Nearly 100,000 businesses have permanently closed since March. Here are the hardest hit

National News

SAN FRANCISCO (NEXSTAR) – If your downtown is like most, there are some shops you haven’t been able to visit since early spring. The number of businesses that have closed due to the pandemic now totals more than 163,000, according to new data from Yelp.

The business rating site has been keeping tabs on closures for months and says the restaurant industry is steadily eroding – to the tune of 32,109 closures since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly two-thirds of those closures are expected to be permanent. Nearly 100,000 businesses, across all sectors, are unlikely to ever reopen.

“Breakfast and brunch restaurants, burger joints, sandwich shops, dessert places and Mexican restaurants are among the types of restaurants with the highest rate of business closures,” Yelp wrote in a breakdown of the data.

Bars and clubs have, though a much smaller sector, been even harder hit than traditional restaurants, per 1,000 open shops. Curbside-friendly food sellers, like pizza parlors, bakeries and food trucks, have been a little more successful in keeping the doors open.

Gift shops, clothing retailers and home decor businesses follow restaurants on the endangered list.

“Retail and shopping follows closely behind restaurants with 30,374 total business closures, 17,503 of which are permanent (58%). Similar to bars and nightlife, the share of permanent closures increased by 10% since July,” wrote Yelp staff.

High population states like California and Texas have seen the most total closures, with California likely to permanently lose half of the nearly 40,000 closed storefronts. On a per-store basis, tourism-dependent states like Hawaii and Nevada climb to the top of the list.

“The states with the most closures are home to the hardest-hit metros: Las Vegas in Nevada, Honolulu in Hawaii, and several of the largest California urban areas all are among the metro areas with the highest total closure and permanent closure rates (San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and others), with roughly 20 businesses per thousand temporarily or permanently closing their doors since March 1,” wrote Yelp.

In perhaps the most disturbing trend in the data, the permanent closure rate does not appear to be leveling off. In June, fewer than 60,000 stores were expected to keep the doors closed for good. By early September, that number had crept up to nearly 100,000.

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