Gauging the Long Term Impact of COVID-19 on Businesses

June 25, 2020

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There is, of course, no doubt about it: COVID-19 will change the world in a major way. As of right now, it can be hard to imagine the future. Millions are infected and hundreds of thousands are dead. But, eventually, this moment will pass, and a new question will arise: How will this, in the long-run, impact businesses?

There is no doubt that businesses will have to change. There will absolutely be major shifts in employment and finding qualified workers as people shift industries. People will be scared, for months or years, to visit major events where thousands of people congregate. They may be too nervous to touch things, leading to major shifts in entertainment. And travel will likely be much more difficult, as people become more concerned with travelling to unfamiliar areas over the concern of contracting this virus.

Millions of businesses may never truly emerge from this lockdown, as spending habits will be altered. As some industries sputter, workers will likely leave them to pursue more reliable job prospects. For example, laid-off workers might earn a multiple subject teaching credential online and become teachers. As a result, some industries may have worker shortfalls.

Of course, some industries will be more damaged than others. Here are four examples:

Restaurants

The food & drink industry has already suffered in a major way as a result of this pandemic. When bars and restaurants reopen, they will have to be physically rearranged to make room for social distancing. Physical barriers will likely need to be installed, and there will have to be a new emphasis on hygiene training. Many restaurants and bars may find it difficult to reopen their physical locations at all, and as a result, may shift to a more take-out or outside-eating model that allows people to eat comfortably and safely.

Beauty

We all know that we’re going to be wearing masks for the foreseeable future. However, this means that the beauty industry will change – after all, lipstick probably won’t matter all that much. It is likely only a matter of time before the fashion industry begins to discover profitable and stylized ways to incorporate a mask into their sales and marketing materials.

Travel

The travel industry is already adjusting, but unfortunately, that means it is ramping down on the number of flights and seating capacity. The travel industry also has additional challenges, as its margins were never too strong to begin with. Again, many of the issues here are related to social distancing, as travel companies will have to find a way to transport people and goods in a safe manner.

Sports & Recreation

It’s strange to think about being back in a time when tens of thousands of people would comfortably gather, in close quarters, to watch a concert or sporting event. For the immediate and mid-term future, those moments are absolutely gone, and it is safe to say they will not resume for some time. Sports will have to find a way to adjust to this pandemic. Eventually, crowds will likely begin to attend events again, but it is safe to say they will do so in a way that respects social distancing. This means major changes to the way people sit and watch these games and concerts.

These are four examples; there are countless more. Time will tell how these adoptions will occur, but there is no question that the world of business has changed forever.

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