Pandemic Brings About Death of Many Brick and Mortar Businesses


    The death of many brick and mortar businesses in the United States has already occurred due to the coronavirus crisis, with many more sadly likely to follow suit in the coming months.

    Globally, the total impact on the economies of nations remains to be seen but America appears to have been hit harder by the virus than a lot of other major worldwide powers.

    Deaths in the US could reach as high as 200,000 according to some recent projections and it is thought that around two million Americans have contracted the virus to date.

    Although lockdown conditions have been eased across the US in order to help the economy to get back on its feet, a lot of companies have already been forced to close their doors for good.

    Over 40 million Americans have had to file for unemployment since the start of the coronavirus crisis, a crash in jobs that has not been seen in the US since the Great Depression.

    Here are some of the industries that have been hurt the most by COVID-19 so far.

    Oil and energy companies

    With millions of Americans staying home much more than normal, there has been a marked impact on the worldwide demand for oil, providing a problem for many major energy companies.

    BP, for example, has said that as much as $17.5 billion could be lost from the value of its gas and oil assets as a result of COVID-19.

    The energy giant has already signaled it will cut around 10,000 jobs as it tries to balance the books through the coronavirus crisis – and many more could follow later in the year too.

    Centrica, one of BP’s main rivals in the energy industry, has also been hit hard by COVID-19. The company, which owns brands such as British Gas, announced earlier in the month that 5,000 employees will be losing their jobs because of the pandemic.

    Chris O’Shea, the new boss of Centrica, suggested that the company will need to be “agile and responsive” in the way it responds to COVID-19’s impact in the coming months.

    Oil prices had been rebounding in the last couple of weeks. But they have dropped again following reports of new coronavirus cases in China, as well as a fresh spike in the number of people testing positive in US states such as Texas, Florida and California.

    Companies such as BP and Centrica are unlikely to go under due to their size and power, but their influence on the oil and gas sector could be severely affected by the impact of COVID-19.

    Brick and mortar casinos

    Las Vegas was left as a ghost town in the early weeks of the pandemic’s spread across America after the city’s casinos were told they had to shut down.

    But after Nevada’s governor Steve Sisolak gave the green light for casinos in Las Vegas to open once more, there has been a bump in the number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the state.

    The problems recorded in Nevada in the last couple of weeks indicate how challenging it is going to be for businesses such as casinos to open safely with the coronavirus still rampant.

    Although social distancing measures have been put in place, brick and mortar casinos feels like an industry that will find it hard to survive due to COVID-19.

    Many customers have got used to gambling online during the pandemic. Brick and mortar casinos have given their online peers a leg up which they may not recover from. It is not impossible to imagine that using online casinos becomes part of the ‘new normal’ for many.

    Indeed, online casinos are a lot more practical for people who do not live close to a brick and mortar facility, while they often offer more generous bonuses and promotions as well.

    Travel and tourism

    Naturally, with many countries closing their borders to restrict the spread of COVID-19, this has been a particularly testing time for the travel and tourism industry.

    Cruise ships were among the first places where the spread of coronavirus could be seen. There were hundreds of cases on board the Diamond Princess, where 14 passengers died, and the sector as a whole has been struggling against the tide when it comes to the pandemic.

    Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, three of the biggest companies in the cruise world, are scrambling to put future schedules in place with the industry highly likely to shrink sharply.

    The International Air Transport Association (AITA) has suggested $21.5 billion could be lost by European airlines in 2020 and a similarly dark picture can be seen in America as well.

    According to the AITA, millions of jobs in the airline industry and associated sectors are at risk, with thousands of people employed in these areas having already been made unemployed.

    Many people will be desperate to go on holiday again as soon as it becomes safe to do so, but the long-term impact of the coronavirus on the travel and tourism sector is hard to imagine.