Story at a glance
- A new economic report from Yelp reveals that more than half of restaurants forced to close due to the virus are permanently shuttered.
- This is a gradual increase compared to data from earlier in the pandemic.
New economic data released Wednesday by business review website Yelp shows that approximately 60 percent of restaurants that had to shut down during the pandemic have permanently closed their doors.
Outlined in a July economic impact report, this figure is notably higher than the same data from March, where Yelp found 53 percent of all restaurant closures were indicated as permanent closures.
Countrywide data indicates that the most permanent closures have occurred in California, Texas, Florida and New York — states that have been or are currently especially affected by the virus.
Overall, as of July 10, 26,160 restaurants closed in the U.S., an increase of 2,179 since June 15.
Many restaurants and retail stores have been forced to shift their business models to focus on delivery, take-out and curbside pickup options to sustain their business, which Yelp notes isn’t always enough to support a business in the long term.
Despite more and more states experimenting with reopening to support their local economies, restaurants are still struggling to stay afloat. The review documents an increase in dining at restaurants, but prolonged trends indicate continued financial hardship for businesses amid the pandemic.
A silver lining in the report shows Black-owned restaurants remaining steadily popular, with search results up by 2,508 percent compared to the same time one year ago. This is likely due to the Black Lives Matter movement following the police killing of George Floyd, which raised awareness of the systemic racism that touches all corners of U.S. life, from social interactions to economics.
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