Presented by Junior Achievement USA
A Guide to How Entrepreneurs and Businesses are Responding to COVID-19
COVID-19’s Impact on Business Unlike other viruses, such as the seasonal flu or common cold, the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is considered a “novel,” or new, virus because humans have had little exposure to it. Hence, we don’t have readily available treatments, like a vaccine, to prevent people from getting sick from COVID-19. As a result, the first line of defense against the disease is called “social distancing.” This means people are being encouraged not to be around other people unless it is necessary.
In many cities and states, officials require so-called “non-essential” businesses to either reduce their operations or close completely to promote social distancing. While these businesses are referred to as non-essential, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. But it does mean that their closure will help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Businesses affected include restaurants, which in many cases must close their dining areas, even though they can still prepare food for delivery or take out. Others that must close completely include hair salons, clothing stores, and various retail establishments that don’t offer what are considered “essential” products or services, such as food or medicine.
Due to these restrictions and closures, businesses large and small have had to release many of their employees. This means people who worked for these businesses lost their jobs either temporarily, through a furlough, or permanently, through a layoff. Many of these people are eligible for unemployment benefits, which means that they will receive some amount of money from the government to help pay basic expenses like rent, house payments, and food. The hope is that non-essential business closures will only last a few months and that people will be able to go back to work in the not-too-distant future.