businesses like restaurants and bars face so much uncertainty during the current coronavirus pandemic?
  2. Do Continue reading
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